Unless you live in a cave, or just plain don't play adventure games, there's a high chance you've heard of the 5 Day's a Stranger series, or Chzo Mythos. the series has achieved such iconic status in the adventure community that if it were to walk around in public, autograph hounds would be on its tail in no time. Even though it already had a sequel, named 7 Days a Skeptic, fans clamored for a sequel starring the popular character Trilby the cat burglar, and so they got their wish. Thankfully so, because this spawned the greatest of the series, Trilby's Notes. Yahtzee since made a final sequel, but not any of the other games in the series, in MY opinion anyway, can exceed the third game in brilliance and execution. So I present to you, Trilby's notes.
There is so much back story and so many different characters in this game that it boggles the mind. I won't spoil too much, but lets say that you'll be seeing horrific events through the eyes of many characters. This game is straight up horror simple and plain, with a dose of mystery mixed in. So be warned, this game is not for the faint of heart. The pacing in this game is handled in a great way, and the story doesn't burn out or get too stale before the end. As you start to unravel the mystery, things really get crazy, but once again, I've been asked not to spoil, so I won't. Just play the game. After the events at Defoe Manor in 5 Days a Stranger, Trilby faded from the public eye. He was presumed dead, until he was caught by the feds, and pushed into their organization as an agent of the government. And his first assignment was of course, retrieving the evil idol from Defoe Manor, and any other artifacts, so they could be destroyed. The items are to be shown at a fair on Clanbronwyn Island, so that is where Trilby heads. Upon entering the Clanbronwyn Hotel, Trilby gets an uneasy feeling. He will regret not leaving then and there, for the evil that lurks in the halls of the Clanbronwyn Hotel is so great, it may be over his head. Why is the hotel is shifting from good to evil? Who is the tall man in black that lurks in the corners of every room? Will Trilby solve the mystery? Not without your help.
The characters in this game are very interesting. you have a hero, love interest, comic relief, enigmatic mentor (kind of), and the villain. Of course, as it should be, the main character and the villain are the two most interesting characters. The villain however, to me, was more interesting than the hero. He looked cool, pulled off his villainy in wicked ways, and was just plain all that. He had motives, which are explained through pages of religious text found in the hotel, which are completely nuts. the main character is full of resolve, and this is good. The comic relief character is not overly comedic, in fact he is only slightly comedic, and for a horror game that is not intended to be campy, this is also good. the love interest wasn't really interesting enough for the role I think though. but you will enjoy these characters, mark my words.
The interface present in this game is comparable to the AGI interface. It is also the only game in the 5 Days series to use a text interface. You walk using the arrow keys, and you type in commands like LOOK, TALK TO MAN ABOUT BLAH, or TAKE. It's a very old interface, and it probably would have been better if Yahtzee, the creator, had not switched to such a different interface, but I think some puzzles just couldn't be solved without it. It makes it more like a visual novel, which is a good thing, as long as the player has complete control, which he does. The puzzles are very logical, and they require a lot of thinking effort in some places, but mostly they're pretty simple.
The graphical quality is not the greatest in the 5 Days series now that I think about it, but I can't say that for this game. Yahtzee pulled out all the stops, so there are a ton of fluid animations, that give life and character to the...er..characters. The backgrounds have a surreal quality to them, even in the "good" hotel. The shading is also much more detailed than its predecessors. The music is one of the game's shining points. It's some of the best music in any AGS adventure game, and some of my favorite adventure game music, that came form any serious adventure game. Every tune is haunting, eerie, and unsettling, yet that gives the right mood to the game. Once again, big credit to Mark "Mods" Lovegrove for his outstanding work on this soundtrack.
This is one of my favorite adventure games. I won't lie. I just plain enjoyed it. The story was immersive, the puzzles were just tough enough, the music was enjoyable to listen to, and you could really feel for some of the characters. I think you'll enjoy this game too, but be warned, this game contains extreme gore, and some really gruesome scenes. Not for the faint of heart. I give it a five.
Review by: Secret Fawful