Shtriga: Summer Camp
Year Published: 2014
Publisher: Game Cartel/Alawar Stargaze
Developer: Alawar Entertainment

Shtriga: Summer Camp is an example of a game that starts out well enough, but completely falls apart by the end. As a private investigator, you're hired to find some children who have gone missing at a campground. Arriving in the middle of the night at the nearly-abandoned camp, you encounter a shape-shifting witch known as the Shtriga who is the likely culprit. Despite all the evidence (including film reels!), the police don't believe the remaining children's ghost stories, so you're on your own.

This looks like a summer camp.

The beginning of the game does build up a decent mystery about the circumstances at the camp, but too many questions are left unanswered by the end. Along with the witch, there is involvement from a scientist whose lab is located near the camp, but you never meet him nor learn what his relevance to everything is. It made no sense to me why the witch sometimes morphs into different forms to give you necessary items and other times attempts to block your progress by destroying bridges or sealing pathways with thorny branches.

So does this.

Shtriga seems to have a really strange case of location identity crisis. A "Shtriga", according to my internet research, is an Albanian version of a witch, but the summer camp she haunts appears to be a typical American one. After venturing into the woods beyond the camp, you'll find yourself in some old ruins that look distinctly medieval European. I'm not real convinced this is something you'd find near an American campground and that nobody else would've thought to investigate such an area for the missing kids.

Along with the story being rushed at the end, so it would seem was the game itself. There is a room with several columns that all require an animal token to unlock. The last one says you need a bat token, but there is no bat token and whatever the column was supposed to do was either dummied out or never implemented. One of the puzzles is a sliding tile, which if you know me you know how much I despise those, but this is one of the worst I've seen with its pieces that move agonizingly slow. There are also quirks with the translation such as this.

This does not.

One of the best hidden object games I've ever played also took place at a summer campground, Enigmatis: The Mists of Ravenwood. I would strongly suggest playing that game and the two others in its series before resorting to Shtriga: Summer Camp.

SCORE: 1.5/5