I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream
for PC (DOS)

Mr Creosote:
Company: The Dreamers Guild / Cyberdreams
Year: 1995
Genre: Adventure
Theme: Apocalypse / Horror / Science Fiction / War
Language: English, Deutsch
Licence: Commercial
Views: 42899
Review by Mr Creosote (2004-07-17)

In a distant future, humanity has finally done it: it has finally destroyed itself. 'Only' indirectly, though, as it was the 'Allied Mastercomputer', the American defense system, which developed a consciousness, called itself 'AM' (as in 'I think therefore I AM') and wiped out the human race. Since computers (especially military ones) are sadists, it kept five humans alive to torture them for all eternity.

The player has to lead each of these poor people through an adventure designed specifically for them by AM. 'Specifically designed' means that after analysing the traumas of his prisoners, AM sends them out to face their deepest fears.

Such a bizarre setting requires fitting characters. These are provided, of course. Gorrister for example has killed his parents and then tried to commit suicide. Benny has survived the war by eating the flesh of both native population and his fellow soldiers. Nimdok sold his medical expertise to the nazis by taking part in experiments in a concentration camp - in spite of being Jewish himself.

Fans of Lucasfilm / Lucas Arts will be delighted to find a game system pretty much modelled after the classic SCUMM controls. You'll immediately feel at home in the game - just like the characters do in 'their' part of the game (or not).

Puzzles aren't too hard, most scenes are very straightforward, and because of the individual parts being rather short, nothing gets too complex anyway. There are quite often different solutions to the problems, and the player's goal is to choose the 'best' one for the character's mental state. Giving in to one's weakness has a negative effect, because it's exactly what AM wants. Facing the respective fears is the road to success.

The puzzles aren't what make this game, though. It's the morbid atmosphere of the story which is perfectly supported by the graphics and the excellent voice acting. Definitely a classic...

...which I just couldn't notice at first. The German version of 'No Mouth' has been badly censored. Nimdok's part has been cut out completely! Not too surprising considering everything concerning Nazis is forbidden here. Waves of laughter await the player when AM says 'apart from you five' in a threatening tone... but the respective in-game text says '...you four'. The final chapter of the game even gets impossible to solve without that character, but anyway - who expects censors to think about such details.

The other four stories have been 'softened', too. Some more, some less, of course, but at least the texts in Benny's story have been cut down so badly that it's incomprehensible.

In that version, the game is no more than a mere curiosity. The original English version is a classic, though. Then again, the censored version might even have collectors value by now ;)

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