The third game (second, timeline wise) in Yahtzee's twisted and shocking series starring the daring thief Trilby continues where the events of 5 Days a Stranger left off. Opening with a review of the events after the adventure at the DeFoe Mansion as well as a follow up for the characters involved as well as Trilby himself. To this day, Trilby still remains haunted by emotions and visions of the possession he endured in the mansion.
Trilby finds himself pursuing the strange African Idol first encountered in the trophy room of the DeFoe mansion in 5 DAS. His search leads him to a small island hotel where the current owner is holding a convention to show off his prized collection of artifacts from the burnt ruins of the DeFoe Mansion.
Everything seems perfectly normal, like this will be an easy case for Trilby to retrieve the Idol as quickly as possible. But things soon become strange as his mind begins to slip back and forth between the reality that we know and the shadow world which exists only in nightmares.
Being the third installment of the series, it is hoped that there will be at least some questions answered as to the origins of the events leading up to the first game, and even more so the background behind the mysterious Idol itself. Something that Trilby's Notes does rather well by providing flashback sequences describing the history of the idol, the wood that the idol was crafted from, and the evil from where it all began.
Played by itself without knowledge of the previous game is possible. Since the background was provided at the beginning and references to the original storyline were kept to more as tie-ins to strengthen the story, instead of chronic reminders of the last game, or creating puzzles that newcomers to the series would not be able to figure out.
The world which Trilby exists is quite familiar – at first. However the descent into the shadow world is quite a nerve-racking one. Sort of like the alternate dimension in the Mortal Kombat movie, whereby the world which you know it lies in absolute turmoil with the hallways of the hotel spackled with blood and cryptic messages smeared along the walls, missing floor boards, and everything else you'd expect to see in a nightmare. Even the music changes when this shadow world appears adding groans and moans, and a creepy atmosphere to the terror.
The interesting thing about this shadow world is that not only does it raise the tension for fear, but it also acts as a means to solve puzzles or gain entry to areas inaccessible to the normal world. Door locked? No problem, let's just transfer our mind to the shadow world and remove whatever barrier is blocking us from getting inside.
The graphics are alright for an AGS adventure, very familiar to Sierra point and click adventures. For comparison reasons, the graphics are sort of a bit past Space Quest 3 but not quite Space Quest 4. But generally speaking, objects look how they should, or you can usually distinguish between different things, by looking around the room and figuring out logically what most likely resembles the shape of the object in question.
The only real drawback to this game is the method for adventuring, a throwback to early adventure gaming, whereby the means of exploring the surroundings are done by typing what action you would like your character to perform. This is not terribly bad because it gives a freedom of being more concise in your way of examining objects and also goes along with the theme of the story of someone reading the notes that Trilby had collected through this journey. When it does become tricky is trying to figure out what to type to perform certain actions, like using the body parts in conjunction with the doll. Or when trying to find out information from characters, you must address the character by name, or title, and what you would like to talk about instead of simply saying, "talk to person."
Technically speaking, the game is fairly sound, there are no dead links when attempting to leave one area and entering another, nor were there any issues with picking up items out of sequence. A few errors were encountered when attempting to open a boarded up door in the shadow world, whereby the program would quit to the desktop. But launching the game directly afterwards seemed to fix this issue, it didn't really happen often, but was enough to warn, as with any adventure game, save often.
The games ran without any conflicts or significant issues in a Windows XP environment. And there were no issues with the speed of the game or any freezing.
In short, Trilby's Notes really does answer a lot of the nagging questions left behind by the first game, for those gamers that did play 5 Days A Stranger, and enjoyed playing it, then take Trilby's Notes for a gander. As well as answering some of the more antagonizing questions it does in fact leave the door open for the next part of the series, 7 Days a Skeptic.
Pros: + Terrifying Atmosphere
+ Continues storyline, answers questions
+ Freaky music
Cons: - Typing commands may not be suited for everyone
- Some unexpected errors encountered
Idea Rating: 6/6
Technical Implementation: 4/6
Once again we find Trilby (real name unknown) in a situation which cannot be fully explained without trying the game. If you have played the other games with Trilby you know what I am talking about: 5 Days a Stranger, 7 Days a Skeptic, and after Trilby's Notes, 6 Days a Sacrifice. Yahtzee has also done other games, so it is indeed worth keeping an eye on him. The interface in Trilby's Notes is different from the first two adventures before... (read more)
CWF Crew rating:
(2 of 6)