Good Gaming Friday: Sanitarium

As part of my attempt to have my blog updated as much as possible, welcome to my first Good Gaming Friday. In this (hopefully) weekly article, I’ll take a look at the game which has impressed upon me the most in the past week, or a look at some classic games which deserve mentioning. This week’s inaugural edition kicks off with Sanitarium on the PC.

Sanitarium is a point-and-click adventure game, released in 1998, which features the player as an inmate of an insane asylum, who wakes up with game-convenient-amnesia in the midst of an evacuation, due to a fire in another section of the asylum. Straight off, the game’s rich atmosphere hits you in a face like a brick wall, thanks to the inmate who’s hitting his face against a brick wall nearby, and the cowering gibbering wrecks of your other fellow detainees. To get things straight, which is a slight oxymoron with this game, Sanitarium does it’s level-most best to keep the player perpetually in the dark about your own character’s sanity, with a constant barrage of surreal locations and situations, as well as flashbacks to the character’s past which begin to reveal why you’re there…or possibly not. You can expect to see sadistic laboratories, villages inhabited only by children, an incredibly evil-looking circus, and meet half-cyborg bugs fighting against a race of four-armed cyclops(es/i?)

Despite sounding like it could be an incoherent mess, the developers, DreamForge, have produced a tight narrative spanning nine chapters, and multiple characters, which all manages to neatly tie together by the ending cinematic. Seeing how the main character’s story and some of your fellow inmate’s delusions intertwine is a delight, though some of the characters you encounter do seem rather inconsequential to the grand scheme of things. One downside of the game is the variable quality of the voice-acting, with some characters being laughably bad, and others atmospherically perfect. The musical score however, is top-notch, and fits seamlessly with every location and event.

Overall, Sanitarium is a game that provides a good few evening’s worth of twisted entertainment (I personally took around 12 hours to complete it, thanks to some ‘duh’ moments with the puzzles), and deserves at least a try.

Pros: Highly atmospheric. Great locations, characters, and music.

Cons: Some corny voice-acting, short play-time.

Link to Sanitarium demo (also includes patch for full game).


0 Responses to “Good Gaming Friday: Sanitarium”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

April 2008
    May »

%d bloggers like this: