Surviving (or not) my first Nightshift
I’m trying a gamebook that came out only a few weeks ago: Nightshift. It’s an interesting take on the storyline. Modern setting, but a gothic other-worldy thing. There are puzzles but no dice. There are items but no quest that I know of. I’m a medical professional, awakened from a power nap during a long and grueling night shift at the hospital…
… And everything is completely wrong.
The lights are out. The walls appear ancient, their paint peeling off and mold moving in. The only sound is dripping water. There’s a trail of blood. My coworker is lying dead at the break table. And someone large is charging toward me in the dark! The very first puzzle is here on page 1: the door code. I punch it, get in, and close the door just as the presumed murderer slams into it. Whew! The next area down the hall is the intensive care unit (ICU) so I head there to find help.
I do not find help.
The ICU is in similar shambles, but the doors have also been torn from their hinges and punched through. I make a mental note not to ask what could possibly do that, and I ring the bell on the front desk… just in case somebody is still here. There is. Tittering, whispering voices come from all around, to the effect of “hee hee, it’s another one, let’s play” gives me the heebie-jeebies and I take off running back the way I came.
Speaking of back the way I came… that door I opened back on page 1… is open.
Now I’m really creeped out, because the presumed killer is here on this side of it. But, I figure he won’t backtrack looking for me, so my best bet is the operating room past the break room where I started. On the way there, I find a cupboard in the hallway (again, not right) with a broken-open jar of leeches apparently preserved in very strong vinegar. What the heck? And scrawled into the paint across from it, is some poem about sleep or dreams or something. This place just keeps getting weirder and weirder.
I move on and find the stairwell downward. Great, a way out! The lights go out, but I persevere. Down. And down. And down… and… down some more… far more than this hospital had. Far more than any building. Far more than I could possibly ever climb back up. Eventually my strength gives out. I fall to the ground, curled up in a fetal position, and cry myself to death. My adventure ends here, in most ignominious fashion.
First published October 1, 2019. Last updated December 15, 2020.
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