Adventure PC Games:

Scratches Special Edition


PC Games

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Customer reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars Based on 16 Customer Ratings

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"Not bad, not great."
3 stars"
Purchased on Mighty Ape

Great storyline and excellent dialogue, well thought out puzzles and encaptivating till the end. However the non-3D, low graphics are a real shame, the lack of any other people to interact with and only a single location let the game down. So much potential, great idea, poor follow through.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.
"Enjoyable, but an unfulfilling conclusion."
3 stars"
Purchased on Mighty Ape

The game itself was really good, although a couple of times I had to find an FAQ to see what to do next.

The fact that you only see what you are up against a couple of times (and that you are weaponless) makes it quite scary if you're playing alone in the dark.

The small ‘built in’ FMV scenes that occur while you are playing fit in really well, and unlike most scary games, Scratches doesn't have monsters just leaping out at you and eating your face; it get's to you on a much deeper level.

I found the end to be very open and ambiguous, though I hear there is a prologue game you can get to fill in the blanks which might be worth looking into.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.
4 stars"
Purchased on Mighty Ape

Whenever a game advertises itself as a spine-chilling horror, most of the time one just has to laugh. Scratches boasts itself as such a game, but with minimal production values and low resolution graphics (which are just panoramic static images for crying out loud!), you'll want to cackle. Twenty minutes into the game though and the cackling stops, replaced by genuine wariness; another twenty turns into anxiety, and within a couple of hours I'm genuinely dreading every next moment. And as I sat back at the completion of the game – relieved, but still on edge – I renounced my initial reservations and must confess that Scratches is one of the scariest games I've ever played.

The puzzles in this game are bewilderingly logical – an oxymoron, I know, but believe me, you'll rack your brain as to how the puzzles can escape you sometimes (perhaps we've been conditioned to make illogical assumptions based on previous games' efforts?) -, so thankfully you won't be asked to figure out something as trivial as a toothpick and rubber duck to crack a safe. For example, one early puzzle in the game requires you to find a key to unlock a basement. The first port of call is obviously a key rack, but like any good adventure game, once you find the rack you realize the key is not on there. With a few clues unwittingly left behind by the previous owners, it'll be found and you'll feel smarter for it. Later puzzles in the game become a little more esoteric, such as figuring out ingredients for an obscure recipe, but given the nature of the story, it's more or less acceptable (and if you're really immersed in the narrative, it's rather delightful).

The game is up there with the very elite of horror video games, being just as scary as the original Silent Hill and the ever venerable System Shock 2. I dare not mention any other horror games simply because in terms of scare factor, they stop beginning to compare.

Scratches is a game I whole-heartedly recommend. It's claim to success is not in the radical approach it's made to the PC adventure genre, but rather in its mastery of the traditional formula, and confidence in delivering a spine-chilling narrative. Ironically, the same virtue that makes the gameplay so good is also its biggest hindrance, and its low budget, while used very effectively, is noticeable in comparison to games even several years older. Whether it would be advisable to have a state-of-the-art presentation is a tough question though, as the game may have literally scared people to death. And do me a favour: if you can't play this game in the middle of the night, isolated from outside disturbances, at least find the time to play the last few hours in those conditions. Like me, you may just find your heart beating the fastest it's ever beat.

N.B The game had been released a year later in Scratches: The Director's Cut. The patch included comes with higher fidelity graphics and a short chapter entitled “The Last Visit” which clears up any confusion people may have with the ending.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.


Scratches is an atmospheric mystery adventure game for the PC, brimming with eerie twists and terrifying surprises. Set in and around a solitary Victorian mansion concealing a terrible secret, a long since forgotten story from the past emerges to haunt the present. A careful combination of inventory-based and deductive-style puzzles, integrated with a riveting storyline, non-linear gameplay, intricately detailed graphics, and an entrancing soundtrack, immerse you in a haunting Gothic atmosphere until the final shocking revelation.

As famed horror writer Michael Arthate, you arrive at Blackwood Manor, your newly acquired home, an old Victorian house lost in the outskirts of a small English market town. While the ominous weather bodes of darker days, you are initially charmed by this peaceful and quiet place. The pleasant stillness is soon broken, however, as the rooms of this exquisite, if faded glory, mansion speak of past events, their tales echoing through its walls. As the odd noises in the basement grow ever louder, you set about solving your sanctuary’s long-held mystery.

Isolated by a washed out road, and in search of clues, you delve into every dark corner of the mansion and its untended grounds via a point-and -click interface. Examining, probing, and hunting your way through musty rooms, an overrun greenhouse, a sinister chapel, and a forbidding crypt, your investigation deepens, and you slowly become aware of one terrifying fact: you are not alone!
  • Non-linear gameplay
  • Point and click interface
  • Inventory-based and deductive-style puzzles
  • Eerie and immersive story
  • Haunting Gothic atmosphere
  • Intricately detailed graphics
  • Entrancing soundtrack



Release date NZ
November 9th, 2007
All-time sales rank
Top 1000
Product ID

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