I played through The Charnel House Trilogy on PC through Steam. I didn’t encounter any issues at all.
Hmmmm. That’s what I was thinking as credits rolled on The Charnel House Trilogy, a point-and-click adventure game by Owl Cave. I love old-school point and click adventures, particularly horror ones. And Steam is the perfect place for someone like me. There are loads of these type of games on the market, some good, some bad. The Charnel House Trilogy is a perplexing one. And to be honest, right now, I’m still weighing up the pros and cons. So I’m going to write this review and by the end, I’ll have a score. So we’re both taking a journey. Ready? Okay, let’s go.
Straight off the bat, The Charnel House Trilogy is a horror point and click adventure. It is not a trilogy. Literally, that is super misleading, and yeah I get it refers to something in-game but there’s three separate parts on the main menu and anyone going into it will probably think that they are getting three games. Well, I guess you are, but every game is about 30 minutes long, and the story directly follows on. The Charnel House Chapters might have been more apt. However, saying this, I got TCHT for just upwards of £4. For an hour and an half of playtime, I found it perfectly fine.
So The Charnel House Trilogy tells the story of a mysterious train ride. Ol’ Gloria is a train going towards a mysterious location known as Augur Peak. Two passengers, a girl named Alex and a Doctor named Harold Lang, board the train and they are heading to the same destination. Alex takes the bookend chapters, while Harold takes the middle. Alex is a much more well-rounded character, mostly because she simply has more time to develop, and what she experiences before the train and also while on it, is interesting. Harold’s segment is too brief to really offer much in the way of intrigue. Sadly for Harold, it was more interesting to learn about the train than about him.
The Charnel House Trilogy is very confident in the story it tells, and the voice cast is largely pretty good. Madeleine Roux steals the show as Alex, her performance is fantastic and really feels authentic to the situation. I found Jim Sterling’s voice work to be slightly immersion breaking to start with. No problem with the performance, but more just because I knew it was him.
My major problem with The Charnel House Trilogy is that there just doesn’t seem to be enough of it. The premise and story seem to point to something far grander and more interesting than what is actually told. And indeed just as the final chapter really picks up steam in the narrative sense, the credits roll. I would like to spend more time in this universe, but at the moment, I can’t. The storytelling here is great, the aesthetic is great, but there just needs to be more. Which I guess, if you think about it, is a huge compliment.
The Charnel House Trilogy is engaging enough, but due to it’s brief runtime and narrative uncertainty, it won’t stay with you for as long as it seems like it should.
The Charnel House Trilogy gets 3/5.