Mixed or average reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 18
  2. Negative: 3 out of 18
  1. They have really pulled out all the stops with their first effort and created one classic piece of Adventure gaming. Just don’t get too used to that luxury called sleep.
  2. A creepy and fun title, fans of the Myst series and with a love of horror will be right at home in this game.
  3. Scratches won't appeal to everyone, but for fans of quaint English ghost stories/mysteries, it's to die for. [May 2006, p.102]
  4. Scratches is not "F.E.A.R." – it is infinitely more subtle. It is not "Monkey Island" – it is far darker with less arbitrary puzzles. Scratches is a work of art in the horror genre, and if you aren't willing to appreciate it as such, you should not bother.
  5. With an original concept and less cliché-mongering, we could be bearing witness to a rising star. For now, though, it flickers with dim promise on the horizon, catching our eye but not holding us long enough to do much more than raise a finger and point.
  6. Scratches is a great adventure game that shouldn't be missed by anyone who enjoys a story well told within a scary, gothic presentation.
  7. Both the story and the gameplay are substantial and the game is genuinely scary rather than gory. Proving once again that you don't need dripping blood and gore to be scary.
  8. 77
    If you're an adventure gaming veteran, especially if you like the horror / creepy / gothic-type atmosphere, then Scratches is for you. It's a solid game although a bit on the short side as you may be able to get through it in less than a day.
  9. It’s creepy and it’s involving, but it has some annoying technical problems (the game must have locked up on me over a dozen times while I was playing it), the engine isn’t very sophisticated, and the puzzles are hit and miss.
  10. It's the standard point-and-click adventure/horror/mystery game that has been around for years. The ability to look around to several different areas of the same area is a welcomed feature but results in some problems in moving to different areas in the game.
  11. This is one creepy, horror adventure game that not only features solid gameplay (the point and click style) but also an amazingly good storyline. It boasts good graphics, sound, and interesting puzzles that never become tedious or annoying.
  12. Scratches would have been a runaway hit … 10 years ago. Today? It’s just fairly tedious. This one’s only for die-hard point-and-click fans; others will be bored stiff.
  13. Scratches was developed by a two-man team: one designer and one artist. We have to admit that’s pretty impressive.
  14. It's shame that the ending is so inadvisably abrupt, opting for a limp 'shock' finale rather than a satisfying closure that would have sat so much better with the game's slow-burning narrative.
  15. It's got some nice touches, but in the end, it's too buggy, too cliched, and too uninteresting to come to the head of its class.
  16. 40
    What starts out as a fantastic concept -- even though you have to slog through endless diaries to figure out what the heck is going on – never gathers steam.
  17. Unfortunately, getting there is a dull journey full of leaden exposition, mouse hovering and clicking, and inventory manipulation. [July 2006, p.67]
  18. Scratches is dull, ugly, a bit short, and a perfect example of exactly why traditional adventure games have fallen out of favor.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 35 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 16
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 16
  3. Negative: 3 out of 16
  1. Sep 20, 2013
    Although the title font and color might lead one to assume that this is just a throwaway horror flick, Scratches actually provides a compelling game experience. While it may not add much to the point-and-click adventure scene, this really ought not count against it; in a time when point-and-clicks are really made purely for the sake of classicism more than innovation, this game does a great job of capturing the spirit of the genre. This set aside, the game offers a story which keeps the player guessing through the end, and provides a good dose of suspense and an occasional jump to go with it. The visuals are stunning, as well as the sound layers; both do a good job of attaining a solid feeling of immersion, very similar to reading a good suspense novel. All in all, this game may not look like much from the outset, but it has a lot to offer to the right player. Full Review »
  2. Jan 12, 2013
    An absolutely enthralling storyline, and the whole setting is very atmospheric; it feels like you're in the shoes of the main character. I would've easily given this game a 10/10 if it weren't for it's disgustingly specific puzzles and the fact that you can't walk freely. As other people have said, you WILL need a walkthrough for this, unless you're either the developer of the game himself, or some kind of mastermind. The puzzles have extremely specific solutions that about 99.99% of people can't figure out, but even with a walkthrough this game is totally worth it! Now if you could walk around freely this would be so much better, I get that walking step by step may have made the game easier to make, and slowed it down so you don't rush through it, but seriously, if you could walk around it would feel so much more like you were in the character's shoes instead of watching a panoramic slideshow. The game (while using a walkthrough) is amazing, has perfect timed discoveries to keep you entertained and addicted and wanting to know more, has awesome voice acting, and can scare the hell out of you at some points. And who doesn't like a good scare? It took me about 6 hours to complete it with a walkthrough. Without one, you just have to go through countless trial and error for tens of hours and at that point it takes a lot away from the overall effect the game will have on you, if you don't just trash it and never play it again. Use a walkthrough, and immerse yourself in an atmospheric and mysterious world and discover the murder of Mrs. Blackwood. Do yourself a favor and buy this game! Full Review »
  3. Apr 21, 2011
    This game is NOT for people with short attention-spans or intolerance for progressive gameplay. This game starts off slow but interesting, you need to be attentive and observant to notice what you need to do next. Reading and conceiving a story is part of the game as well, it's more about being involved rather then getting some gold sparkly achievement.

    And when it starts getting creepy, you WILL know, Dead Space or Silent Hill can't creep/scare the crap out of you like this game when it begins sinking its teeth in. Haven't felt this creeped out since Amnesia: The Dark Decsent. I only mentioned Dead Space as a marker for certain people. Dead Space is pretty tame, the type of game that 'might' of scared me when I was 12 =p

    Oh and yeah, I love this game! If only I had this game sooner.

    MUST: Play the game at night, with headphones on, with the lights off.
    Full Review »