It's time for you to meet Ecstatica, perhaps the most original game of its time. This 3D horror/action/adventure game was heavily influenced by the Alone in the Dark series, and it shows. The story is set in the 10th century as you come across a mysterious village and decide to investigate. Better be careful, because there's something lurking around every corner!
The engine is somewhat similar to Alone in the Dark's: static cinematic cameras that switch as you walk by, showing beautiful 2D backgrounds with 3D objects rendered on top. Yet, unlike Alone in the Dark, in Ecstatica everything is rendered with ellipsoids. While this does not improve the graphics tremendously, it makes characters move much more realistically and look more organic, and it does give the whole game a unique look.
The game is played entirely using the keyboard, with a somewhat complicated interface that can take some time to get used to. There's no inventory; you can only take one item in each of your hands. Fighting monsters is often challenging, but you can't consider this as a flaw. It might scare some point-'n'-click adventurers away, but it makes a more immersive experience for those fond of action.
Once you learn how to deal with monsters, nothing can stand in the way of your exploration of the beautiful and colourful world of Ecstatica. The atmosphere in the game is something worth experiencing. You will pass by piles of body parts, be ambushed by piglets, cornered by packs of werewolves and attacked by the dragon, but the game's strange sense of humor often manages to break the tension.
When it came out, this game was much-criticized because of scenes of strong violence and nudity. And that is probably the main reason why I like this game so much. It's not that I enjoy scenes of torture and vulgarity (they don't bother me either), but the fact that they are present shows me that the programmers made this game exactly as they wanted it to be. If the publishers didn't censor this kind of content to make the game attractive to a wider audience, then they certainly didn't have any influence over anything else in the game. Although it made Ecstatica somewhat eccentric, it also made the game unique and interesting. Of course, the whole thing does not stop there; there're plenty of other elements that add to Ecstatica's greatness. Some of them are surely its impressive engine, memorable locations and monsters, sense of danger, diversity and well-incorporated puzzles.
If vulgarity and nudity don't offend you and you enjoyed Alone in the Dark, Ecstatica will thrill you. I would give this game the highest mark, but knowing that not everyone will like it as much as I did, I forced myself to lower the mark by one. Better try this one for yourself!
Use simple imgmount command to mount the iso as cdrom. The command would be:
imgmount d: [path to the game]\ ecstatica.iso -t iso, where d: will be virtual cdrom drive letter.
Then simply install the game from d:
If you don't want to launch the game in DosBOX you will need Daemon Tools (or a similar utility) to run this game. You can find that program in the Utilities part of the site.
Don't forget to turn your NUM LOCK off! The game uses numpad keys for all the controls. If you're on a notebook and don't have numpad keys, you can always remap the keys in DosBOX by pressing ctrl+f1.