In 2006 when Scratches came out I couldn’t be more uninterested in it. The simple, reddish cover art, the cliched premise of a haunted house (no twists on the theme apparent), and in-game screenshots showing interiors devoid of any living soul – made me ignore it completely. I don’t think I even paid any attention to the reviews. It feels strangely appropriate then, that after having played the game I consider it an experience that under no circumstances should be missed. And not only by the likes of me or you, dear adventure games fan – it should be a required play in particular for horror genre authors – game designers or otherwise. There’s something primal within Scratches – a lesson in delivering an elusive, but essential aspect of horror, that storytellers rarely have the opportunity to test the full impact of.
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