There are a lot of tales about people hanging around after they have died as a ghost, usually due to a spot of unfinished business. A number of these stories are deeply macabre, with a lot of focus on things like murder and revenge. I Am Dead is different. This is a tale about a ghost called Morris Lupton who is reunited with his dog Sparky, and together they head out on a mission to save their home of Shelmerston island.
One of the best words to describe I Am Dead is quaint and charming. Morris is a kindly soul who spent his time on Earth creating a museum for Shelmerston to document the island’s history, but even he doesn’t know all the stories. In death, Morris learns that Shelmerston’s volcano is ready to erupt because the island spirit, called the Custodian, is weakening after keeping the island calm for so long. Morris’ job is to find a suitable replacement.
There are five candidates to choose from, all of whom are other ghosts, but they are not easy to track down. Instead, the way Morris has to track them down is to find objects that were important to these people in life and there are a couple of steps. First is finding people with memories of the deceased and then listening to those memories. There is some interactive element here as your move forward and back through a series of images that warp into one another, a bit like a kaleidoscope. You must get each image clear before being able to move onto the next part and hearing the next part of the memory. The memories show the object you need to find and the stories themselves hold some clues.
After finding out what the object is you have to find it. I Am Dead is a hidden object game with its own little twist. As a ghost Morris has the ability to slice through objects, which means his vision can pierce through different layers of items. This is undeniably helpful since he can’t actually hold anything what with being a ghost. Each person you are searching for has a location that they were tied to and you will move around these places searching through objects. If you follow the clues most of the objects are quite easy to find but some can be head scratchers, and you have to think a little bit outside the box. The controls can be a little strange, with rotations feeling a bit sluggish, but overall the gameplay experience is smooth.
Outside of the objects are other hidden creatures called Gremkins who are connected to the island spirit. Sparky can sniff out their general location, but you have to rotate and slice through objects until they are in a specific state before the Gremkins show themselves. These are optional to find but do add to the puzzle nature of I Am Dead.
I Am Dead has a pleasing visual design to it with a simplicity that is eye catching. There’s also a satisfying amount of lore to delve into, and you can spend quite a lot of time just reading the descriptions of objects across locations to learn more about Shelmerston and its people. The stories themselves touch upon everything from love, animal protection, and the island’s mysteries.