22 September 2002 | ezridax
Dark, creepy, and great for fans of Harlan Ellison
I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream is based off one of Harlan Ellison's short stories of the same name. A supercomputer gains the power of conscious thought, and kills everyone on the Earth except for 5 humans, which he takes down to the middle of the Earth. Your goal is to jump through the hoops that AM lays out for you and retain your humanity at the same time. A typical point and click game here. use commands such as Walk, Ask, Get, Use, Swallow on objects in your inventory or on the screen. The system is very intuitive, so you won't spend hours struggling on what to do with an object. The only reason this category didn't get a 10, is because there are several times you have to find an object that may only take up a few pixels on the screen, leading to some annoying hunting with your mouse. When you have to talk with people, you get several conversation choice, most of which will affect the plot. Say the wrong thing, and you might fail your task. You also can't just kill people to get your way, as in games nowadays. You have a spiritual barometer that measures how human you are. Treat a person with kindness and it'll go up, and your character will become happier and more-self confident. Do something against their moral beliefs and they'll go into panic attacks and possibly die. Ah, now this is where IHNM really shines. You get to play as each of the 5 humans AM has brought down with him. You must make it through a scenario for each character. You'll have to confront your past mistakes and your one character flaw that caused it. Locales will range from Egyptian electronic pyramids to Nazi Germany to a honky-tonk road side cafe. As you make it through scenarios you'll encounter forgotten machines that let you in on AM's past. And there are plot-twists galore, especially in the final scenario. The best thing about this game in my opinion. The music is ranges from creepy and bonechilling, to sorrowful and depressing. It all fits together with the story. You'll find tunes stuck in your head up to days afterwards. And the voice-acting. Harlan Ellison himself voices AM, the computer God. From the moment you hear him expound on his hate for the humans, you couldn't imagine anyone but him in this role. He speaks with passion and exuberance, making just sitting back and listening a joy. And the rest of the characters are done wonderfully too. With the exception of the child actor, none of these voices will make you cringe in embarrassment or turn down the volume. This game is a definite must-have for fans of the adventure genre, Harlan Ellison, or horror fans.