As of November 2012, I run music webzine A Lonely Ghost Burning.

It's all about short, positive reviews with no genre restrictions. Might be worth a try if you you like your music to feature any or all of the following characteristics;

- Distinctive Vocals

- Palpable Atmosphere

- Believable Emotion

I also write occasionally for the excellent Alternative Magazine Online and keep a far less excellent blog, Cherry Faced Fool.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

The Murran Chronicles 2: Talons of Terror

Ok, let's get this started! Talons of Terror was developed by Bill Garrett using AGS, and is the second game in the Murran Chronicles series. Oh, and it's free!


You play as Agent Ken Murran, who after his experiences in the first game, has now been recruited to a different branch of the FBI, one which investigates cases of the more unexplainable variety. The case that the player will be guiding Ken through here involves mutilation and murder in Montana. Local cattle have turned up in places where they couldn't possibly be able to get to, their bodies mutilated. Meanwhile attempts to solve the murders of three residents with links to the local Sioux Native American community have so far proven fruitless. Are all these occurrences linked? And what of the large flying thing that has been spotted in the Montana skyline?

The story is definitely the strongest point of this game. It is completely coherent, and maintained my interest right through to the end. Very good storytelling involved here.

Something I found slightly disappointing however was the main character, whom seemed to lack...well, character. Perhaps adding to the personality of Agent Murran would have made the game even more enjoyable. In fact, character development throughout all the characters in the
game is an area which could have been improved upon to help show off the strong narrative.


This is perhaps the games main weakness, partly caused by the difference in styles between the backgrounds (photoshopped real life images) and character sprites (pixel art). Whilst the graphics serve their purpose, they don't exactly make for an amazingly immersive atmosphere. I found I was less mindful of this as the game went on however, and the backgrounds were certainly not completely devoid of mood creation.

A big positive is the dialogue and description which are solid the whole way through the game, with no apparent spelling mistakes. I find that poor use of language and spelling errors are quite often a big problem with freeware games and when they appear it can really ruin an atmosphere a game has been trying to build. So for this, Talons of Terror gets a big thumbs up.

In addition, the sound quality of the game is fine. Whilst it didn't have me in awe, neither did it detract anything from the quality of my gaming experience.


Most of the puzzles you will comes across in Talons of Terror are based around dialogue. That is, you will need to ask the right people the right questions in order to advance the story. This works very well, and travelling back and forth talking to the different characters really gave me the feeling that I was helping to solve the mystery. The game also has some inventory based puzzles which are logical and fit in with the story, and some simple yet effective crime scene investigation.

Talons of Terror, with one possible jellybean of an exception, is perfectly solvable without a walkthrough, and it could be argued that the game is on the easy side. Personally this didn't bother me as I was too immersed in trying to find out what was going on to care about how easy or hard the puzzles were. I guess this means the pacing of the game was very good.

Lengthwise the game is reasonable, taking me two or three sittings to complete, though I dare say it is of a length that could be finished in one go.


Talons of Terror is a game that fans of adventure games should find plenty to like about. Yes, it would benefit from some graphical refinement, but the graphics do hold together to allow a thoroughly interesting mystery to be unravelled. The game is a big improvement over the first in the series and with a third already in the pipeline, it appears that the developer has plenty more tales to tell. I for one am certainly looking forward to any future titles he releases. Recommended!

Particularly for fans of;

The Murran Chronicles 1: Jersey Devil
Ben Jordan Paranormal Investigator Series

The game can be downloaded from the following link;


  1. I'm glad you liked it! I helped Beta test it, and I really tried to iron out any spelling or grammar mistakes. :)

  2. Hey,

    Well you did a good job!

    It really does make a difference to a game when spelling and grammar are correct. Personally I think it's an extremely important part of any text-heavy game.