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Crapshoot: Sanitarium, the amnesiac horror classic

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Crapshoot: Sanitarium, the amnesiac horror classic

From 2010 to 2014 Richard Cobbett wrote Crapshoot, a column about rolling the dice to bring random obscure games back into the light. This week, it’s the lighter side of amnesia as… oh, no, wait. Sorry. Forgot where I was for a second. What a conveniently uncontrived coincidence!

It may be Horror Cliche #7, but as games like Planescape: Torment, Amnesia, and… possibly some others have demonstrated, a game that starts with memory loss doesn’t have to be a creativity vacuum. Case in point, Sanitarium, which took this most tired of tropes and did enough with it to be declared an instant cult adventure favourite when it landed back in 1998. Is it a great game? Much as I’d love to say yes, honestly, no, not really. It’s one I like though, and definitely unique.

Be warned, spoilers ahead—to be exact, pretty much all of the spoilers.

Sanitarium is the story of a man named Max, who doesn’t know his name is Max, but who is named Max. Like I said, all the spoilers! This is your last chance to bail out! There will be no more warnings!