Genre: Horror, Point-and-Click
Release date: January 26, 2017
96 Mill is a mini-adventure game developed by the indie company EDI Games. It is a first-person horror-themed point-and-click adventure in the vein of the Dark Fall series. 96 Mill is truly a mini-game in the sense that it is very short (I finished my first playthrough in under 4 hours) and lacks any substantial challenge. Nevertheless, it offers a solid spooky setting and above-average voice acting, which makes the overall experience worthwhile.
The game takes place in an abandoned factory in Rhode Island, a place with a dark history of accidents and people disappearing. Eventually the government decides that it should be demolished.
You are a rookie, and this is your first day on the job. Your role is to carry out the factory's destruction.
Most of the game consists of you walking around the factory trying to get access to the locked-down areas, and rigging the explosives at the places your boss has marked down for you. Of course, nothing goes as expected, and you start finding evidence of the cause of all the deaths. Your mission turns into a paranormal investigation of the factory's history.
I think the story is good. Of special interest are the documents and recordings you find all over the factory. The voice-overs in the tapes you find are well-executed. And unlike many adventure games out there, the documents are interesting enough to read in order to follow the story. There are also multiple endings to the game, so make sure you achieve at least a couple of them to get a better understanding of the plot.
The graphics are mostly real photos with some digital makeup (as in the series A Quiet Weekend in Capri). I think the environments and atmosphere are the best parts of the game. The developers managed to take some very eerie photos of an abandoned factory. The basement levels, roof and offices all look ominous and creepy. Apart from some random encounters with ghosts, nothing truly weird happens at all. However, the game makes you feel as if something out-of-this-world scary could happen at any minute.
In terms of gameplay, 96 Mill is a very standard point-and-click adventure, but without any substantial challenges. Most, if not all of the puzzles involve going around the factory and pixel-hunting until you find a key, and then using that key in the appropriate door to advance the story. You plant explosives and use some inventory items every once in a while, but there is nothing confusing there; 99% of the time it is very clear what to do next. The game also plays from a browser, so you can play it either from your computer or phone/tablet. I haven’t tested this option but it is nice to have it.
I've been a bit unsure about how to grade 96 Mill. If you evaluate it in terms of a full-length adventure, then it falls very short. The whole game can be completed in one sitting and the puzzles are almost non-existent.
On the other hand, if you take it as a mini-game that you can play when you crave a horror game before you go to bed, then it is not bad at all. Also, it has a very low price tag on Steam, so you probably will not regret buying the game if you end up not liking it. I think the developers have some talent in creating captivating settings for horror games, and I hope that we get a full game from them at some point in the future.
+ Spooky setting and photos
+ Writing and voice-overs are good
- Very short
- Puzzles are almost non-existent