(Disclosure: The review­er has pur­chased his copy on Steam. Some unmarked spoil­ers may be present.)

The Charnel House Trilogy is the sec­ond game from devel­op­er Owl Cave, a small col­lec­tion of writ­ers, design­ers, artists, and coders whose pre­vi­ous work includs Richard & Alice, a dia­logue focused adven­ture game released in June 2014. The Charnel House Trilogy was cre­at­ed using the Adventure Game Studio engine. And music was pro­vid­ed by Gavin Harrison. Paul Kilduff-Taylor, and Jack de Quidt.

Psychological Horror laced with Psychological Problems


So many prob­lems

The Charnel House Trilogy is a set of three small­er adven­tures pack­aged togeth­er into one game. Originally start­ing with the free­ware game Sepulchre, a pro­logue chap­ter and epi­logue chap­ter were writ­ten in and became the Trilogy itself. The game is most­ly dia­logue, fit­ting for an adven­ture title, with a few puz­zles here and there. The voice act­ing is superb until the final chap­ter, and the art, though semi-retro, is well done. The music is appro­pri­ate, with no per­son­al gripes from the review­er. It is about three hours long, and leaves the game with a bit of a cliffhang­er; ample room for a sec­ond set of games.


The game fol­lows the adven­tures of two pro­tag­o­nists, Alex Davenport and Dr. David Lang, as they star in the dif­fer­ent parts of the sto­ry — switch­ing per­spec­tives between chap­ters. The first part of the sto­ry intro­duces Alex as she is get­ting over a breakup that had occurred a few months pri­or, fol­low­ing which a ter­ri­fy­ing series of calls began ruin­ing her life. Alex is a dam­aged gal, but she man­ages to hold up, defy­ing the cir­cum­stances.

Upon man­ag­ing to get onto the com­put­er, she books a train-ticket to the near­by island to meet her friend who work­ing with Dr. David Lang at an archae­o­log­i­cal dig. Upon board­ing the train, how­ev­er, the two protagonist’s lives get more than a lit­tle strange.

The sto­ry twists and turns, and becomes more and more super­nat­u­ral as the game plays on, expand­ing on Sepulchre’s free sto­ry with Alex’s chap­ters. It’s a mem­o­rable romp, and with a bit of patience, the entire game can be fin­ished with­in rough­ly 3 hours.

It is my opin­ion that the sec­ond chap­ter, Sepulchre, is the stronger of the three chap­ters, fol­lowed by Exhale, with the intro Inhale being some­what weak.

It is an enjoy­able romp alto­geth­er, though, and worth the playthrough at least once.


Mouse cur­sor, ho!

The Charnel House Trilogy runs on a sim­ple point and click engine, with a tiny inven­to­ry sys­tem built into the top of the screen. The game is playable only with the mouse, and with only two but­tons to boot. You inter­act with oth­er ele­ments on the screen using the point and click sys­tem, click­ing on the inven­to­ry to inter­act with oth­er things on the screen. To humor­ous ends more often than not.

This, com­bined with the three chap­ter novel­la that the game ends up being, makes for an eas­ier affair than some of the more lengthy adven­ture titles on the mar­ket.




Charnel House’s graph­ics are done in a retro-style that evokes Monkey Island in its aes­thet­ic. Characters out­side of talk­ing por­traits have tiny visu­al con­straints. There are lit­tle in the way of pix­el sized objects, how­ev­er, leav­ing out a long-time gripe I’ve had with the gen­re before res­o­lu­tions increased past the 90s. There are few places that have ani­ma­tion, rel­e­gat­ed to a few inter­ac­tions and the bridges between chap­ters.


The music is calm at first, com­posed main­ly of nineties elec­tron­i­ca, but slow­ly grows more pan­icked as the sto­ries pro­gress; with sharp strings play­ing here and there as appro­pri­ate. It takes a swing towards the melan­choly in the sec­ond and third chap­ters, with more pan­ic notes as appro­pri­ate as rev­e­la­tions are made. Overall, the music is fit­ting, and offers few rea­sons to cri­tique for the review­er.

Technical & Settings



The game has lit­tle in the way of set­tings, being most­ly con­cerned with the sound. The game has only crashed once in the three hours it took the review­er to com­plete the game.

Final Thoughts



Overall, The Charnel House Trilogy is a good, if short, adven­ture title that had the review­er want­i­ng to see the follow-up. A cliff-hanger end­ing that left more than a few ques­tions round­ed off what turned out to be an enjoy­able — if not entire­ly hair-raising — expe­ri­ence. The sto­ry can get kind of pre­dictable here and there, espe­cial­ly once you know who the voice actors are, but over­all, it is a decent lit­tle game.

I hope to see more in this series from Owl Cave in the future, to be sure.

Purchase the Charnel House Trilogy at full price if: You are look­ing for the begin­ning of a decent hor­ror series, and appre­ci­ate adven­ture titles. It is an excel­lent game for begin­ners, as well.

Purchase at half price if: You are look­ing for a longer title, or do not care for adven­tures, but still enjoy a good short sto­ry nev­er­the­less

Do not pur­chase if: You want a saga, not a novel­la.

https://supernerdland.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/2015 – 06-13_00001-1024x576-1024x576.jpghttps://supernerdland.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/2015 – 06-13_00001-1024x576-150x150.jpgMichael CampbellPCPC ReviewsPC,Reviews,The Charnel House Trilogy(Disclosure: The review­er has pur­chased his copy on Steam. Some unmarked spoil­ers may be present.) The Charnel House Trilogy is the sec­ond game from devel­op­er Owl Cave, a small col­lec­tion of writ­ers, design­ers, artists, and coders whose pre­vi­ous work includs Richard & Alice, a dia­logue focused adven­ture game released in…
The fol­low­ing two tabs change con­tent below.
Michael Campbell
My name is Michael Campbell. I am a bud­ding writer, pro­duc­er, and the content-manager for off-site opin­ion pieces. I focus on Early Access Game Reviews, Traditional Games Media (Primarily Pen & Paper Role-playing Games), Steam Games, Origin, and Indie Titles. My inter­ests include draw­ing real­ly ter­ri­bly, run­ning far too many RPG games a week and hor­ri­fy­ing my co-workers and friends. I also get real­ly angry on Twitter at injus­tice. I am also like­ly going to become a fix­ture in the edi­to­ri­al sec­tion of this site, due to the above anger. You can reach me at M.Campbell@supernerdland.com if you have ques­tions or com­ments; As well, you can reach me @EvilBobDALMYT on Twitter to see some of that anger in motion.
Michael Campbell

Latest posts by Michael Campbell (see all)