The Lost Crown Steam ReviewAugust 15, 2014
I did not expect Darkling Room’s The Lost Crown to be a point-and-click adventure, based on the fact that the tag lines touted it as an atmospheric horror game. While games like Amnesia have redefined the horror genre and point-and-click games have practically disappeared from the industry (with the notable exceptions of The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us), there was a time when horror games were less about jump scares and more about mood, and that’s where The Lost Crown excels. Originally released in 2008, it’s been ported to Steam in anticipation of the upcoming sequels.
The major draw of The Lost Crown is its story, which presents itself via dialogue trees and item examination. This happens slowly. The pace escalates slightly as the game moves forward and details come to light, but overall I found the pacing fairly consistent. The slower, methodical pace is not inherently a bad thing, but I think a lot of younger gamers that perhaps do not remember the point-and-click era will have their patience tried. The story in The Lost Crown is satisfying, but there is never really a huge pay off; you gradually uncover the story as it’s written and then at the end you can sit back with a feeling of satisfaction that you pieced it all together. Is this process fun? Kind of. Is it interesting? Yes. Not much more can be said about this without giving away spoilers, so we’ll leave it at that.
The voice acting is on occasion painful (the station master in the first scene comes to mind) and other times cheesy, but let’s keep in mind that this game is from 2008. Overall, the dialogue is tolerable and the lines are delivered in a fitting manner. The graphics are nothing to write home about – even for 2008 they were a little behind the times (after all games like Left 4 Dead and Metal Gear Solid 4 came out the same year). The backgrounds are fairly rich in detail and it’s only the puppet-like movements of the characters that look a little off. However, being that The Lost Crown is not an action-based game, awkward movements are more of a minor distraction and less of a deal breaker. All things considered, the quality of this game is fairly high for an indie title of its time.
Would I recommend The Lost Crown? Yeah, I actually would. If you like a good point-and-click and are well-versed in the art of patience, then you’ll probably enjoy this romp through the fens to seek out ghosts and treasure. At its core The Lost Crown is well-written and the game relies heavily upon that. The cast of characters is pretty huge and there are more than enough details to catch your interest as you progress through it. The game will probably run you 10 hours of gameplay. The Lost Crown simply tries to deliver a compelling and interesting story and it succeeds in that regard – it’s not an edge of your seat thrill ride, but this game fits its own niche in the industry.
- + Well-written story
- – Dated graphics