Tuesday 2 April 2024

Black Sect - Final Rating

By Ilmari

The story of Lankhor is over in our regular game list, although I might return to do some of their older games as Missed Classics. The company did continue its existence to 2001, but all they did after this was some racing games. I can’t help, but feel a bit sad. Still, I’ll try to maintain my objectivity when rating the Black Sect.

Puzzles and Solvability

The puzzle structure shows clearly that Black Sect is a remake, since there’s a core that’s lifted with almost no changes from the Secte Noire. There are some new puzzles, which with few exceptions fall roughly into three categories: 1) basic fetch quests, which are at least straightforward, if a bit unimaginative, 2) various codes, which are a staple of Lankhor, but at least now were not as convoluted as in Maupiti Island and 3) infuriating pixel hunting, which is fortunately workable with the game’s magnifying glass action. Nothing here brings anything radically new to the table, and while the icon interface made the puzzles more fair, the pixel hunting evens this out.

Would you fetch me a ring?

Score: 3.

Interface and Inventory

While the puzzles were partially copied from the original, the interface is completely new, and in comparison, provides a much more pleasant experience. It’s also a step up from the menu system of Maupiti Island. Still, there’s some redundancy, as I am pretty sure I didn’t need to use commands like”break” at any point. But what is especially problematic is the inventory. I have streamlined my account of the game, so the five-item inventory limit might not have seemed that important, but in fact, it was a constant obstacle, requiring a lot of stashing and backtracking, especially with the many keys in the game. Inventory system has also other quirks, and particularly it is quite too complicated when you try to use one item on another. That is enough to reduce the score by a couple of points.

Seven actions just for inventory items

Score: 4.

Story and Setting

I expected much of this category. Unfortunately, the plot is really not developed from the original: a spellbook has been stolen by a strange cult and you need to find it. There’s really no attempt to develop the motivations, beliefs or plans of the cult, making it unclear what I am fighting against. Even the side plot I mentioned with the Le Secte Noire is lost - there’s no indication in Black Sect why the cook is working against the sect. Sure, the producers added the final plot twist of villagers revealing themselves to be the cultists, but when they have thus far been nothing else but cardboard characters providing simple fetch quests, it’s not worth much. I mean, just give me someone with a personality! To top it all, if the game is supposed to happen in contemporary times, why is everyone dressed like before industrial revolution?

Bonnet: the height of fashion in 1990s

Score: 3.

Sounds and Graphics

The game is visually pleasant, and the images both in the outside world and in the cult lair are evocative. While I wasn’t able to get the sounds running while playing, I later listened to a Youtube recording of the game: there wasn’t that much music, apart from a nice horror-themed intro, but there were some decent sound effects throughout the game.

Score: 6.

Environment and Atmosphere

Although the imagery of the game is appropriate to the theme of satanic cults, the game fails to create a sense of urgency. When the only risk from waiting is that the cult just leaves and the cultists care very little about what I am doing in front of their eyes, it feels a bit too tame.

Cultist helping me to breach their hiding place

Score: 4.

Dialogue and Acting:

Lankhor has wisely chosen not to continue with their experiments with synthesised speech, so I had only text to read. My French skills are only adequate at best, so I might have missed some nuances, but I felt that the text and the dialogue was just fine and professionally made, but nothing more memorable than that.

Score: 5.

(3 + 4 + 3 + 6 + 4 + 5)/.6 = 42.

This is very close to what Maupiti Island got, and I can understand why Black Sect would have bested it with such a close margin. Maupiti Island was definitely the more ambitious game, Black Sect being in its essence quite simple. Then again, Black Sect is ultimately more playable, with a simpler interface and easier puzzles.

CAP Distribution

100 CAPs to Ilmari

  • Blogger Award - 100 CAPs - For playing through Black Sect for everyone's enjoyment
10 CAPs to Morpheus Kitami
  • True Companion Award - 10 CAPs - For starting to play and comment on Black Sect alongside Ilmari
10 CAPs to Mayhaym
  • Psychic Prediction Award - 10 CAPs - For being the closest guesser to Black Sect PISSED rating
5 CAPs to Catel
  • Researcher Award - 5 CAPs - For compiling a database of all French graphical adventure games
3 CAPs to Arcanetrivia
  • Lucrezia Borgia Award - 3 CAPs - For fascinating details on poisonous substances
3 CAPs to Michael
  • Kitchen Utensils Award - 3 CAPs - For educating all of us of the art of knife sharpening


  1. Ooh, I was close! Thanks for the playthrough. A shame that the game isn't all that memorable.

  2. It's nice finally trying it out, but ultimately the only thing the game has going for it is how nice it looks. Shame there wasn't more to it though.

  3. Great review, Ilmari! I'd really love for you to review the early Lankhor games as missed classics someday. Some of their games - while not great adventure games, arguably - have a certain quirkiness that I find hard to resist. "NO" and "Mokowé" look particularly interesting.