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Unholy Adventure: Mystery
Is It the End of the World as I Know It? Do I Feel Fine? – Unholy Adventures Review

Is It the End of the World as I Know It? Do I Feel Fine? – Unholy Adventures Review

6K View2022-10-08
If you enjoy mystery stories then get to know Peter Grim. He’s the protagonist of Unholy Adventure (also known as Unholy Neighborhood, according to screenshots and text from the game’s store page), a narrative-focused, point-and-click adventure game. With a surname like “Grim,” one can guess that his adventure isn’t going to be filled with sunshine and rainbows.
As this story begins, Peter’s wife, Betty, has been kidnapped. But who has carried out this heinous deed? And what’s the deal with this odd storm replete with red lighting? And furthermore, what in the name of all that is holy (er, unholy?) has caused the city to be overrun by enormous rats? All these secrets will be revealed...in time. This bizarre world is dripping with spooky atmosphere and filled with memorable characters, but the question remains: Am I up for this precarious quest packed with hidden tales and copious riddles to save Peter’s wife?
The answer is yes. Yes, I am. It seems I’m a puzzle-solving fool these days...
Before Peter and I can enact our Holmesian fantasies, I had to learn how to play Unholy Adventure. Basically, it’s all icon based: When I tapped an item with the palm icon, Peter would grab it; when I used the eye icon, Peter or an NPC would comment on what I had clicked on, often providing hints for the next step in a puzzle; and when I used the magnifying glass icon, I was treated to a close-up view, which was especially useful for investigating items in my inventory. After rounding up all the evidence in one scene, I progressed to the next one by exiting the area. Pretty straightforward stuff.
One thing to be mindful of is that not all items you need to find are out on display or just lying about. Some may be locked away in a box or hidden under a withering flower, while others may not appear until you figure out that they must be connected with other items that you’ve picked up...like a  gaming system with its controllers and cartridges. It’s critical to pay attention to items you have in your inventory and what Mr. Grim says about them to discern certain clues.
Part of why paying attention is so important is that the puzzles found in Unholy Adventure are quite diverse and tricky. There’s no simple “match-three” nonsense, or cutting a rope, or sneaking around security guards found here. Every puzzle in the game is one-of-a-kind, and the solution won’t be found just by staring at it. These brainteasers tax the ol’ gray matter, and I must admit that I failed many times before I figured out how to crack some of them. But as the ancient Chinese proverb maintains, “Failure is the mother of success.”
When I found myself stumped in Unholy Adventure, I discovered that I could get hints from the pager that Peter carries. These digital relics apparently still exist in the game’s weird mish-mash of tech from the ’70s to the ’90s.
These hints are definitely a boon from the merciful developers at Dali Games. I believe in exploring all possibilities to make an experience as fun and engaging as possible, so I didn’t hit up the pager unless I had no choice. There were two puzzles where I definitely needed the hints though: a radio installation where I had to fix six separate problems with the radio, and a maze where I had to choose the right doors to move forward. I got stuck in that confounded maze for an hour before finally escaping...though I still don’t know exactly how I did it, even with the hints. 
I enjoyed Unholy Adventure’s quasi-2D/3D artwork and animation, plot, ambiance, and overall fascinating concept. The interface is also well-designed to avoid monotonous tapping. The only downside to this adventure is that it’s rather lonely; there aren’t many NPCs to converse with, despite that being a staple in titles of this ilk. And the few people you do meet on the street or in a shop are interesting but strange. Case(s) in point: a woman is searching for her spouse (much like Peter) who went missing some thirty years ago, but in her mind his disappearance only happened yesterday, and the owner (and customers) of an electronics store are haunted by abnormal TV signals which have enveloped them in a some sort of trance.
On top of the empty and sinister vibes of this world, the sky in this neighborhood is constantly shrouded by a weird red mist that sporadically spews red lighting. Everything seems to suggest it’s the end of the world, but is Peter the man who can stave off the apocalypse? Well, I won’t know until I play the second and third installments of Unholy Adventure, each of which costs $2.99. The unresolved story bummed me out, but it’s an unfortunate reality in today’s mobile games landscape.
Overall, I found Unholy Adventure was worth my time and attention. It tested my brain with its puzzles, sure, but also by dropping me into an unsettling, apocalyptic world full of both confusion and silence. It’s simple to pick up and play, but I never got bored with its challenges. It offers a gripping story that compelled me to figure out what just what in the hell is going on here...at least for this chapter.
Cat Museum. Play Unholy Adventure if unsettling undertakings are something that strikes your fancy like 751 Games’s original title. Check out my full review of Cat Museum here.
• The Return to Monkey Island. Unholy Adventure may not be in the same league as the revered LucasArts series, but its stimulating puzzles certainly give the Monkey Island games a run for their money. Check out my essay on the latest in the Monkey Island series here.
💬 Have you played Unholy Adventure? Let us know what you think of it in the comments! Even if you haven't played it, leave a comment sharing your thoughts on your favorite point-and-click adventure games!
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