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Game Info:

Dark Hill Museum of Death
Developed By: Dan Ruscoe
Published By: Dan Ruscoe
Released: January 21, 2019
Available On: Windows, Linux
Genre: Puzzle
ESRB Rating: N/A
Number of Players: Single-player
Price: $3

Thanks to Dan Ruscoe for sending over a key for review!

Dark Hill Museum of Death is a short first-person puzzle game that takes place in an eerie museum that revolves around the topic of death. The theme is unusual and interesting, but the game does suffer from several flaws.

When you enter the museum itself, it immediately feels eerie and almost hostile. Right out of the gate there are various torture objects and execution methods. What’s interesting is that the whole game feels just like a museum. There’s murals on the walls and cards with text on stands next to almost everything. The cards themselves discuss the various execution methods or important people from history that died via execution. What’s written on the cards is nonfiction - it makes Dark Hill almost educational, albeit on a very dark topic.

Dark Hill Museum of Death
Highlights:

Strong Points: Interesting theme and setting
Weak Points: Simple / easy puzzles; non-copyright music; lackluster plot
Moral Warnings: It’s a museum about various executions and other death-related concepts; some pictures contain blood; one puzzle is played on a pentagram; The end has some occult elements (talks about services for ghosts and has you walk through a portal)

You will end up solving several light puzzles while walking around the museum. Unfortunately, none of them stood out as anything interesting or different. They were all very basic and didn’t require too much thought, and you only had to use your surroundings to solve them in a couple instances. Several puzzles were simply trial and error, clicking buttons until you get the right combination. Two puzzles stood out to me for very different reasons. The first was one that used the Mayan numerical system to solve (they gave you an explanation right next to the puzzle) and the second was a World War II code decipher, which I had to use a guide to figure out, and when going through the game a second time, I couldn’t find the answer in the game itself. Otherwise it was just things like matching, getting same colors together, and other run of the mill puzzles.

At the very start of the game there is a short cutscene where you and two friends break into the museum. It seemed to imply that there could be horror elements and that there would be a bit of a plot. Unfortunately, neither happened. The only horror element I came across was the general theme of the game and the tone of the rooms you entered. Aside from this little cutscene there was no plot at all. These are two things I think could have made the game a lot more engaging to play.

Dark Hill Museum of Death
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 66%
Gameplay - 12/20
Graphics - 7/10
Sound - 6/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 3/5

Morality Score - 75%
Violence - 3.5/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 5/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 9/10

The music is non-copyright soundtracks off the web, but it does fit the atmosphere perfectly. Things sound good. Puzzles that used wood have a nice scrape sound to them. A radio in one section has that perfect low quality noise to it. The controls are keyboard and mouse only, with no way to rebind them. The character can be a little slow but can sprint to go a bit faster, so travelling through rooms isn’t bad. The art style is a clean low poly look - it’s visually appealing, although not top notch. I came across no bugs during play and the game was perfectly stable.

The general theme of the game can be worrying, but Dark Hill takes the topic seriously and everything it says is grounded in facts and history. One of the first puzzles you play is on top of a pentagram. Several paintings depict blood and death in some way. The ending of the game is occult, having you walk through a portal and into a room that talks about services for ghosts and advertisements for ghosts.

Dark Hill Museum of Death was okay. I was disappointed that no horror elements appeared and there was practically zero story. I would recommend it more for the educational side…on a questionable topic than for the game itself. The length is perfect for the price of 3 dollars.

About the Author

Evan

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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