TRILBY'S NOTES / Yahtzee Croshaw / PC

Four years after the incidents in the Defoe Manor in the 5 Days A Stranger, the survivors have become shells of their former selves. Trilby even manages to get caught during a heist, but he's offered redemption in the form of joining a covert government paranormal investigations group. When he learns that the mysterious African artifact that caused so much trouble in the first game seems to have survived as well, and is now changing hands across the world, he finds himself drawn back in to the world of altered realities, demonic possession and lovely bloody killings.

Trilby's Notes is by far the most complex of the series, having you shift between alternate worlds at random points a la Silent Hill. The graphics aren't tremendously better than previous installments, but there is an improved level of detail and some lighting effects this time out, and the game also has an original soundtrack to replace the borrowed RPG Maker tunes.

The biggest change of pace here is that the point-and-click interface is replaced by a parser similar to those seen in Sierra's earlier adventures, which pauses the action while you type in a command. While the parser system allows for a greater level of depth, and natural challenge to the puzzles of the game, it unfortunately inhibits the adventure game fanbase outside of the United States and England (a fanbase at least as big, if not bigger, than those in the English-speaking countries.) The parser actually only ends up making the game marginally more challenging, though, as it tends to be padded out with a lot of non-interactive cutscenes, and the puzzle solutions are mostly fairly obvious.

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