Format reviewed: PC - DOS
Developer: The Dreamers Guild
Submitted by: James Langstone
Based on the short story of the same name by Harlan Ellison, I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream is a point and click psychological horror game for the old PC-DOS system. The system at the time was flooded with these types of games and for every good one, there were around 10 terrible ones. This one was not particularly different and was quite tricky to play, yet for fans of the short story it was almost like a background check on the main characters.
Dealing with some pretty adult themes and showing some gritty stuff for the time, the game defiantly took a walk on the dark side of things. If you have read the book however this will come as no surprise and in some forms a relief. As should the game have been toned down, it would have not really tied in at all with the themes and elements in the original material.
The game is not a direct retelling of the book, due to it being a short story with only one ending. It is more a flushing out of the characters with a few changes here and there in order to give them more depth. Each story is an intriguing and horrifying look into the dark recesses of the human mind and the burning desire for redemption for the characters own sanity. One fact that remains the same is the supercomputer AM, which is responsible for the genocide of the human race when it became self aware.
Keeping only these 5 alive, Am uses his superior intellect to make them near immortal and proceeds to torture them for over a 100 years. Due to the fact that they gave him no mobility he feels like a prisoner trapped within his own mind, lashing out at the others to prove that he is better than them all. It is a story that really grabs you by the flesh and reels you in right until the end, something for both fans of the novel or just those of click and point games.