Head Games: Harvester (1996)



Time to reap what you sow.

I'd like to begin by thanking Geoff from Enter the Man Cave for his excitement on this subject which, in turn, got me to dig a little deeper into the PC horror vault. And oh, what a little gem I did find on my journey...

Enter Harvester, a point-and-click adventure computer game from DigiFX Interactive that was released in 1996. This is the same year mind you that Phantasmagoria's soft-minded sequel, A Puzzle of Flesh, was released. For more on A Puzzle of Flesh, I suggest you check out Geoff's all too kind review. What I can tell you is that while both games are similar in their overly ambitious use of full motion video gaming, Harvester overall delivers a more authentic gameplay value.

The story employs the tried and true "amnesiac in a strange place" horror device that Freddy's Dead used 5 years prior. Here, you play the role of "Steve" who happens to awake in the unfortunate town of Harvest. You see, the residents of Harvest are borderline psychotic parodies of people you'd find on an episode of The Andy Griffith Show... oh yeah, and they all belong to some cult called the Order of the Harvest Moon (possible inspiration for Silent Hill?). This sure isn't a Shriner's convention though as the only way to join is by completing a series of brutal tasks/murders that include ripping out the spines of pretty girls, evisceration and taking part in twisted perversions such as the one shown above.

While not as impressive by today's standards, Harvester did offer a fighting element, albeit a weak one, wherein the player could attack other characters and despite the bad acting it did boast an effectively unsettling atmosphere that I feel exceeds even Phantasmagoria. Interested yet? Go ahead, take a dip in the insanity and let imagination be your guide.





2 comments:

  1. Geof said...:

    Hey SK - thanks for the mention. I missed this earlier. You really did light a fire under my ass to get the P2 review finished as it was collecting dust on my PC for a long time. But again thanks!

    Harvester? I never heard of this and can't watch your video at work, but I will later when I get the chance. Sounds awesome. You might have inadvertently sent me on a quest to hunt down a copy.

  1. Strange Kid said...:

    I only happened to find it by proxy, but it fits right in there w/ Phantasmagoria 1 and 2 in terms of weird, Z-movie grade crazy shit.

    Cheapest I could find it on eBay was about $30 or so.

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