A disappointingly bland and feature-poor rendering of H.P. Lovecraft’s classic short story about a great and terrible creature slumbering deep beneath the ocean floor.
“In his house at R’lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.” For decades, those ominous and enigmatic words have instilled awe and anxiety in the frightened hearts of readers the world over. Sadly, there’s nothing in this marginally interactive and even buggy retelling of the horror-filled yarn that is likely to rouse old tentacle-puss from his noxious beauty sleep. Things start out rather promisingly, as readers must manipulate stacks of old boxes and crates obscuring the text in an action that closely mirrors events taking place in the unsettling first-person narrative. That simple but useful interactive device effectively manages to inject readers into Lovecraft’s unsteady dreamscape. However, as propitious as the feature may be, its promise is never fully realized, almost immediately sliding into mere gimmickry before being abandoned altogether. Additional objects thinly associated with the discovery of a secret worldwide cult dedicated to worshiping the mind-bending being known as Cthulhu appear on subsequent pages, but they have little direction or purpose. What’s more, the opportunity for Lovecraft devotees to actually “handle” and closely inspect the grotesque bas-relief of the mighty Cthulhu sitting upon his pedestal would alone seem to be worth the price of admission. But H.P.’s fans don’t get that opportunity here. Instead, they are limited to “picking up” (and perhaps flinging around) a vague, two-dimensional representation of the frightful figurine lying at the blackened heart of this time-honored and twisted tale. Even the app’s simple page-turning animation functions sluggishly, requires repeated screen swipes to work and prompts lots more frustration than tactile satisfaction. An accompanying soundtrack meant to enhance the otherwise tepidness of the overall experience also fails to operate properly.
Totally uninspired—a missed opportunity to explore H.P. Lovecraft in even greater depths of interactive madness. (Requires iOS 7 and above.)