Occult Case Files : A Promising Taste Of Nostalgic Horror To Come

While playing Asleep last week, I ended up searching around for another game to hit that nostalgic vibe of point and click horror like I mentioned last week, Maniac Mansion. It was such an influential game for me growing up that whenever something strikes that chord, I needed to follow it through and find a few games to bring me back to the great times of playing Maniac Mansion in my parents’ basement. There was this other NES game I found out about in my early twenties called The Uninvited for the NES. While Maniac Manson had this eighties eye-popping vibe, here was Uninvited that leaned more into the horror of it all. Little did I know there were actually a ton of these adjacent horror games. Following up after playing through Occult Case Files, I did end up going through the 8-bit Adventure Anthology, which has three great adventure games packed into one release.

So, when I happen to stumble upon Occult Case Files: Case One, a game that out of the gate states it harkens back to Uninvited, along with other adventure games of the time. I was very intrigued. Granted, this is just a demo, but it is a very promising demo for a more fleshed-out game coming sometime in the future. 

With that out of the way, Occult Case Files is a first-person point-and-click horror game. Much like The Uninvited for the NES. You are presented with a scene, your inventory, and actions that you can take. The story in Oculus is told from a first-person perspective. We are given a brief explanation upfront. Taken directly from the intro, “ My friend has been missing for four days now, the police and adults won’t listen to me, but I think I know what happened. It’s called “The Vanishing Point” the legend states at a certain place at a certain time where people vanish into thin air. My friend and I are into the occult. Upon hearing about the Vanishing Point, we had to investigate. But something went wrong.”

Because of the premise of a point-and-click adventure, there is a lot of pressure on the writing of the game, which does a fantastic job. We really get a sense of how the main character feels in each situation and how they are not only searching for his friends and his emotions about that, but also the inner fight to try and stay positive while everything is twisting and becoming more horrifying and supernatural.

Occult Case Files does a good job of setting up what is to come, building up the story to a great point. The last screen was something terrifying that I was not expecting, leaving me wanting to see what happens next to our protagonist and his friend. While the storytelling and environmental writing in Occult Case Files is outstanding, the pixel work that has gone into the game is great! Letting us really feel the world and its Vanishing Point, making them feel like fully realized places. Lending to its world-building is this fantastic tonally dark score backing it all. It hits these distorted and creepy highs when our main characters come across some disturbing objects. These stingers in the music really hit home.

There is a certain reverence for the older NES 8-bit point-and-click games here. This group of two developers, Scottie Supple and Julian Crowhurst. Together they form Teebowah Games, and Occult Case Files is a promising venture into the horror first-person point-and-click adventure. If you have enjoyed playing a point-and-click adventure game in the past or enjoy a game with a gripping story, then it is worth your time to check out Occult Case Files. And follow Teebowah games to get updates on not only Occult but their other games as well. Also, if you’re interested in seeing what games inspired Occult Case Files, check out the 8-Bit Adventure Anthology, which are current releases of Deja-vu, Uninvited and Shadowgate, and other great horror adjacent point and click adventures.

For more interviews, features, and reviews, stay locked to DreadXP and go play Mortuary Assistant. It’s creepy as hell.



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