Barrow Hill is a horror adventure game
created in 2006 by independent developers Matt Clark & Shadow Tor Studios.
The game is set in the site of Barrow Hill, which is based on real geographical locations in Cornwall, England. Forced to spend a sinister night there, you will investigate what is happening to the local people and why an archeological dig, led by professor Conrad Morse, has created so much unrest and hostility among the local community. During your exploration you will discover the local legends and superstitions, while using modern electronic devices like PD As
, GPS and metal detectors to unfold the mystery.
Where most hidden object games have important areas that you can instantly move between, Barrow Hill
has every area be only one or two steps ahead of the previous one. As such, it can take up to twenty screens to get from one landmark to another, whereas most games would only take two or three. This leads to Empty Room Psych
, where most areas have nothing in them.
Provides The Following Tropes:
- Abandoned Area: Parts of the dig sight are completely abandoned, the petrol station complete with an a running car, and a few other areas you explore.
- Abandoned Playground: A small one, beside the restaurant.
- Absurdly Ineffective Barricade: Some of the areas you can access only because the walls have vanished or been torn down.
- Ancient Tomb: It's implied that the whole Barrow Hill is one giant tomb.
- Bloody Handprint: You find one or two in your adventures
- Campbell Country: The setting takes place in a spooky Cornwall full of creepy ruins and folklore
- Cat Scare: A few in the area, especially around the dig site, the back of the restaurant, and the woods.
- Crop Circles: The stone circles get treated like this by some clues you find and an audio recording.
- Darkness Equals Death: Subverted, just because its dark and you can't see doesn't mean instant death here...it just means it's creepier.
- Dead Air: A radio DJ you've just phoned gets chased from her beat-up Winnebago by the stalking menace. If you hang up the phone, go back inside, and check the radio, all you hear is dead air. This can be fixed if you visit the now-abandoned Winnebago and reset the equipment to broadcast a station-identification message.
- Development Hell: Barrow Hill 2 is still pending...
- Disgusting Public Toilet: Well, not all that disgusting, but certainly unpleasant.
- Don't Go in the Woods: You should heed this advice buuuut you don't.
- Dying Like Animals: Ben is a Turtle who would probably turn Chicken in a heartbeat, if any means of escaping the hill existed. He lapses into Bat or Mouse behavior when his fears overwhelm him however.
- Empathy Doll Shot: one of the piles of ashes (that used to be people) found near the gas station is right next to a coloring book and crayons. Note that the closed-circuit video of the attack that created these ash-piles doesn't actually show the child it belonged to.
- Evil Is Not Well Lit: Justified, its the night of the Autumn Equinox so its very dark.
- Floorboard Failure: Happens when you enter the barn's loft.
- Foreboding Architecture: The stone circle counts for this.
- Footprints Of Muck: You find some shoe prints near an out crop of rocks.
- Ghostly Chill
- Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: It all takes place on the night of the Autumnal Equinox.
- Meaningful Background Event: The radio DJ's announcements in the start of the game can be treated like this during the opening movie.
- Ravens and Crows: See Cat Scare, above.
- Room Full of Crazy: The archeologist's hotel room.
- Shout-Out: Emma's monologue after the climax is a clear reference to John Carpenter's The Fog.
- Emma herself makes a lot of Alice In Wonderland references, both during her radio broadcasts and on the station website.
- Some Kind of Force Field: The stones that prevent you from leaving the area have a variant of energy that blocks you and ripples when touched very much like water.
- Smoldering Shoes: Many of the piles of ash that the moving stone leaves behind contain partially-charred remnants of the victims' personal possessions.
- The Eyes Have It: The stalking menace in Barrow Hill turns out to be a mobile stone from an ancient ring of Celtic monoliths