"It is the 20th...holy crap, it's the 20th?! I have so few days left to shop and buy presents for everyone." Right around the time the first number of the day becomes a "2" in December, people freak out realizing they missed something on their holiday gift-giving list. Today, we recognize this sense of horror and dread by taking a look at a unique horror adventure game that has a cult-following all its own. Yes, today we talk about:

I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream is one trip of an adventure game and is quite mature in nature with the themes it presents and how they are presented, especially for a 1995 title. In the future, the world superpowers wage a war using supercomputers. Similar to the storyline of The Terminator, the machines become self-aware and decide they want to kill the humans that have created their tortured existence. However, unlike the films, the machine decides to keep five humans alive and torture them for over a hundred years. The computer, AM, then decides to torture them in a new way, preying on their weaknesses and messing with their heads.

I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream was the brain child of writer Harland Ellison. Ellison wanted to make a game that would force the players to make ethical decisions in some of the most controversial subjects. He also wanted a game where the player could not win in a traditional sense, only ethical ways in which to lose and terribly awful ways to lose. It is a game that is purely driven by decisions, story, and a haunting environment.

Even today, I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream is a principal example for gamers of how games can be mature without being childish about mature content. It is also an extremely dark game, not intended for younger players and those who would rather avoid games that force players to address ideas of insanity, rape, genocide, and other uncomfortable themes and issues. In some countries, the game was even censored or edited to remove certain content and even restricted to specific ages (this wasn't a very common practice in the earlier days of gaming like it is now).

I didn't play this game until a little later on in life when a college roommate introduced it to me. I was taking a class where we were studying a lot of the darker works of Edgar Allen Poe, an author my roommate had enjoyed immensely. Our conversations on Poe's work naturally turned to video games and how horror games weren't really horror games. He brought up this game and installed it on my computer. I stayed up all night and then finished it after returning the next day from my classes and enjoyed it...as much as one can "enjoy" a game like it. It is probably the most disturbing yet most compelling adventure games I have ever played.

While I do not recommend I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream to every gamer out there, I recommend it to fans of the horror genre and those looking for something decidedly different. If you qualify, go find this game (it's on Steam), get it, and play it.

Now, a quick note. I heard a rumor that Noobtubin8er Claus will be making his way through here in the near future and wants to give presents to the wonderful people who comment on my ADVENTURE Game Calendar blogs. I also heard he went and found a bunch of the games that have been/will be featured in the series. So, if you're liking the series or you just want a chance to get a free game or free games, comment below and let me know what you think (it might also be a good idea to read and comment on the older blogs...just a hint for you adventure gamers who need a hint book...red screen thing not included). And, as always, thanks for reading.

Check out past entries in the ADVENTure Game Calendar below:

Day 1 - Space Quest

Day 2 - Sam and Max

Day 3 - Full Throttle

Day 4 - Eco Quest

Day 5 - The Walking Dead

Day 6 - Still Life

Day 7 - Freddy Pharkas Frontier Pharmacist

Day 8 - Quest for Glory

Day 9 - The Adventures of Willy Beamish

Day 10 - Police Quest

Day 11 - Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis

Day 12 - Blade Runner

Day 13 - Gabriel Knight

Days 14 and 15 - The Wolf Among Us and King's Quest

Day 16 - Conquests of the Longbow: The Adventures of Robin Hood

Day 17 - Simon the Sorcerer

Day 18 - Grim Fandango

Day 19 - Discworld