Games with a Lovecraftian theme are somewhat rare, even with more and more independent games with a wider array of subject matter. When one comes out, it usually can be either a total disappointment or an absolutely excellent interpretation of the common elements found within H.P. Lovecraft’s work. The Last Door, however, neither excels nor fails in its attempt. Rather, it ends up being a fairly innocuous experience that is over before it even begins.
The Last Door follows Jerimiah Devitt. After a friend commits suicide, he’s pulled into a dark web of horror. He finds that his friends and he all share a dark past that he can’t seem to remember. Only in unlocking the truth about his past will he be able to save himself from a dark terror that is constantly looming over him.
From a tonal standpoint, The Last Door is fairly spot on in its interpretation of Lovecraft. The music is brooding and there are several points where you’ll be stuck in the dark, with only a lantern. However, this all becomes broken when you realize that there really isn’t any chance of you being attacked or driven mad. There are no real threats that the game has to offer and that seems like a lost opportunity. The game has a lot of tension but no real payoff for it.
The game plays out as a point and click adventure. However, the puzzles themselves are often times very simple. In fact, most of the challenge will be just clicking on everything you can in order to find all of the items you need to complete a challenge and progress to a new area. While there are a couple of head scratching puzzles, they are so few and far between that they hardly stand out.
Then, as quick as it came, the game is over. While the developers have promised that they are working on more episodes, The Last Door is an extremely quick finish, lasting well under 3 hours. The Last Door: Collector’s Edition, which is currently on Steam for $9.99, includes a couple of bonus chapters, but they each can be completed within five minutes of starting them.
What’s even more disappointing is that all but the final chapter of The Last Door can be played for free on the developer’s website. If you want to play the final chapter, you need to make a minor donation in order to continue to the “Season Finale”, as each chapter is broken into its own semi-self-contained story. People who buy this at full price may feel cheated by this fact, yet its also somewhat understandable that The Game Kitchen is selling the game on Steam as they want to fund their next episodes.
All in all, The Last Door is a fairly unremarkable title. While there are some great tonal moments, the overall experience is quick and forgettable. There’s little challenge in the puzzles and the entire experience is over so quick that it can be hard to get invested in it. It’s a fun thing, but people who are interested may be best served by playing it on the developers website and donating to keep the games episode being made.
SCORE: 5.0 out of 10
A code for The Last Door: Collector’s Edition was provided to Pixel Related for review.