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An English Haunting, a Edwardian seance, with smoke coming out of the medium's mouth.

An English Haunting review – An eerie and engaging point-and-click

Who you gonna call? Patrick Moore! No, not that Patrick Moore. Discovering An English Haunting‘s primary protagonist shared a name with the late astronomer threw us for a while. But once we’d banished all the xylophone jokes from our minds, this point-and-click adventure had us hooked.

Set in London in 1907, your professor is tasked with proving the existence of an afterlife, as well as tracking down his fellow author. As was the case with Edwardian society, An English Haunting is steeped in spiritualism. Seances? Ghostly assistants? Spirit photography? You name it, it’s in there.

There are no voice-overs, but if you’ve seen a single movie of the period, horror or otherwise, the smartly-written dialogue will come to life into your head, accents included. From stuffy reverends to shady underworld bosses, An English Haunting brings every character to life. Even the dead ones.

This is a game that oozes atmosphere like ectoplasm, aided by some gorgeous pixel art and a superb soundtrack. But don’t expect wall-to-wall scares; instead, it uses terror sparingly. Fear is a reward for figuring out what to do with that jar of rotten pickled eggs.

An English Haunting, a man standing outside a Victorian London theatre.

No, we’re not making that up. Like its themes, a handful of A English Haunting’s puzzles can be a tad esoteric, though not so much you’ll be punching the wall in frustration. We’d have appreciated the option to highlight clickable objects, since it was only on our third visit to the pub that we actually spotted those eggs.

That said, we tip our hats to developer Postmodern Adventures for removing locations from the map when you’re done. Egg blindness aside, it seriously minimizes the amount of back and forth frustration. And we loved the game calling us out on our more suspect ‘solutions’. As it turns out, you’re not allowed to use an empty sulphuric acid beaker to serve a drink.

An English Haunting isn’t afraid to mix things up, either. It’ll take you five to eight hours to complete, but it crams in more plot twists than you can shake a Ouija board at. We thought we knew where the game was going with our missing colleague, but we so very, very wrong. And the fact your own department is at the risk of closure makes this pleasingly personal.

Plus, there’s the odd guest character or two. We were punching the air when we found ourselves playing as… well, that’ll be spoiling it. But if you are a scholar of early 20th Century mysticism, you’ll be impressed by An English Haunting’s attention to detail.

An English Haunting is a must for fans of point-and-click adventures, the paranormal or both. It boasts an engrossing plot, (mostly) satisfying puzzles and an atmosphere as heavy as a pea-souper. And it’s hard to go wrong with a game that lets you troll an upper-crust seance.

This review of An English Haunting was facilitated by a code provided by the publisher. It’s available on PC via Steam and Itch.io.

An English Haunting review - GameSpew's score

An English Haunting
8 10 0 1
An English Haunting is an engaging and chilling point-and-click adventure that doesn't fling scare after scare at you, making its actual frights all the more effective. You may stumble on a puzzle or two, but frustration rarely kicks in.
An English Haunting is an engaging and chilling point-and-click adventure that doesn't fling scare after scare at you, making its actual frights all the more effective. You may stumble on a puzzle or two, but frustration rarely kicks in.
8/10
Total Score

We like...

  • Hugely atmospheric
  • Engrossing story will keep you guessing
  • Superb soundtrack

We don't like..

  • You can miss one or two of the objects you need to solve puzzles

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