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Chillingham

title:Chillingham
url:No link!
download page:No link!
license:unknown
genre:Audio Adventures
developer:Bavisoft
platform:Windows
release:2004
features:sound
last edit by:Richard

Description

Bavisoft's website and company information have completely vanished from the net, and even previously to this, they had a very bad history of orders of their games (stil only available on cd), going missing and a total lack of communication.

The current status of their games and their identity as a company is unknown.

For information on the ill fated history of Bavisoft, and why the games are no longer available, see This page on the audiogames archive

Chillingham is the great title of the long awaited second game of developer Bavisoft. The following information has been taken from the developer's website:

"Chillingham is Bavisoft's stunning new adventure game. Featuring our brand new 4-key adventure interface, Chillingham will immerse you in a world of mystery and action like never before. After receiving a desperate letter from a friend, you travel to the village of Chillingham and begin your quest to find her, while at the same time fighting just to stay alive! The perfect blend of adventure, action, mystery and humor come together to deliver an awesome gaming experience you'll never forget.

Features:

  • CD quality stereo sound
  • Classical soundtrack
  • Professional voice and sound talent
  • Lush stereo environments for each of the many locations
  • Complete audio help which can be accessed at any time with the "Quick Help" feature
  • In game menus for saving, exiting and sound control
  • Bavisoft's new 4 key adventure interface allows players to:
    • Travel throughout the village and surrounding countryside
    • Collect, use, combine or give various items
    • Examine locations and objects around you
    • Talk to people and other "creatures"
  • New multi-weapon combat system
    • Collect and use different weapons from your arsenal
    • Defend against vampires, witches, werewolves and more
    • Use the right weapon against the right monster to win
  • Tons of puzzles to test your wit
    • Solve puzzles to gain items and information
    • Combine your items to form new more useful ones
    • Match wits with the locals
    • Discover new areas
  • Exciting action sequences
  • Crazy charaters
  • Two difficulty levels
  • Lots more... "

Chillingham is now available for purchase. There's no demo-download of Chillingham unfortunately. This is probably because of the size of the game (over 200 Mb) and the structure of the game (you need to have access to a lot of areas in the gameworld to play the game and by giving this access in a demo much of the full game may be spoiled).

Bavisoft have released an audio review by Kelly Sapergia, which was featured recently on Main Menu, the technology show on ACB Radio. A word of caution though, Kelly does provide quite a few game spoilers. So you may not want to listen to the review in its entirety. This review is presented in MP3 format, and is 16 MB. You can listen to the audio review through this link.

TDLgames are offering a free download of an in-game recording of Chillingham. This recording gives a feel of the game without giving you too much spoilers. Use this link to download the in-game recording.

The following review was posted to the BlindGamers list (written by Boomerdad):

"Well, I'm proud to say I have just completed Bavisoft's new game, Chillingham, and although I'm not a member of the Audyssey list, I thought I would take a moment to submit what is apparently the first review of the game.

The basic story: You are exploring the village of Chillingham and its surrounding areas in an attempt to find out what's become of your friend, Lily, who has written you letters in distress. There are lots of puzzles to solve, monsters to fight, and places to explore.

I have to say, I have very mixed feelings about this game. I was a fairly big fan of Grizzly Gulch, although I thought it didn't live up to its potential. You were locked into a story without much room for deviation, and there wasn't a lot of variety in each game. However, Grizzly Gulch had one thing going for it which made it (in my opinion) well worth the $40 price, in addition to being a fairly good audiogame: the saloon. Ah, if I had a nickel for every time I decided I was in the mood to visit the Silver Dollar Saloon and do some gamblin'. I had one player reserved mainly for money-making. Oh, he'd occasionally visit the marshal's office and go catch a bad guy ... but mostly he was around for the gamblin'. Yes, this does have a point regarding Chillingham, but I'll get to that in a second; this was just background.

First, the positives:

I loved the idea. This game is a throwback to the text-adventure games of the '80s, but done with audio. Think Infocom with menus and you've got a good idea of what to expect from this game. If you're looking for a game with "freedom of movement" to go where you will, as though walking through a real environment, this is not what you will get with Chillingham ... and it really shouldn't be. The game's a story, pure and simple, and that is its focal.

Also, the sounds are, in this gamer's opinion, of a higher quality than many of those in Grizzly Gulch. Whether it be the wind howling through the village square and the dogs barking mournfully in the distance, or a campfire blazing comfortingly away on a small island in the middle of a swamp, or a spooky graveyard, the sound environments are very well-done.

Some of the puzzles are simply brilliant. I won't give any of them away, but suffice it to say that there are several games-within-the-game that had me laughing harder than anything in a long time. I may've said too much already, so I'll move on.

Unfortunately, as with many things in this world, Chillingham is not without its negative aspects, and I think it only fair to make the buyer aware of them.

I'm a bit annoyed at Bavisoft's marketing Chillingham with a promise of a
"groundbreaking" interface. It's the same interface as you got with Grizzly Gulch. Not that there's really anything wrong with this; it's just a bit misleading, in my opinion. If you liked the Gulch interface, you'll like Chillingham's interface. 'Nuff said.

One of the major annoyances is a carry-over from Gulch. It would be reeeeeeeeally nice if you could interrupt a voice-clip with your arrow keys. I'm not talking about stopping speech with the down-arrow; I'm referring to the fact that much of this game, given its menu interface, has you going over the same options, over and over and over again. It would be such a time-saver, to say nothing of cutting back on the frustration factor, if you could cut speech off with a press of that same arrow key, so instead of having to listen to "inspect," "Take" "Use," "Talk," you could cut it off with a touch of the arrow. "Insp--ta--u--talk." (You'll see what I mean when you play the game, I'm sure.)

Also, as fun as the puzzles are, I wish there were more memorable characters. (Maybe in the sequel...?) There are one or two in particular who are interesting and memorable, even quotable (Don't want to say more, lest I spoil anything), but my friends and I were often found to make fun of Cecil the banker, or the Marshal's gravelly voice (Yeah, Marshal, way to sit on your butt while I do your job for ya!), or even in his own way ... Sherman ("Hey, Shermie, ya said you'd help me out some along the way--how 'bout helpin' me in some of these gunfights, ya lazy bastard!?"), or--perhaps most notable of all--Doug who runs the slot machines at the Silver Dollar Saloon in Grizzly Gulch. I realize these are two very different games, but memorable characters make a much more lasting
impression and stick with a player long after the puzzles have faded from
memory.

Another area where the game falls a bit short of its potential is the sounds. As nice as those environments are, praised so highly earlier in this review, some of the looping is needlessly obvious. It's a little thing, but it really distracts from the enjoyment of the game environment, and is just plain sloppy editing. There is also a lot less audio in the game in terms of sound effects. Almost everything you hear will be dialog of the main character.

Another feature which is lacking, and which would be of *immense* help to
those of us who are less puzzle-inclined, is some sort of hint feature. I remember text adventure games where you scored points for everything you did successfully ... and if you got hopelessly stuck, you could ask for a hint ... with the price of a point penalty. There are several spots in Chillingham where you are left shaking your head in bewilderment, then ripping your hair out with frustration. With such an array of places and items to tinker and toy with, it's sometimes extremely difficult to know what you're supposed to be aiming for in terms of moving on to the next step, or being nudged in the right direction as to how to solve a puzzle. Don't give me the answer, but at least a hint or a nudge would be welcomed. After all, those who don't want it don't have to use it ... but some of us would really appreciate it. I mean, I never would've finished the game without help from a couple friends who had played it together, and they had finished it only by bouncing ideas off each other and sometimes accidentally just sort of stumbling on the right thing. And in and of itself, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that; as I said, I'd like the hints to be an option, not a gimme.

The only other area where I felt the game lacked was a replayability. once you've solved the puzzles and completed the game, short of re-doing it at the harder level there really isn't much in the way of replay value. I realize a saloon would be dreadfully out of context ... but at least a scoring system would've been nice, so that you could try to increase your point total, or something along those lines.

I don't want to come down too hard on the game. I did enjoy it. It brought me much in the way of laughter, frustration (some of which is to be expected in a game, or what's the point of playing it?) and I eagerly await the sequel which is said to follow, hopefully sooner than the four years spent waiting for this game. If you buy it expecting a game with new and innovative interactivity and ground-breaking interface, you're going to be disappointed. Audiogames have come a long way since Gulch was released, and although the interface is used in very new and unique ways, it in and of itself isn't new, and although I am not saying it's a bad thing, I think it is something people should be aware of before purchasing the game. I fear Bavisoft may be in for the "Star Wars" syndrome: people have been waiting so long for the release that expectations may be higher than they ought to be, given the way audiogames have gotten so much more sophisticated over the years.

Having said that, if you're looking for a game with cool, if sometimes annoying, puzzles and a fun and challenging story, you'll probably like Chillingham.

If your stuck in the game Michael Barns of the audeasy mailing list has written a textual walkthru, which can be Read here


Alternatively, a more recent playthru of the entire game (complete with commentary), has been recorded by the group known as Pg13, which you can find here

Chillingham logo, featuring dark clouds and an eerie logo saying 'Chillingham'.


Community

The following users have added this game to their favorites: cw, glamorama28, jack, konsta, lauren.downie96, powergamer, SplendidFault

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Updates: entry 25 Jan 17 and description 25 Jan 17

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