The Excavation of Hob's Barrow

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About

Antiquarian Thomasina Bateman is writing a book on the barrows of England, documenting the treasures she finds buried within. When an intriguing letter summons her to the small village of Bewlay, tucked away in the remote countryside, she sets off by train with her assistant a day behind.
Upon her arrival, however, the mysterious man who summoned her is nowhere to be found. Her assistant never arrives. A stubborn landowner refuses access to the barrow, and the locals are wary of this woman who is traveling alone and (gasp!) wears trousers.
The excavation of Hob’s Barrow is off to a rocky start. And then Thomasina starts having strange dreams…
A dark, complex and evolving storyline featuring interwoven elements from real English folklore.Traditional point and click adventure game puzzles and interactions, with an easy modern interface.A cast of intriguing characters, from suspicious villagers to sickly vicars to lordly landowners, all with their own unique stories and motives.A distinct folk horror tone and grounding. Evocative pixel-art graphics, featuring cut-scenes and engaging animations.A suitably atmospheric original soundtrack from The Machine. The Demon. - one half of the duo behind the award-winning "Football Game" soundtrack.Fiends in the furrows, the smell of damp soil, and a cat or two.

Platforms
Metascore
80
Release date
Developer
Cloak and Dagger Games
Publisher
Wadjet Eye Games
Age rating
Not rated

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Last Modified: Jan 27, 2023

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The Excavation of Hob's Barrow reviews and comments

I don't exactly remember how I found about the game, but the overwhelmingly positive reviews on Steam convinced me to buy it. I definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a horror themed classic adventure game.

The first thing I noticed is the voice acting, as it is the best I've heard in a while. The accents are great and I never felt like skipping any of the dialogue. Other audio is great also. The village has ambient sounds, like dogs barking and birds singing, that makes it feel like an actual place. The music emphasizes the atmosphere with some nice ambient pieces. And that acoustic piece in the middle of the game was a nice touch.

Visually the game is like you see on the screenshots. The graphics are straight from the early nineties and they work well. The game is not very colorful, but uses faded colors to create a picture of a forgotten, small countryside village.

The story starts a bit slowly and ends a bit too fast in my opinion. The end feels like a straight path towards the finale with some puzzles thrown in as obstacles. I did like the ending, but felt like it could've used a bit more work.

In general, the puzzles are not too challenging if you are used to applying some adventure game logic. The game even keeps track for you of things that you need to accomplish. But like mentioned earlier, towards the end it feels like you are solving puzzles just for the sake of solving puzzles, while earlier the reasons for doing so felt more organic. Luckily there's no need for pixel hunting and even without the hotspot highlighting everything is easy to find.
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