Available : Q1, 2003.

Midnight Nowhere © Buka / Saturn+
Previewed by Andreas Misund Berntsen

Have you ever wondered what you would do if you woke up, realizing you were inside a bodybag?

In Midnight Nowhere, an interesting adventure that’s due in not too long, that is actually what happens. The main character lives in a town where a psychotic murderer is on the loose. He’s extremely talented, making the lives of innocent civilians difficult. The police are unable to catch up, and people are found dead every day. Your objective is to figure out where you are, what has happened while you were “gone”, and who the killer is. Throughout the game you explore a massive hospital of sorts that hides many secrets, a police station and more for you to unravel. One of the things that separate Midnight Nowhere from most other recent adventure titles is that it isn’t aimed at a young audience. It might not be as gory as Phantasmagoria, but it has a nice amount of blood, body parts and adult humor. The main character seems to have nearly a limitless supply of witty comments, which luckily makes the game a tad less serious. The mix of humor and violence works very well though, keeping you on the edge of your seat, both laughing and in fright.

Like many other adventure titles the game relies on pre-rendered backgrounds and real-time rendered characters, but Midnight Nowhere takes things a bit further. The developers realized that pre-rendered backgrounds tend to get a bit boring and non-interactive, so they added plenty of effects, such as plenty frost coming out of a fridge in the morgue. Also, hardware TnL, triple buffering and true color is supported, along with very life-like stencil based shadows. In general the game looks spectacular, because it combines very slick pre-rendered graphics with the large character you happen to control. Since the game isn’t entirely real-time rendered Midnight Nowhere doesn’t demand TOO much from your system, so a mid-end system should have no problem enabling anti-aliasing, to avoid jagged edges.

The audio included in the preview disc was very promising, with plenty of speech and captivating music. Sadly all the speech and a portion of the ingame texts were in Russian, but what had been included seemed appropriate and of a good standard. There is no word on who will be doing the English voice-over, but I’m sure it’ll be fine.

Playing Midnight Nowhere is done very similarly to any other point-and-click adventure game. In the top-left corner of the screen you can choose between the Look, Talk, Pick Up and Interact With icons that do the respective things. Every room has specific things you need to do, but one of the things that make Midnight Nowhere a harder than average adventure game is that none of the “interesting” items glow, or have any specific features that make them easy to spot. There are plenty of puzzles to solve and people to interact with, in a thrilling life-like environment. Midnight Nowhere may not get the game-of-the-year award, but it’s a original, challenging adventure game, aimed at gamers who aren’t afraid of the dark.

Be sure to check out our exclusive screenshots of the game, as well as read our interview with the game's developers while you're waiting for it.