ESPER (Extraordinary Supernatural Phenomena Explored and Revealed) is a group that deals with paranormal and occult activity. You are Ian McDermott - head investigator for ESPER. You have been called down to the local jail, to speak with Mr Frederick Stiles, who has been arrested for murder. Mr Stiles claims that his victim was already dead at the time he killed her, and he asks you to prove his innocence. He is very shaken, and you can tell that this is no ordinary murder case. You agree to travel to Noman Island where the murder took place, and investigate things. Why does the island seem deserted in daytime, but come to life at night? Can you discover the secrets of Noman Island, and bring peace to Mr Stiles?
The game is controlled by the mouse, and uses a simple point-and-click interface. There are words at the top of the screen (move your mouse up there to see them) to Walk \ Talk \ Look \ Load \ Save etc. Just click on one of these words, and your cursor will change into the relevant icon. Now simply click on the screen to perform that action. To move around, just click on an area of the screen and Ian will move there. You can see what inventory items you are carrying by clicking on Equip. Sometimes it helps to look at items when they are in your inventory.
The graphics for this game are very bold and colourful. The game takes place at night, which gives it a very sinister atmosphere. The backgrounds appear to be hand-drawn, and really seem to add a lot of tension to the game. I like Ian's wide-brimmed hat, as it gives him a sense of authority. The hotel room, with the lamp shining onto the bed, was very effective. The Look \ Action buttons in your inventory (Equip) appear strange - as though they are out of alignment. However, this does not affect you playing the game at all.
MUSIC AND SOUND EFFECTS
I found the music for this game very effective - it is very creepy, and keeps you on edge. On the title screen, you hear a young girl saying 'Anybody out there?', which sends chills down my spine. There are also a few sound effects such as the door opening, the printer in the lab, and gunshots.
1. If you return to the pub later on in the game, and there is nobody around, you still get the same responses from earlier on, when there were people around.
2. When you leave the secret entrance to the lab, you are not able to enter the lab again.
ESPER: The Town On The Edge Of Darkness is an excellent adventure that keeps you on the edge of your seat. The creator has managed to create a spooky atmosphere using bold graphics and creepy music. I thought the story was well written, and multiple endings are a nice touch. The game uses a point-and-click interface, which makes it easy to control. I would have liked it if the game was a bit longer, but you can't have everything. If you like horror adventures, you are sure to enjoy this one.
Review by: Frodo