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Black Mirror Review
Sia \'Garrett\' Manzari, 2004-05-24

An old castle, a mysterious death, an ancient secret...Samuel Gordon is returning to the castle of his ancestors after 12 years to mourn the death of his grandfather...

Black Mirror is a classical point and click adventure, like the old Monkey Island titles or Syberia and The Westerner, to name a few modern games as well. In the game, which has been developed by Czech company 'Unknown Identity', you control the character of Samuel Gordon, as already mentioned...and you do this a long time...

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The game puts you immedaitely in the scene after the funeral of your grandfather, who fell of the castle's old tower. Somehow you know, that all is not right here, and you begin to talk to characters in the castle and start investigations. Samuel looks like Johnny Depp, so German publisher dtp chose to dub him with the German voice of Johnny Depp as well. Overall, dtp did a great job with the voice recordings here, as in all their other recent adventure games.

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Also the music adds a lot to the mood and the haunted atmosphere of the game. The sound effects are eqaully well done, which concludes the look at the audio part. Moving on to the visuals, you notice, that all graphics are detailed without offering a resolution higher than 800x600 though. Nevertheless, the game looks great and delivers many greatlooking locations.

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Unfortunately, the character animations are sometimes very low-detailed, where at least Samuel is quite good, but most of the other characters walk as though they just swallowed a stick.

The puzzles are most of the times challenging and can be solved with pure logic. The German version has also removed some dead-ends and in some puzzles you either need patience (when for example recompiling a torn photograph) or a good generel education or an encyclopedia (when for example you need to bring the planets of our solar system in the correct order).

One of the weaker parts of Black Mirror is the fact, that sometimes you seem stuck, with no clue what to do next, so you have to walk to all places you already visited before and need to talk to anyone...just a hint by someone makes the story proceed again then. There could have been some more hints generally...but then again, maybe we are all not used to good adventure games anymore, that challenge both yout brain and your wits?

Overall, Black Mirror is a very enjoyable adventure experience, that also has a good long playing time and gives you some shivers. It has a great story and is addictive. If you haven't already played this one, grab a copy at your local dealer!

The Verdict
Graphics (15%) 85%
Sound (15%) 88%
Control (25%) 90%
Fun (45%) 88%
Overall 88%

The ups and downs:
Fantastic Atmosphereleaves you alone at times...
Good puzzleswith no idea what to do...
Good storynext
Long playing time

Reviewer's System
Version: German ret
CPU: Pentium IV 1.8 GHz
RAM: 512MB
Graphics GeForce FX 5900
Sound SB Live Platinum
OS: Win XP Pro, DX 9.1

Average Reader Ratings: 9 (2 votes)
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