The point-and-click adventures from the Midnight Scenes series tell spooky short stories inspired by TV series like The Twilight Zone. This article gives you an overview.
Former children’s book illustrator and self-taught pixel artist Octavi Navarro impressed with his pixel graphic artworks for almost ten years. In the middle of the last decade, this led to his team the point and click adventure developer of Thimbleweed Park (in the test, grade: 9.0) was appointed to the well-known Illustrator and pixel artist Mark Ferrari to support the backgrounds and animations. This experience eventually inspired Navarro to start developing his own games. This was also the start of the Midnight Scenesseries that reached its peak so far in February 2023 with the fourth episode. But let’s start at the beginning:
Midnight Scenes – The Highway
A dark highway in the middle of nowhere. In the role of Claire Banes you drive alone in your car and let your radio sprinkle you. But suddenly the reception breaks off and only background noise comes out of the loudspeakers. Worse still, moments later, you’ll be forced to abruptly interrupt your journey. A power pole has fallen, blocking the road. So you have no choice but to get out and explore the area and hopefully find help. But what you actually find, you don’t like at all…
The first episode “The Highway” is visually and atmospherically based on the 1960s editions of mystery series such as The Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits at. Therefore, the pixel graphics are deliberately kept in black and white. Even if the playing time is no more than 15 minutes, The Highway can still be seen as a successful start to the horror game series and a notable debut from Navarro.
The game was released again in 2020 as a deluxe version, in which you can now also find German texts, an art book and the soundtrack. who back then Bundle for Ukraine at itch.io has purchased, this version can be found in his itch.io account at no additional cost. Everyone else can watch the first episode for about 3 euros itch.io or Steam buy.
|Midnight Scenes – The Highway: What Happened Here?
Midnight Scenes – The Goodbye Note
At the beginning of Episode 2 (“The Goodbye Note”), a large, free-floating eye looks at you, which turns out to be the narrator and introduces you to the upcoming story. It begins with the scientist Dr. Richard P. Griffin, about to embark on the most terrifying journey of his life. But before that happens, you first play a flashback from the previous day, where you as Dr. Griffin makes a grisly discovery in the lab that prompts you to flee on the nearest plane. However, you will bitterly regret this decision…
The second episode tries to get a little closer to the 1960s style of the TV prototype and therefore introduces a “ground glass” look reminiscent of the curved tube TVs of the time. Character portraits and dialogues have also been added. The graphics are full of small details: For example, I found it very charming that the planes are connected with wires from the outside to imitate the “special effects” of the time.
Again, it won’t keep you busy for much more than twenty minutes. The puzzles are accessible throughout and mostly tie the atmospheric gothic story together. The Goodbye Note was also included as a special edition in the Bundle for Ukraine including German texts, alternatively you can also get the episode for about 3 euros at Steam or itch.io acquire.
|Midnight Scenes – The Goodbye Note: Is It A Good Idea To Get On This Plane?