With the transition from adventure to three-dimensional performance, as well as the focus on full control over the characters, classic point & click games have fallen into the background. However, 24 years ago, one game provided a kind of swan song of that genre. It was Sanitarium - an unusual appearance of psychological horror in the shoes of PnC adventure, but also a brutally bizarre and somewhat morbid title that we fondly remember today.
The Sanitarium begins with Max, the character you play, on the verge of a revolutionary discovery, but rushing home to explain everything to his wife, he falls into a car accident that ends up in a coma. What follows is waking up in a mysterious madhouse without any memory of what happened and thus one's own identity, and the rest of the game can be briefly described as one big nightmare.
Is Max stuck in hell or is it all may be the result of his conscience, perception of reality, and ideologies starting to mix? The answer to that question is left to the player to ultimately arrange himself as best he can. While there is certainly a unique correct answer, chances are that each player will still come to his own. It was a mature title with which one could have a fair amount of fun, but also thoroughly study its cryptic themes and the symbols it depicts.
The game was a commercial success, selling more than 300,000 copies, but the Sanitarium developer, unfortunately, closed its doors in 2001. The legacy of Sanitarium is still alive, so in 2015 the team from the DotEmu group managed to switch the game to the iOS platform, so today you can play it on mobile devices if modern operating systems give you headaches.
One of the original developers of Sanitarium 2013 launched a Kickstarter project entitled Shades of Sanity which was to serve as a spiritual sequel to Sanitarium. As it usually ends with most such ventures - the idea somehow did not pass, even though Sanitarium received solid praise in its time, and the fact that it is still among the favorites of many PnC adventurers.