House of Tales’ point-and-clicker The Mystery of the Druids hits the GOG DRM-free store thanks to THQ Nordic.
House of Tales might not ring a bell for many people, especially outside Germany, as the defunct company didn’t do many games that could be called classics. I already wrote about the GOG release of The Moment of Silence, and this was in 2015. In the meantime, Overclocked: A History of Violence and HoT’s last title 15 Days have also made it to the DRM-free shores. Now, I wouldn’t call any of these games true classics that revitalized the genre or made an everlasting impression on me. Martin Ganteföhr, who is currently at work with cyberpunk adventure A State of Mind, might have grand visions for mature storytelling, but IMHO it rarely worked, except in The Mystery of Druids that is still strangely appealing despite many obvious flaws.
Having been the first game of House of Tales in 2001, the technical presentation is simply horrible with terrible character models and background graphics, while the voice acting and music aren’t the best, either. Still, what I remember most about the game was the creepy atmosphere slowly built up by a story revolving around a cult of druids who perform brutal ritualistic murders the main protagonist, Scotland Yard Detective Brent Halligan, has to investigate. It’s true that the writing isn’t the best, either, but somehow, just like a bad movie, one still wants to see it through to the end which is even more ludicrous and unexpected, even if it means trudging through some especially obtuse puzzles. Again it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly why I preferred this game to other HoT titles, but I thought it entertaining enough to play both the original German and later English version. So laugh all you want at the screenshots that highlight the game’s technical faults and maybe also their writing, but maybe give the game a chance, especially at a reduced price. Come to think of it, I might just replay it sometime in the future and write a review…
The Mystery of the Druids is now available on GOG with a 50% discount that will last until March 19, 11pm UTC.
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