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Choice can be an engaging aspect of interactive narratives, but in the opening scene of The Last Door, Spanish developers The Game Kitchen succinctly demonstrate that a lack of choice can be equally as interesting. “After all the things I’ve seen” reads the opening line of a suicide note as an attic scene in a stately 19th century mansion fades into view, and control of Anthony Beechworth is handed over to you. You can search his draws, look for an exit, but the only real decision you get to make here is how long you delay approaching the only obvious exit in the room and hang that rope slumped in the middle of the floor from the rafters.
Both currently available chapters of The Last Door are accented by a few moments like this – shocking and morbid instances that help sustain the unnerving sense of foreboding that permeates every facet of this pixelated love letter to the literature of HP Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe. But their presence often gives way to more traditional Point and Click adventuring, solidly constructed on the foundations of games like King’s Quest andBeneath a Steel Sky, but bearing the rough edges of decade’s old game design.
Puzzle’s mostly boil down to the classic find item, use it in the appropriate environmental location, gain more items, gameplay loop. And like the early genre progenitors The Last Door is built upon, missing one crucially interactive environmental detail can spin out these sub-hour long chapters into exercises of left mouse button scene scouring, as you systematically search for any pixel that suggests interactivity.