I’m sorry, dear readers, I did have a different post planned for tonight but life happened, as it’s wont to do, so please enjoy the review for Paranormal State: Poison Spring and come back next week for Focus on the Frightful: Welcome to Our Town – Horror in a Small Town!
The Paranormal Research team from the hit A&E TV show “Paranormal State” is called in to investigate a terrifying supernatural event at Poison Spring State Park, historical site to a grisly Civil War battle. Join the team as their newest member, solve this ghostly case, and reunite two wayward spirits in this eerie Adventure game!
Title: Paranormal State: Poison Spring | Developer: Teyon | Publisher: Legacy Games | Release Date: November 26, 2013 | Genre: Point and Click Adventure | Platform: Steam | Source: Self-Purchased | Unstarred Review
Paranormal State: Poison Spring Review
I have a small confession to make – when Paranormal State was on Netflix I binged it wholeheartedly. It was entertaining and I liked that they didn’t run around swearing a lot. When the later seasons started turning to that I tuned out. I’m not super picky about swearing but when the majority of a show is ‘bleeps’ I tend to not like it.
So I was interested in the game and had actually bought it close to when it came out. And promptly lost it. So I repurchased it on Steam when I noticed it on there. Now, I can put up with a lot from Adventure games. Dream logic, fantasy intruding on my horror and illogical game progression.
Poison Spring is set in the Poison Spring battlefield in Arkansas. You’re there as a new member of the team, who have been called there to help Iris, a woman setting up the museum and visitors center.
The game itself is fine, I guess. It’s a standard Adventure and Hidden Object. The puzzles are fairly easy, even on Expert. And, weirdly, you can use the Hint button on Expert which is a bit unusual. So, that part of it was ok. Nothing spectacular but nothing that made me want to quit in a pile of rage.
The character models look good (even if no one uses their lips when they speak so some of the more dramatic scenes are unintentionally hilarious. The voice work is decent but it’s been so long since I’ve seen the show that I honestly don’t know if it’s the actual people or not.
The story is where I had the biggest issues. I don’t know a lot about Cherokee culture but a story involving a Cherokee shaman summoning a demon to fight for the Confederacy leaves me feeling very cold. They seem to be using this legend but wildly adapting it for their own purposes. This alone is enough to make me dislike the story and rate it lower than I might have otherwise. They could have used a million other stories set on a Civil War battlefield but chose this. As it is it’s not only a middling game but a middling game with a culturally insensitive story along with it.
I’d give it a pass for that alone. There are much better Adventure games that don’t make you feel like you need a shower afterwards.
GracieKat was the first co-host of Sci-Fi & Scary, Lilyn’s partner-in-crime, and sub-head of the Kali Krew. She reviews horror books, movies, and games for the site. She also does a weekly Focus on the Frightful feature, and is the site list-maker. She is also in control of the Sci-Fi & Scary podcast which will relaunch soon.