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Ecstatica is third-person survival horror game for MS-DOS. Pre-dating 3D accelerators, it's distinct aesthetic is the result of its unique 'ellipsoid' based 3d rendering method used for characters and some objects within the environment. This technique rendered the various parts of an object using elliptical shapes, reducing the harsh lines and jagged edges produced by more polygon-based methods of rendering. This technique allowed Ecstatica to achieve fluid animations beyond those of its contemporary polygonal rivals.
Set in a small town and its immediate locale, Ecstatica combines elements of action and adventures games where the player must explore the environment in order to find clues and gather materials to solve puzzles. The player may choose between a male or female character, and may move through the environment by either walking, running, or sneaking. Ecstatica uses a fixed third person camera that changes perspective each time the character moves between screens. The character can only carry two items, one in each hand, at a time and the player must juggle which items they are carrying to solve environmental puzzles.
Many of the monsters encountered in Ecstatica are difficult to kill. While the player may choose to fight using a rudimentary set of melee and, eventually, ranged attacks it is often better to run and hide. Closets and baskets littered throughout the environment offer the opportunity to lay low until a monster has moved away.
Stumbling across a small town, Tirich, that has been invaded by demons a traveller must help the townspeople free themselves from an evil curse. To do so the traveller must free the young sorceress, Ecstatica, and stop the demons from possessing her.