The Difference Between Survival Horror and Point and Click Horror
The adventure game genre started with text-based adventures in the early 80s. It crossed over to a graphical interface in the mid 80s and it stayed popular until the mid 1990s. The point-and-click genre languished and was quickly forgotten after that. Shooters, role-playing games and the real-time strategies remained popular. Adventure games would be revived when someone decided they want to bring Agatha Christie’s detective, Hercule Poirot, to life.
Survival horror is a different genre that started to add features of point-and-click adventure games recently. The most popular survival horror titles, such as Resident Evil offer the player little more than a hack-and-slash experience. The recent Silent Hill: Shattered Memories often felt more like an adventure game where the player had to follow the clues than a horror game where the hero was trapped in a nightmare.
Survival horror describes the type of story, while point-and-click describes the mechanics of the game. The genres do not have to be used exclusively, and in some notable games, they are combined. Shattered Memories is both. Left 4 Dead and Resident Evil are pure survival horror.
Even though the differences are blurred, coming up with the List of the Top 5 survival Horror Games of the last decade is not a hard task. Some of these games are even based on the fiction of H.P. Lovecraft.
#5 Top Point-and-Click Horror Game: Sherlock Holmes the Awakened
The investigative aspect is a great hook for point-and-click adventuring. Who better to go track down a Cthulhu Cult during the reign of Queen Victoria than Sherlock Holmes? The Frogwares developers were not the first people to have Sherlock Holmes face Cthulhu cultists, but they were the first video game developers to use the concept. Holmes can die in parts of this title, particularly if you get caught in the Asylum in Switzerland.
#4. The Alone in the Dark Series
Alone in the Dark uses a theme that occurs frequently in Lovecraft’s fiction. The game features a normal person trying to keep the secrets of the Cthulhu mythos from being discovered. The protagonist does not even get to call upon the awesome investigative skills of Sherlock Holmes. A player may be lucky to get out of the scenarios in Alone in the Dark with any remnant of their sanity and their lives. The most recent version leans away from point-and-click horror slightly, but still plays like an adventure game in some parts.
#3. Top Point-and-Click Horror Game: Silent Hill Shattered Memories
Silent Hill Shattered Memories shifted the focus of the series slightly and made it impossible for a player to eliminate the monsters, known as Raw Shocks, that occasionally threaten your life. The monsters in the earlier Silent Hill games could be killed or avoided. The Raw Shocks that appear in the chase sequences here must be avoided. The lack of a HUD heightens the feeling of fear. Even though there is no PC version of Shattered Memories, the game still feels more like an adventure game than anything else.
#2. Dracula Origin
Van Helsing recently starred in his own movie. He becomes a star once again in Dracula: Origin. This point-and-click horror game was produced by the same company that made Sherlock Holmes: the Awakened. A player can solve many of the puzzles in Dracula Origin easily. A walkthrough may be necessary for the more difficult puzzles.
The melodramatic voice acting heightens the mood of this vampire story. Dracula: Origin gets something right that the Twilight Saga definitely gets wrong. The point of the game is to stop Vlad the Impaler. This point-and-click horror title is worth checking out for any adventure game fan and for vampire lovers it is something you can really sink your fangs into.
Phantasmagoria was released in the mid 1990s. This classic horror title was the first PC game to use live actors and feature voice acting. The scenarios in this point-and-click horror game can be quite graphic and it was controversial at the time. You must try to stop the demons that you have unwittingly unleashed and it’s not easy. This game combines the chills with some sexy thrills.
The game required 7 CDs to include all the cinematic scenes. Modern video games frequently use more memory space, but Phantasmagoria had the most intensive graphic requirements for any game when it was released.
Phantasmagoria and the Roger Wilco series have recently been re-released for download over the Internet by Good Old Games. If you like horror and fancy something a bit different they are worth looking up.
If that hasn’t quenched your thirst for spooky gaming then check out the Best Horror Games for more ideas.