Still Life is the sequel for Post Morten, a classic horror adventure point&click game. It was made by Micröids, a company you may already know by their Syberia saga or Flashback.
Be warned through. This isn’t a easy game to digest. It’s rated Mature and there are some wrong things there that you may don’t want to see or know. Like in the real life.
- The game dark theme is astounding. Oppressive and scary.
- Background music is totally awesome. Does a great job on building the mood during the game.
- The serial killer story is fairly good, with a lot of mystery. It’s divided on two epochs (2004 and ’20s) and two places (Chicago and Prague, respectively).
- The game tries to set some antagonizing relationship between characters. It’s a bit exaggerated but still better than nothing.
- The Prague characters are cool, a bit mysterious and interesting.
- The scenario graphics look nice. The cinematics aren’t so amazing but it could be worse.
- No pixel hunting that may block you or let you miss something important.
- There is little to interact with and only with a left click. Item usage is also very limited. The interactions are the minimal to just advance.
- The game doesn’t let to skip or cancel conversations and animations. That can actually be a bit tedious. Worse than that, there is some long walking that can’t be either skipped and double click running isn’t enough.
- Simple conversational interface: there are no choices, just left click for main conversation and right for chit-chat.
- The puzzles may be ok for casual players, slightly better than a Resident Evil game, but certainly not so good for hardcore adventure players.
- Most of the are Chicago characters are cops and they look unreliable and act unprofessional, childish. The conversations are unrealistic too.
- Some character models are visually a bit disproportionate.
- Game controls feel a bit clunky even for an adventure game. Animations seem slow, twisted and robotic.
- The game is open-ended (there is a sequel for the sequel, Still Life 2).
Why to play?
It isn’t the best adventure game I played, that’s sure. The execution is lackluster, it’s really flawed. But it’s playable and the horror side is great. I surely like the scary dark theme, the hunt and ambience. The flashback to Prague is interesting too.
The game is more than it seems. The relation between art and crime, the relation between the corruption and power, symbolism … The game title, Still Life, refers to both a type of painting and the corpses.
Just don’t expect a Maniac Mansion, Gabriel Knight or Indiana Jones.
How to acquire
This game luckily may be bought in both gog and Steam. In gog the game is free of DRM and there are no Steam achievements but in the end it’s up to you. The game also was released for the classic XBOX but I wouldn’t recommend it, this game is just designed to be played with mouse. A gamepad is going to hurt more than help.
Version / Platform
I’m reviewing the game released on GOG, which of course I recommend just because of their policy. Otherwise, Steam is perfectly fine. Just make yourself a favor and play the game in a computer with a mouse.
After the sequel Still Life 2 was released some years later, the saga is now a closed trilogy. No more new titles.
The game has some positive points but it isn’t as interesting as Gabriel Knight -Sins of the Fathers- to have a remake. It isn’t as popular as Indiana Jones games, either. So there is no reason to expect anything new from Microids for this saga.
Games like Still Life
- Post Morten. Being Still Life a spin-off, Post Morten could be considered the pequel. More adventure with Gustav is welcome, even if Gus actually shines on Still Life.
- The Black Mirror. More horror point and click and pixel hunting, it’s more scary than Still Life.
- Gabriel Knight - Sins of the Fathers. Gabriel Knight has also a small dose of horror but it’s never scary or realistic. The remake looks ok. There is more detective-like stuff going on, good soundtrack, big doses of humor and more interactions with the game world.
- Maniac Mansion. If you like a little bit of horror but mixed with comedy, nothing serious, this is a old good point and click game.
- Syberia. The Syberia saga is probably better than Post Morten and Still Life. Still
- Clock Tower: The First Fear. This is an interesting console survival horror adventure game and it’s also a point and click adventure game, so if you enjoyed the horror side of Still Life, it may be for you.
- Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. Other classic adventure game, with a nicer story. No horror here, but worth your time.
Still Life, with all it’s defects, it’s fairly popular and known. Even if itsn’t a good game for die hard puzzle fans and the game interface is subpar, it does a good job by engaging the player into a morbid and dark story, with explicit graphics including both gore and nudes.
It’s one of those games that may make you ask yourself about what’s going on, outside, in the world.