Enclosure Download (2004 Adventure Game)

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You are Mike Goodman, a con artist who lives with his girlfriend in a rundown apartment. Your job is to trick people into thinking you can contact the dead. You have little money and no other work. One day you meet a man called William Mayfield who offers you $10,000 to go with him to a remote ice station called Mary. You immediately accept, and next morning you are off. Destination: Greenland.

It is suspected that there is a spirit haunting the station Mary. After first contact with the spirit, things start to go wrong - horribly wrong. Strange oil stains appear all over the station, death comes knocking, and not everyone is who they first appeared to be. It is up to you to find the secret behind the deaths that are happening all around you, and exactly who is behind them.

The game is quite well-made. The story keeps you hooked from the start, wanting to know more. Of course, the only solution to this is to play. The puzzles aren't too difficult and you should have no trouble with getting lost.

The one thing that stands out the most are the commands. There are shortcuts for the most common commands, such as 't' for talk, 'o' for open, and 'l' for look. There are also many different ways of saying one thing in this game. This should help avoid the frustrating moments which often occured in such adventures, when you knew what to do but it took 10 minutes to figure out the correct command to use.

The only thing lacking in the game is probably length. More depth could have been given to the characters, and I feel like the game was over too quickly. But still, it is very enjoyable and I recommend it to any fans of the adventure genre.

WARNING: There are some graphic scenes in this game. If you could not handle 5 Days a Stranger or 7 Days a Skeptic, do not attempt to play this game.

The second effort from amateur developer Femo Duo Entertainment, Enclosure is a very fun murder mystery game with a lot of sci-fi trappings. You play Mike Goodman, a small-time con artist who was hired to investigate paranormal activities at a deserted science station called 'Mary' - along with a team of real professionals. Of course, things start to go wrong almost as soon as you arrive. As dead bodies pile up, the plot thickens, and it's up to you to unravel a decade-long mystery once and for all.

The game is similar to 5 Days a Stranger, another excellent freeware game, in the gameplay mechanics, pace, and focus on characters and plot. You spend most of your time wandering inside and around the station, talking to others on the team, collecting anything that is not nailed down, and generally doing things that trigger important events in the plot. Similar to 5 Days a Stranger, each NPC has his or her own schedule and agenda to follow, and the passage of time is used effectively to maintain interest and create suspense. Solid writing, especially during dialogues, helps make you feel really involved in the story. You learn more about the various characters every 'day' in the game, and will come to hate, sympathize, or pity them by the time it ends.

Puzzles are relatively few and easy, although some of them suffer from the "pixel hunt" syndrome that plagues most graphical text adventures. One of the most infuriating problems stemming from this is that the game sometimes gives you the standard "you don't see that here" response if you are not standing at the right spot to "see" the object and pick it up. This caused me a lot of headache while trying to pick up the box of matches and a crowbar. The parser, as with most AGI (Sierra's engine behind Police Quest and a few others), is quite poor and nitpicky. Fortunately, easy puzzles help minimize the problem as it is rarely hard to know what you need to do.

Like early Sierra games, there is a couple of arcade sequences in the game, neither of which is difficult - although the option to "opt out" (as in Dynamix's adventure games or Pleurghburg to name a recent comparable) would have been nice. All in all, Enclosure is a fun fanmade game that is good enough to keep you entertained through the end. It does not quite match the suspense of 5 Days a Stranger, but as a horror/mystery game with some sci-fi trappings, it can hold its own as a very well-designed game. Recommended!


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