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Scratches is a mystery adventure computer game by game developer Nucleosys. Scratches is the first commercial adventure game ever to be made in Argentina.
The game tells the story of the Blackwood estate on the outskirts of Rothbury, a small rural town in Northumberland, England in 1976.
Originally owned by James T. Blackwood in 1963, the house is passed to Christopher Milton after Mr. Blackwood is accused of murdering his wife. A couple of days later, Mr. Blackwood dies of a sudden heart attack though some in the town start rumors that he might have committed suicide. The police decide to close the case seeing there is no further evidence left. Shortly after acquiring the house, Milton inexplicably disappears in 1970 leaving no visible trace.
The player assumes the role of the house's next inhabitant, Michael Arthate, an author seeking seclusion to work on his next book. He moves in only to find that the house still echoes its horrible past quite literally as scratches are heard all around, particularly in the basement and fireplaces, and soon becomes more interested in researching the house's history than his writing.
Scratches uses a first person perspective to navigate around the house. Using only a mouse, the player can access various rooms and other places in order to solve the mystery of both Blackwood and Milton's disappearances. It features music and special sound effects by the now defunct Cellar of Rats, which contribute to the fearsome ambience experienced at the mansion, crypt, greenhouse and church.
The game is heavily influenced by the H.P. Lovecraft mythos and several direct references to Lovecraft works make their appearances in Scratches. There are in-game references to the Necronomicon, De Vermis Mysteriis, Lovecraft's story "The Mountains of Madness," as well as one critics of Michael's book being called R'yleh. Michael states in the game he had just moved to Rothbury from Providence, Rhode Island-the hometown of Lovecraft.