REVIEW: If on a Winter’s Night, Four Travelers

REVIEW: If on a Winter’s Night, Four Travelers

An extraordinary pixel art masterpiece that is incredibly impressive in all aspects.

Released: Steam
Type: Single-player
Genre: Point & Click Adventure
Developer: Dead Idle Games
Publisher: Dead Idle Games
Release date: 21 Sep, 2021


If on a Winter’s Night, Four Travelers, is a FREE gothic pixel art point and click adventure, chronicling the tales of three people experiencing unfortunate events.

Finding yourself aboard a moving train, and embroiled in the reverence of a masked ball, you unsuccessfully try and recollect how you got there. A man seated, notices your confusion and enquires about your predicament. You explain that you cannot remember how you got on the train and begin to tell the gentleman your last memories. As he finishes telling his story, a lady passenger interrupts and confesses she has no memory of boarding the train either, and when a third traveler collaborates, it becomes apparent there is a connection between the three.

The story returns to the train after each traveler’s tale has been told.

The story is told in three acts and concentrates on each of the travelers in turn. We learn of events preceding their arrival on the train.


Gameplay follows your typical point and click adventures, yet inventory items are very scarce and objects you do pick up are mostly used on the spot, and immediately. There isn’t much hoarding of items and there’s no combining or manipulating items in your inventory.

Each character can examine interactable objects which will invoke a text reaction. The old-fashioned cursor, which was the staple of old pixel art games of the past, will turn red if any object is noteworthy. You won’t be able to use the space bar to highlight items of interest.

The space bar doesn’t highlight active objects but moving your cursor over an interactable object will turn it red

As usual, examine everything to progress. Some items will reveal new information which will unlock progression or hint at puzzle solutions.

There are puzzles in each of the three stories which are of moderate difficulty, but nothing a seasoned adventurer can’t handle. A lot of them require you to remember events and repeat the order and some rely on environmental clues like information from pictures, letters or books.

The characters are quite slow walking around the screens, especially in the second act, and there is no fast exit or running mechanics. The areas are not that large, but it can get a little frustrating in act two because there is a little backtracking.

The game took me four and a half hours to complete to one hundred percent but one playthrough takes around two and a half hours.


The graphics are absolutely mind blowing. The amount of detail they have managed to portray with such a basic canvas is astonishing, and there are so many moments of awe.

The subtitle of the game is “A Tale of Dark and Troubling Things” and it certainly is very macabre in feel.

Direction and screenplay are also phenomenal with some spectacular shots and different angles keeping every moment fresh and exciting.


There are some beautiful tunes played in some of the acts, which you will be humming afterwards, and the special effect noises are superb.

Just playing the harp sounds amazing.

There is no voice acting but this is perfectly understandable for a free game and it really isn’t missed or needed.

🤔Overall Impressions🤔

It’s difficult to put into words how atmospheric this game is, but WOW it is incredible, thanks to the jaw dropping pixel art and the wonderful sound effects. I was unbelievably impressed with how much detail they crammed in, and there were so many wonderful touches that looked so simple, but were so effective. This is the nicest pixel art I have seen in a free game and it easily rivals the best pixel art around in any price bracket. The sound effects are also top drawer and add so much intrigue to proceedings. I was captivated from start to finish.

The tales are stunningly macabre and have a distinct Lovecraftian feel about them. Some are very bleak, and scattered with gruesome scenes. It was difficult to watch but strangely alluring, and always satisfying. Among all the dark and troubling moments, there were some lighter moments but they are few and far between.

This was a very dark scene but portrayed magnificently. The atmosphere and sense of dread was tangible.
There is some light relief especially in act one but it turns very dark in subsequent acts.

Apart from act one, which is short but completely dialogue based, the other stories relate to personal demons, and not much dialogue is uttered between characters at all. This is unusual for a point and click adventure where dialogue is the bread and butter of the experience. The dialogue is relayed between the character and their thoughts and actions, and is cleverly effective in its storytelling. It was a fresh and interesting approach and one which I enjoyed immensely.

There is lots of dialogue in act one and you can even play both characters if you play the scene again. Something which I’d recommend.

The puzzles weren’t incredibly imaginative but they fitted into the story very well. If you examine everything then you shouldn’t have too much difficulty in solving them. I don’t think the puzzles are the main draw in this game. The story and the atmosphere are the clear winners.

The screenshot button skips dialogue and doesn’t take screenshots with the text present.

If you are interested in gaining all of the achievements then you’ll need a guide. Most of them can be guessed by the generous descriptions, but there are a few which will require help. There is only one save and no chapter select so be careful where you save or else you might have to start the game from the beginning again.


If on a Winter’s Night, Four Travelers is the most impressive point and click adventure I have played for a long time, and it’s FREE.

Do yourself a favor and drop everything to play this.

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