Carfax the Hunter
Carfax is a Dracula themed adventure which takes inspiration from the 1992 Francis Ford Coppola film.
You have been sent by Professor Van Helsing to unearth the reason for Lady Westenra’s bizarre symptoms and release her from whatever evil has her in its grasp.
The rooms are all in caves beneath the city of Nottingham in the UK. The game introduction shows you the entrance to the caves and gives you a sense of the atmosphere they invoke in the game in real life. To add to the atmosphere your avatar will be completely silent throughout, now some may hate the lack of interaction, but I found it refreshing allowed me to focus more on the visuals and the audio.
Beginning in the ship, The Demeter, you progress through a series of beautiful scenes with a real sense of adventure throughout.
The attention to detail on the remote gameplay really shines through on this game, from the introduction of both the Hunter avatar and of the narrative, to the choice of music and sound effects to set each scene and emphasise clue items.
For me a highlight of the room is that any text is read out to you, in a voice over, this makes the room much more accessible and also gives you that movie voiceover feel, it really elevates the adventure as you don’t have to squint at a document or take time out of the action to read it in the telescape. Its a simple technique but is very underused in remote rooms. Speaking of telescape, its there and it is used well, but I only used it once or twice in the whole game, it was a useful reference. You could spend most of the game in the inventory, but there is really no need as any text you need will be read out to you, so you need never be away from the action.
Its a classic tale, with a beautifully atmospheric rooms and excellent gameplay. Then add in a superbly characterised avatar who is very quick and responsive to instructions, and top it off with great camera work and you have yourself a stunning game.