That #$@%&*$ monkey! Why do those damned things even exist?
This game is in a tough spot. Kind of mild survival horror, I guess, and it’s easy to dismiss since there’s nothing major that stands out. It looks ok but not great. The puzzles get the job done but you’re not going to remember any of them for very long. It’s kind of eerie, but it won’t exactly give you nightmares.
It does a lot of small things right, though, in ways you wouldn’t necessarily expect.
The investigative reporter angle, for instance. Some games will start off with a device like that as an excuse to jump start the plot and then forget about it; but here they keep it up from start to finish. I liked that aspect, where you’re scribbling down notes with a pencil, reviewing the evidence in your little notebook and piecing a story together around each suspect. It added another layer of immersion and made solving the mystery feel more concrete.
Like i said, it’s not really that scary. Sort of medium-creepy; but once again they bring some unique stuff to the table. The 1960s setting, for one. The deserted farmhouse out in the middle of nowhere in Kansas is a pretty great place for a game like this, one that you don’t see all the time. You’re walking around the house, staring out across a wide open field under a gray sky, listening to the raindrops patter against the window and the crows squawk outside, and it does set a foreboding mood.
They make good use of silence, especially at the beginning when you’re not sure what’s going on yet. Actually, by the end I still wasn’t sure whether there was supposed to be something paranormal happening or not. They hand-waved a bunch of stuff about the subconscious or whatever, but it most of the time it seemed more like magic. Either way, I appreciated that they tried to do something different there.
When you think about it, they could have just made Generic Horror Game #357,249 to capitalize on the VR fad, but they actually came up with some novel ideas and made a real effort to carry them out in a consistent way.
That’s the story of this game, I guess. On the surface it seems like nothing special, but if you’re willing to be a little bit charitable you can find some real virtues here.
Except for that monkey. #%@& him.