The ghosts of Christmases past, present and future aren't the old supernatural forces at work at this time of year, though not all are nearly as benevolent, as in indie developer Norbert Gerard Matyńka's newly released side-scrolling mystery, The Land of Crows.
Within one of the 19th century Partitions of Poland, an "invisible evil dwells" in Kuyavia, casting its shadow on both the "noble families of old in their mansions and the commonfolk in their abodes." Players control Jan Bonawentura Jablonowski, a young nobleman who receives a "dramatic letter" from his friend urging him to come to Kuyavia. When Jan arrives, he soon discovers that a single death long ago led to a "secret, eons old," and that there is now a "dreadful truth lurking in the watery grasslands."
Presented in atmospheric black-and white, The Land of Crows is filled with "historical and ethnographic objects and buildings (palaces, mansions, churches)" to create an authentic sense of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth culture. Inspired by "pre-romantic, romantic and gothic literature" from the likes of Poe, Lovecraft and Goethe, the game also features "early medieval Slavic legends" that see players interacting with a variety of "gloomy characters with their dark secrets" as well as venturing into "haunted forests of old with ancient hidden graves." As you navigate the side-scrolling enironments via keyboard, you'll find a "classic-style adventure game" in the mold of '90s thrillers such as The Shadow of The Comet. With over 7000 lines of (unvoiced) text, expect plenty of walking and talking over the course of a projected 3-4 hours of gameplay.
If a little gothic mystery sounds like your cup of post-holiday tea, you can get started right away as The Land of Crows is available now on Steam for Windows PC.