“Headphones and dark environment recommended,” the game tells you in the beginning. Listen to that advice; it’s worth it! The Last Door by TheGameKitchen is a simple yet creepy little horror point-and-click adventure, heavily inspired by the likes of Edgar Allan Poe and Howard Philipps Lovecraft. Its strong point definitely is the creepy atmosphere, thanks to some good writing, great music, excellent sound design, and pixel art which leaves more to the players’ imagination than it shows while still being explicit when it needs to.
Of course, you can do most of the tasks in another order. But I tried to keep the backtracking to a minimum, and there is still a lot of it!
Classic point-and-click adventure: Left-click somewhere to make your avatar go there. (Prepare yourself for some seriously slow walking.) If an object is usable, the cursor changes when you move the mouse over the object. A magnifying glass mean you can look at something, a hand means you can use it or pick it up. Most stuff is only usable after you have examined it, so don’t forget to click some things twice! Your inventory is displayed in the bottom of the screen. To advance in dialogues, just click anywhere in the game screen.
Also, there are some “accessibility options”: To enable a dyslexia-friendly font for in-game dialogue and descriptions, press 1. If you do that, the letters are “clean” and not pixelated, which makes them easier to read, but they don’t fit into the game that good anymore. You can add written descriptions of sound to the game by pressing 2. To go in and out of fullscreen mode, simply press 3.
In the prologue, you control Anthony Beechworth, whose letter gets the whole thing going. Not much to do here, except commit suicide. Yay!
First, you have to pick up the rope to your left. Then, click on the chair to your right to put it up. Click on the beams on the ceiling to hang the rope. Click the rope again to make a nosse. Then, climb the chair, and click it again to hang yourself. Congratulations, your first player character is dead!
It’s october 1891 and our hero, Jeremiah Devitt, gets a letter from Anthony, only saying “Videte ne quis sciat.” It’s an old code the friends used back in their time at boarding school. Anthony must be in trouble, Jeremiah deduces and, being the good horror game protagonist that he is, he has to find out what the mysterious letter means and what made his friend kill himself. So, we travel to Sussex to visit Beechworth Mansion!
After a short intro sequence, you are now in front of Beechworth Mansion. Click the door to enter it; there is nothing you can do out here yet.
You are now in the entrance hall. On a small table to the left of the door you can find a farewell note from the servants who seem to have left the mansion in a rush. Exit the entrance hall to your right and enter some kind of living room. There is a matchbox in the cabinet next to the gramophone. Take it! Anthony won’t need it, anyway. Now, go through the door in the middle of the room. In the hall, enter the first door to your left to reach the kitchen.
Inside the kitchen, you can take a piece of cloth fro the stove to your left. It’s a little hard to see, but Jeremiah will pick it up if you click anywhere on the stove a second time. Unlock the door to your right. It leads outside the house where a murder of crows eats … something. Jeremiah is too afraid to go anywhere near the birds, so there is nothing to do here, yet. Go back to the corridor.
Go right. Between the second and the third door, there is a crooked picture. Let’s correct that! Click it until it falls down and reveals a rosary hanging on the wall. Take it. Now go through the third door. You are inside the maid’s room. Time to steal her stuff! Pick up the lamp on top of the drawers. Read the diary on a table in the bottom left corner of the screen. A cat? But there is a cat’s bowl under the window! I wonder if that’ll come in handy later. Sadly, the window won’t stay open when you open it. Use the rosary for its intended purpose: to keep a window open. Go back to the corridor.
The door to your right is padlocked, so you have to explore other parts of the mansion. Go back to the entrance hall and up the stairs to the left. Apparently, Jeremiah is also afraid of the dark, so light your lamp with the matches. The first door is locked, let’s carry on. The second “door” is a hole in the wall, covered up with planks. That’s always a good sign in a horror game! Go through the third door into the bedroom.
Time for some pixel hunting! There is a silver key on a small table at the head of the bed that is literally thwo pixels big. Take it. You can use it to open the padlocked door in the downstairs corridor. What are you waiting for?
Once you have unlocked the door, you can enter the basement. Pick up the colorful square to your left. It’s a record: The Carnival of Venice by Paganini. Walk left until you reach a huge boiler. To the right of it, there is a crowbar that you have to pick up. Now, let’s play our record! Go up the stairs, through the corridor, into the living room, and put the record on the gramophone. Click the gramophone again to start it. The music freaks me out. Leave the room! As soon as you leave it, a record scratch can be heard, and the music stops abruptly. Go back into the living room to see what happened.
All the crows are now in here, sitting around, staring at you all Hitchcock-Birds-like. Creepy. Go into the kitchen and leave the house through the door you unlocked earlier. The birds are gone, there is only one crow lying in a pool of blood left. Apparently, it is what the other crows were picking apart earlier. Poor, dying crow … Pick it up. Don’t look at me like that, pick it up. O god, listen to its wailing. You have to get rid of it! Go back inside the house and into the maid’s room. Put the helpless crow in the cat’s bowl, you cruel bastard. This will attract the cat. You can hear it meowing when you leave the room, but you have to take care of something else first.
Go into the upstairs corridor, and remove the planks in front of the boarded-up room with the crowbar. Go inside to find out why it was boarded up. Examine the dead woman (Anna, Anthony’s wife) on the bed. Her fingers are clutching a note. Read it. The woman drops a hairpin. Pick it up. Make sure to read the letters on the floor before you go through the door to the left. Examine the leftmost portrait, the one leaning against the wall under the window. The paint around the head of the stuffed lynx in the picture is fresh. How is that possible? Go back into the corridor and enter the bodyless bedroom to the left. Use the hairpin on the balcony door and enter the adjacent room through its window.
Note the stuffed lynx on the left. You can read a note on the writing desk and some torn out pages on a table at the bottom of the screen to find out that there was clearly something wrong with Anthony. Next to the pages, there is a hammer; on the floor in front of the door to the right is a can of thinner. Take both with you. Examine the trapdoor at the top of the ladder. It needs a golden key. Exit the room via the door to the right and enter the basement.
The cat has enjoyed the meal you gave it (you monster) and now waits behind the wall to the left, meowing. Break down the wall using your hammer. Ah, the classic cat scare! There is some strange stuff in the chest behind the wall, but Jeremiah will only pick up the knife. Go all the way upstairs again, through the boarded-up room and into the portrait room.
Use the thinner on the cloth, then use the cloth on the painting beneath the window to reveal that the original lynx had an open mouth. Leave the room and go into the study to the left of the corridor. Use the knife to pry the lynx’s mouth open and reveal its secret: a golden key. Take the key and use it to open the trapdoor.
In the attic, you find Anthony’s body, still hanging from the ceiling. Read the letter in his pocket. Be prepared for one last crow-related jump scare. Chapter 1 of The Last Door ends here. Congratulations, you just earned 15 Kongregate points and the badge Don’t Leave Me Hangin’!