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Anchorhead

by Michael Gentry profile

Horror
1998

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Reviews and Ratings

5 star:
(223)
4 star:
(60)
3 star:
(9)
2 star:
(8)
1 star:
(1)
Average Rating:
Number of Ratings: 301
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- Scott Hammack (Tallahassee, Florida), April 5, 2011

- Mason Saail (Northern California), March 28, 2011

- kyuzo (Pieris, Italy), March 19, 2011

- Felix Pleșoianu (Bucharest, Romania), March 18, 2011

- JohnW (Brno, Czech Republic), March 16, 2011

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful:
Just get to the part where I go insane already, March 9, 2011
by spinnerin (Portland, OR)
I really wanted to like this, because I’m a Lovecraft fan and it's highly rated on IFDB. Alas, I had multiple “throw the book across the room” moments within the first hour. The game map is wide open at the start, so if you’re not clear on what it expects you to do, you can wander off and completely screw up your ability to continue.

On round 2 (after restarting), I wandered until I found the PC’s husband, attempted to talk to him to figure out what I should be doing, and wound up so frustrated I wanted to punch him (the game insisted that was out of character). The parser interaction is not very polished--I kept having to try different approaches for what seemed like basic actions.

Eventually I consulted the walkthrough, which told me my first move was to do something that seemed entirely out of character for someone who is dressed in “a tasteful ensemble from Ann Taylor”. So I yelled at the game for a few more minutes, then quit.

- frocutio (Irvine, CA), February 22, 2011

- dryman, February 4, 2011

- artao (SW Wisconsin), February 2, 2011

- NoiselessPenguin (London, UK), January 27, 2011

- diddlescatter (US), January 13, 2011

- flap, January 5, 2011

- Callust (Michigan), January 2, 2011

- darcycarmela (Bethel, Connecticut), December 11, 2010

6 of 12 people found the following review helpful:
Anchorhead - a great game but a pain in the butt, December 11, 2010
by pcb2x
Related reviews: Anchorhead
This is a game that does get one involved. Puzzles are in general easy to medium hard and the writing is engrossing. But the end left me greatly annoyed. Apparently I was supposed to find something halfway through the game (I finally broke down and read the solution to find out what I had missed). But in the beginning I looked and it wasn't there and near the end I looked again and it wasn't there. Apparently only if you looked at a particular time did the required object show up. So I fought my way through to the end only to be completely stopped.
This is a long game and I'll damned if I am going to go back and repeat half the steps again. So I never finished and that's a shame.

- Narcisse, November 26, 2010

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful:
A truly engaging and satisfying experience!, November 10, 2010
by Lipa (Slovenia)
It took me quite some time to pick up this title, despite its high ratings and numerous recommendations. In fact, I think that the reviews sort of scared me away. I read about situations in the game where you can lock yourself out of a winnable position (which I generally don’t like at all), and also about some very tight time limits. However, there was also talk about great story and superb atmosphere, and I think this (combined with the sheer popularity and almost cult-like status of Anchorhead) finally convinced me to dive in.

And this was probably one of the best decisions of the year! Anchorhead, indeed, is more than a game. It’s another reality, a second life, just waiting to be explored, with all its secrets and dark history. It is truly easy to get immersed in the experience, and by the end of day two I felt like I’ve been a part of this town forever. The story is fascinating and unfolds at an exactly the right pace, letting you slowly amount more and more knowledge about the past events and what’s going on. I must admit that I had little knowledge of the Cthulu Mythos prior to playing the game (though I vaguely remember the premise of the adventure game “The Shadow of the Comet” which I played ages ago), and maybe this is also the reason why I was even more drawn to the story, hungry for more information. In the end, everything fell into place, the story masterfully unfolded, and all the loose ends were tied.

And what about the difficulty which I feared? It is true that there are some tight time limits and unwinnable situations, however I realized in the end that their importance seems to be a bit exaggerated in the reviews. If playing sensibly, keeping track of the story and trying to hold on to your belongings, unwinnable situations can be avoided almost completely. As to the few time limits, they turned out to be so brief that it’s fairly simple to undo and try another approach, and the solutions are usually quite logical too. All in all, I only got stuck once at the end of day two, and I could probably solve even this puzzle without consulting the walkthrough, if only I weren’t as impatient to see the rest of the story unfold.

I truly recommend this game to everyone looking for a good story-driven IF with excellent atmosphere, relatively large world to explore, and logical puzzles to solve. I think the memory of this game, the town of Anchorhead and its troubled populace will stick with me for a long time to come, and the overall experience definitely ranks at top three of my gaming history. Thumbs up, way up!

- strask, October 1, 2010

- Juleske, September 19, 2010

- Aaron (Lille, France), August 28, 2010

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
Best Lovecraft Adaptation, in all mediums, August 25, 2010
by Xervosh (San Jose, Northern California)
Better than any of the movies, is what I mean to say.

This truly is a fantastic and exceedingly well-written piece of IF. Its so damn good, it makes me want to write my own, to see if I can come up with something comparable. A few of the "puzzles"/moves-you-have-to-make are a bit unintuitive, you might say, and I, personally, never would have solved this thing without a walk-thru (although I did solve a LOT of the puzzles myself). It was very immersive & evocative, and I got a lot of enjoyment out of playing it. I've been a Lovecraft fan and an IF fan for almost 30 years (I first read Lovecraft in 1981, and first began playing IF in '82), and this game was far superior to The Lurking Horror (which is also good, of course). If you also grew up with Lovecraft and Infocom, I can scarcely recommend this game enough!

One minor quibble; a couple of times I did the right thing, but I used the wrong verb, and so it didn't work, and yet I received no feedback to make me think I had merely chosen the wrong verb. In one instance this was particularly maddening, in that the author seemed to be quite obviously trying to fool me into thinking I had done something correctly ...which resulted in, well, about as bad a thing as could possibly occur, and my needing to check the walk-thru again, and then out of sheer desperation, trying a different verb...and getting a different result! Aaarrgghhhh! (Spoiler - click to show)Oddly both problems involved the fish oil; I said to "rub" the fish oil on the mirror, and it polished it to a high sheen, thus facilitating Armageddon, as opposed to merely putting the oil on the mirror, which resulted in a smear, and thus saved Humanity. Also, I tried to "pour" the fish oil on the hinge, and was chided for making a mess. Again, you must merely "put" the fish oil on the hinge in order to lubricate it.

Additionally, its very important for you to know a particular verb, that is basically a synonym for another term you will use throughout the game...but you get a different result when you use the quasi-synonym. (Spoiler - click to show)You must "search" several items, not merely "examine (or "x") them.

- Brian Lavelle (Edinburgh, Scotland), July 31, 2010

- John D, July 24, 2010

- MyTheory (Missouri), July 24, 2010

- Buffaloelvis, July 22, 2010


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