On Stream:http://store.steampowered.com/app/426310/Perception/

About This Game



Perception is an award-winning narrative thriller about a blind woman’s journey to uncover the truth about the mansion from her nightmares, or else become one of its victims.

Using sound as her sight, Cassie explores the Estate at Echo Bluff, desperate to unravel its sordid history. But she’s not alone; a deadly entity called The Presence stalks the mansion’s halls. Cassie needs sound to be able to see, but every noise she makes draws The Presence closer. A careful balancing act is required if she wants to discover why she’s there, and why the house won’t let her – or anyone – leave.


Game Features:

•"See" using echolocation. Every sound creates a visual.
•Engage in a deadly game of hide and seek.
•Trigger radical change at the Estate at Echo Bluff each time you solve its mysteries.
•Travel back through history to exorcise your own nightmares.
•Encounter an emotional journey that spans centuries, and in the end, uplifts any underdog who had ever been told no.




Accolades:
Game of the Year 2017 – The Bit Awards
Best in Show 2017 – Boston Festival of Indie Games
Best Narrative 2017 – Boston Festival of Indie Games


“Perception is a memorable horror experience that thrives because of its unique setup and gameplay. Although more unsettling than downright terrifying, Perception managed to keep me on the edge of my seat, forcing me to solve a compelling mystery by facing what lurked in the dark.” – Game Informer, 8.25


About The Deep End Games:

Married for over 12 years, Bill and Amanda Gardner made Perception from their basement while chasing around their four wild kids. With Bill’s experience in AAA (Lead Level Designer on BioShock and Design Director on BioShock Infinite), and Amanda’s experience writing novels, the two put together a AAA-pedigree team with an indie attitude.
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7 (64-bit)
    • Processor: Dual core CPU @2.4 GHz +
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 470 GTX or Radeon 6870
    • Storage: 7 GB available space
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CorvusCorax

Posted: November 18, 2018
From Irrational Games to Deep End

I remember how this software was advertised a couple of years ago. That people leaving Irrational Games (creators of BioShock) were working on a new title. This is always catchy when they refer to other companies so that you can expect that great talents are working on an upcoming video game. Now, to a certain degree Perception was self-funded. Eventually, Deep End launched a campaign on Kickstarter to obtain the missing sum which they managed to get.

Your weapon: echolocation

What makes Perception unique is that the protagonist – Cassie, visiting a mansion she often sees in her dreams – is blind. This explains why you see only one or two colours (beside pitch black) and their different tones around you. Now, what makes the game interesting is how Cassie can hit the floor with her cane. The resulting sound creates echos which are then used to "draw up" our surroundings. Cassie’s footsteps also do the same so you do not have to be constantly tapping your cane. In addition to this, the mansion has objects that generate sound such as TVs or radios or even the wind that comes through a window left open. As an additional note human echolocation does exist – reports on this date back to the 18th century so this concept is not nonsense, at all.

Not turning a blind eye on survival horror

Cassie is not invincible and while the cane is good for exploration it is inefficient against the ghosts wandering the mansion. To make the game more challenging these phantoms are very sensitive to the tap we make with our cane. Our environment gradually turns yellow then orange and, eventually, red when the so-called Presence starts roaming the area to capture us. This is our moment to find a safe spot and hide. This is survival horror at its best!

As for the story? Cassie has 4 chapters to uncover the mysteries associated with the families that once lived in the mansion. Recording devices can be found that shed more light on these families when listened to. I particularly enjoyed when Cassie had the option to use her phone to scan a letter whose text was then read aloud by her smart phone app. Later on we can use a special service – calling an operator to let us know what can be seen on the photos taken by our phone.

Conclusion

Perception is one of those games that goes the extra mile to show us something unique. The idea of using echolocation makes it an excellent video game. It has a couple of bugs here and there (one in Chapter 1 can make you start all over again) but nothing game-breaking and while Cassie’s story is a tad bit rough around the edges the game can still be interesting enough to complete it in one sitting. I highly recommend that you try it – if you loved BioShock you’ll appreciate the references here and there.

kris.aalst

Posted: February 23
Perception is a first-person adventure game I’m on the fence about. On the one hand, it has a bland and confusing story, and lackluster graphics. On the other hand, it does have a decently spooky atmosphere and a great soundtrack. Also note that this game is full of jumpscares, which is something you either like or dislike.

Usually, when I’m not too enthousiastic about a game, I tend to go with ‘not recommended’ because… well, because of the meaning of the action verb ‘to recommend’. But when it comes to Perception, a thumbs down wouldn’t feel right because when I think about it, Perception is a unique game I definitely may revisit some day. So let’s call it a cautious recommendation and allow me to elaborate below.


Story

You play as Cassie, a blind woman who is plagued by nightmares about an old, abandoned mansion. So she gets on a plane and travels to the mansion to confront her nightmares.

Perception tries hard to tell a story but it’s paper-thin and very confusing. Adding to the confusion, the game invites you to listen to messages on Cassie’s phone and to text-to-speech versions of notes you find around the mansion, but they are unrelated to the actual story of Perception. Apparently, those messages have something to do with people who backed the game on Kickstarter. A wink to your benefactors in the form of an easter egg in your game? Sure. But a multitude of terribly trivial and boring messages about nothing at all, which the player has to sit through for one of the achievements to pop? Bad move.

Having played Perception, I resent the fact that the developer advertises the game as "inspired by true events". At the very end of the game, this statement is explained briefly and it had me scoffing. So as not to spoil anything, I’ll compare it to the following: Perception is inspired by true events just as the fairy tale of ‘Red Riding Hood’ is. I mean, some girls have grandmothers and some forests have wolves in them. So there you have it! By the developer’s definition of "inspired by true events", every single story ever written or told is inspired by true events. George Lucas got the idea for Chewbacca while driving his car and looking at his dog Indy in the passenger’s seat next to him. So clearly, Star Wars was inspired by true events!


Gameplay

Cassie can ‘see’ by means of echolocation. Like a bat, she’s able to form an image of her surroundings in her mind by listening to the way soundwaves move across a room, bounce off objects in the room and then back to her. So if a door slams shut, Cassie can clearly ‘see’ the door and its immediate surroundings. When she taps her cane, she can ‘see’ what’s immediately in front of her. If she taps her cane loudly and repeatedly, she can almost ‘light up’ an entire room, BUT… then she’ll also wake up whatever evil is slumbering in the mansion she’s trapped in!

Because of these mechanics, you’ll have to find a way to tap Cassie’s cane from time to time, just often enough to find your way around the mansion, while being careful not to tap the cane too often. If you make too much noise, a terrible Game Over Monster (referred to only as ‘the Presence’) will come find you. There are a few spots in the mansion where you can hide from the Presence until it gives up and disappears. What happens when the Presence catches you, is decided by the difficulty mode you select. On the hardest difficulty, it’s actually game over. On normal mode, you’re set back to your last checkpoint. I’m not sure about easy mode, but from the description it seems you can freely explore the mansion and pretty much make all the noise you want. Note: I wouldn’t recommend playing on easy mode, because it sounds deeply boring.

Sometimes, you’ll come across a locked door that requires a key to open. So you’ll have to explore the mansion looking for that key or for another item that’ll allow you to continue. Perception doesn’t require any real puzzling, unless you consider finding your way around a mansion and finding keys puzzle-solving. More often than not, you can press a button on your keyboard or controller to highlight your next target, which helps a lot.

The echolocating / cane-tapping mechanic is original and feels adequately refreshing by way of gameplay. It does get old faster than I’d have thought, but the game isn’t very long (about 4 to 6 hours, depending on playstyle) so that’s fine.

The game’s atmosphere is fairly creepy. As is the threat of summoning the Presence, and especially the way that thing sounds when it’s hunting you. The downside is that much of the creepy atmosphere results from you running around in the dark for fear of making too much noise.


Graphics and sound

Don’t let the screenshots and the movies on the store page fool you: the game doesn’t really look like that. The occasional part of the game does, but at least 80% of the time you’ll be stumbling around in the dark, and the only bit of light on your screen will be right at Cassie’s feet or in a corner of the room where a hissing radiator is creating some ‘light’.

Although the idea of showing the player an interpretation of what a blind person might see if he or she were able to use echolocation is commendable and interesting, it doesn’t take long before you get the feeling you’re missing literally everything the game’s surroundings could have shown you. The whole mansion and everything in it is replaced with blue and green lines that outline objects. As soon as you get over the first impression of Perception‘s graphics, the graphics will look bland and uninteresting for the rest of the game, which is unfortunate.

The soundtrack, however, is one of Perception‘s strong points. The ambient sounds are often genuinely creepy and the background music is of terrific quality, fitting the atmosphere of the game very well. There are a couple of full-fledged songs in the game, performed by a band called Dearest Pinky, a band I’d never heard of but whose style reminded me a bit of atmospheric metal by bands like Therion and After Forever.

Perception‘s voice actors all do a decent job. There isn’t really a worthy narrative with lots of character development for the actors to draw from, but they deliver the lines professionally and well above par for an indie game like this.


On Steam’s extra features

Perception has no Steam Trading Cards.

The 33 Steam Achievements are varied enough. Some are story-related and unmissable. Some are granted for finding a series of ‘collectibles’ in each of the four chapters of the game. Some are entirely optional, encouraging the use of a guide. And some are actual achievements, awarded for feats like completing the game on the highest difficulty mode or for playing through the entire game without ever tapping Cassie’s cane.

ZombieOwl

Posted: June 4, 2017
Let me start by saying I waited a very, VERY long time for this game. I learned about it in 2014 and have waited ever since. When I first started playing it, I was scared I’d be disappointed as there was a lot of I was unsure of. There are a few things that ended up making the game not live up to what I had hoped for, sadly, but there was still a lot I found great about it.

Pros:
– Unique style. Playing as a blind character was definately unique and interesting as was the look and feel of this game.
– Good storyline. This was something I was unsure of at first but it ended up coming together at the end and I truly enjoyed it.
– Atmosphere. The atmosphere was real creepy at times and I definitely found myself on edge at certain parts in the game.

Cons:
– Length. I did feel as though the game was a little on the short side. This wasn’t a huge deal to me since I kind of expected it.
– Replay value. Sadly, it has none. Maybe they’ll put out a DLC or something.
– Lack of threat (my biggest complaint). The game lacks threat, in my opinion. Part of being a good horror game is scaring the player and keeping them nervous. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really do that. I died once and that was just because I wasn’t paying attention. Aside from the third chapter, your odds of being flat out attacked, chased, or harmed by anything aren’t likely. There were a few times were I even purposely did things to cause a creature to come (never worked or would go away almost instantly). The one time I got chased by something, it stopped just short of me and turned around to leave. Although, there is a creepy atmosphere and a few things that send chills/goosebumps, the overall threat and fear is not there in the game. I wish they had added a harder difficulty just to offer a more challenging and scary experience.

Overall, I DO recommend the game. It is neat and unique, so I find it worth a try. I don’t regret buying or playing it. I just feel slightly disappointed as my expectations were very high.

Azralynn

Posted: June 1, 2017
See written review below or watch it here: https://youtu.be/IpnswJH9cL4
THIS IS A MIXED/NEUTRAL REVIEW! TL;DR: SKIP TO CONCLUSION!

Perception is an atmospheric horror adventure game, where you play as a blind woman. Even though you can’t see, you have extremely heightened senses that allow you to see using echolocation. You set off alone to investigate an abandoned mansion you saw in your dreams. After venturing inside, a ghost-like presence starts to haunt you. Unable to escape the house, you begin to unravel the mysteries of Echo Bluff, and learn the truth behind the deaths of its previous inhabitants that spanned over generations.

To ‘see’ around you, and make your way through the mansion, you’ll need to tap your cane on the ground to create sound. It’s an interesting twist on games that are typically just set in dark places. The range on the echolocation is very large, and most things are visible as if you could see clearly. This echolocation ability has no cooldown, and you can spam it as much or as little as you’d like. I’d even say that it gives too much visibility.

The other activated ability you have is called sense. Sense allows you to see what your next objective is and where it is located. This also lets you see your goal through walls, so you know where to go, but have to find the way to get there.

A lot of the game feels like a walking simulator with jump scares scattered through it. There are a couple enemies that you encounter. I admit that the dolls are pretty creepy, but the main enemy is ‘the presence’ that haunts you. When the presence aggros you, everything turns red, and you need to run and find a hiding spot. The presence was intimidating at first, and it felt pretty tense, but as the game progressed, the presence became a mere nuisance.

Pros:
  • unique gameplay mechanics to ‘see’ around you using echolocation and sense
  • the way that the mysteries and stories unfold is interesting
  • very appealing graphics style – the way that everything is lit up and revealed by sound looks neat, especially when the wind is blowing
  • music and ambience are very effective at creating an immersive atmosphere that feels very eerie and tense (at first)
  • some of the voice acting is decent (but some of it is not, such as the children’s voices)

Cons:
  • some massive plot holes, and some other smaller things that make no sense
  • as the game progresses, the tension sort of dies off as the gameplay loses its charm
  • aside from the initial tension, and a couple jump scares, the ‘horror’ aspects are very underwhelming (the pursuits feel anti-climatic, and having to run and hide is just an inconvenience that wasn’t even remotely scary)
  • (nitpick) some issues with audio tracks overlapping each other and playing at the same time
  • (nitpick) keyboard and mouse controls are not customizable (but most people will be okay with the defaults WASD, C, space, control, M1), and there is only partial controller support
  • (nitpick) respawn locations if you die are sometimes really far back from where you were (it’s better to exit to menu and then resume to start back closer to where you originally died)

The game took me a bit over 3 hours to finish, and that was with me getting stuck for roughly 15 minutes after I died once, when I got lost trying to find my way back.

Purchase:
Perception is an okay game. While it has a really cool concept and unique style that draws you in early on, the gameplay doesn’t hold up long term. The horror elements fall flat quickly, and aside from a few jump scares here and there, a lot of the game play feels more like a walking simulator. If you’re looking for a horror game, you’ll probably want to look elsewhere. If you’re just looking to experience the echolocation gameplay and story, keep in mind that the game is very short, and you might want to wait for a sale price.

If you like my reviews, please feel free to join my Steam group, and follow my curations here.
You can also view this review on my website here.[www.azralynn.com]

Lincoln Balloon

Posted: June 10, 2017
This is a hard review to write. I want to like Perception much more than I do, but it just doesn’t all tie together as neatly as it should.

Indeed the big draw of the game is the perspective. You play as Cassandra, a woman who is blind but has the Daredevil-esque power of echolocation in that she can use sound as a way to "see" the environment around her. She can tap her cane to create a burst of sound and, in a sense, illuminate the room. It’s a very interesting gameplay mechanic and the art style highlights it well. Everything is highlighted in an ethereal blue when sound bounces off of it. The walk up to the mansion at the start of the game is truly haunting, with the contours of the house outlined by the sound of the wind hitting it.

It’s a shame then that this unique idea wound up in a game that doesn’t compliment it well.

The story is as follows: a mansion has been haunting Cassandra’s dreams and she feels compelled to go find it. Once she finds it and gets inside, spooky stuff happens.

Things start off well enough. We get little flashbacks into Cassie’s life, giving us a sense for where she comes from and who she is. And Cassie is a very likeable character. She’s a little chatty though, which can grate on some people (although there is an option to keep her quiet except for plot critical scenes). These little flashbacks give us a more personal tether for the game and help us connect with Cassie’s plight. But after the first ten or fifteen minutes, they disappear completely. The majority of the game is then wandering the mansion and hearing the woeful tales of those who lived there. The stories are decent enough (although the third chapter I felt was weak and too different in tone from the others). It just never feels as impactful as it wants to be, especially at the end when it tries to tie everything together.

The gameplay doesn’t do much better. Perception is billed as a horror game, but it doesn’t take advantage of the character’s unique perspective to scare you. Instead, it uses fairly stock jumpscare moments with things popping out at you. Not only that, but there’s a ghostly presence that stalks you throughout the game. After a little while the game tells you that "the house is listening", which means that if you create too much noise the presence will find and kill you. But it’s never really much of an issue. I made it through the entire game without summoning the presence outside of the scripted moments (except for maybe once, but I can’t be sure that wasn’t scripted too). Instead of feeling like a threat, it feels like an annoyance that gets in the way of your exploration.

Honestly, the game would have been better without the presence. The game plays like a walking simulator as it is, so why not go all the way with it?

In the end, Perception isn’t a bad game, but I wouldn’t say it’s a great one either. It’s a mediocre adventure that starts to wear out its welcome by the end, which is not a good thing for a three to four hour game. I still recommend it, even just for the echolocation mechanic alone. But it’s hard to not feel a little saddened by the waste of potential.

ErbanVision

Posted: July 16, 2017
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1063765116
Perception is a game developed by the The Deep End Games.
Story follows Cassie a blind woman haunted by vision of a strange house.
She decides to go on a quest to visit the location of this house to figure out what does vision mean. she enters the house and the Horror begins.

Perception is divided into 4 chapters each showcasing different eras of the house.
The lore is very interesting and there’s not much repetition in the chapter at hand which is great.
The problem that perception has is about it’s horror element. Some of the monster encounter are very scripted and the solution to survive is often close by. It would’ve been appreciated an emphasis on supenses when it come to the monster encounter.

The campaign is also very short i finnish the title under 4hrs
The gameplay itself is interesting and can look innovative at time.
The Xray vission of Cassie is very reminiscent of the x ray system in the Arkham series.
The level design can be confusing but that is to be expected considering the limitation of the gameplay. The story is great but it’s does end on a weird note, you never get the feeling of having followed a full story ark it’s feels more like an intro which is disappointing.
Cassie is a very interesting character she has a lot of personality and is a strong female protagonist

6.9/10 Verdict: Perception is flawed but still manages to be enjoyable.

mnemos

Posted: August 2, 2017
The house envelops you like a cocoon. It creaks and groans around you, shivering with malign intent. When you anger it, it seems to expand and contract around you, manifesting its discontent in the form of squealing stairs and hissing radiators. Every step and tap of your cane you send ripples reverberating through its floorboards and rafters, briefly illuminating the space around you with a pale blue glow before fading back to black. If there’s one element a game like Perception absolutely needs to get right, it’s the sound design, and in this one area it’s an unqualified success. In every other respect, its not quite as assured.

Let’s start with the horror, because Perception is ostensibly a horror game; ostensibly because it doesn’t even seem convinced of this itself. Sure, there’s an evil presence stalking you (called… The Presence), and the mansion is riddled with nooks and crannies for you to hide away in until it passes, but it’s clear almost immediately that this is not where the game’s heart lies. The Presence only ever appears when you start tapping your cane about like a madwoman (I triggered it two or maybe three times in my entire playthrough), and even once it rears its shrouded head it’s only a matter of stowing yourself away under bed or in a crate for a few seconds until it passes. As far as malevolent guardians of haunted spaces go, its only slightly less threatening than the ghosts of Luigi’s Mansion.

It also commits one of the cardinal sins of horror, mistaking sudden loud noises and creepy little girls as substitutes for legitimate scares. These are never frightening beyond the surface level, and it doesn’t help that the game sometimes fails to trigger them properly; more than once, I heard a sound cue which suggested something scary happening somewhere, only to scan my surroundings and see… nothing. This does not aid in sustaining the atmosphere of the game. There are moments when it does approach something genuinely unnerving, usually when it grounds its supernatural elements in more human stories of suffering at the hands of an indifferent system. I strongly suspect these moments were meant to form the backbone of the story and lend the whole affair some thematic cohesion, but in actuality they act more as oases in a desert of jump-scares.

Speaking of the story, that’s what’s really going to determine whether or not you enjoy Perception. For me, the answer was a distinct, “sort of?” It’s delivered in standard walking-simulator mode, with the player exploring the mansion in first-person and examining objects for snippets of dialogue or story. It’s split into four chapters, and although some are better than others, they all have the same pitfalls. Characters are thinly written, usually given exactly one character trait (intellectual, pious, determined) before they’re thrust into the larger plot. The writing is oddly inconsistent, with a few stray lines sounding too modern for their era, and standing out all the more for how period-appropriate everything surrounding them is is. The voice acting is probably the strongest story element, with a handful of excellent performances, but even this is marred by a lack of tonal consistency; is Perception a harrowing psychodrama, a pulpy thriller, or a campy period piece? No one seems entirely sure, and this leads to performances that feel like they could be from different games.

I’d be willing to overlook all of this if the central story of Perception were compelling enough, but it mostly feels like an afterthought. It gets off to a shaky start, dropping the protagonist, Cassie, in front of the mansion with almost no exposition beyond some vague comments about her having seen the place in a dream, and then very quickly delves into the mansion’s past. Cassie herself is generally likable, though she has an irritating tendency to state the obvious, and she’s very much the character in the horror movie who does not understand that she’s in a horror movie. Everyone involved is also bizarrely nonchalant about the fact that Cassie is trapped in a haunted mansion with an evil spirit that’s trying to kill her; there are two characters you call on Cassie’s cell phone at various points throughout the game (yes, apparently you still get service even while in a state of temporal flux) and only one of them even halfheartedly attempts to convince her to leave. Even Cassie, upon realizing she’s trapped, sounds more like they ran out of her preferred brand of yogurt at the grocery store than as if her immortal soul is in danger of being devoured. And then there’s the final act, when Cassie’s story finally becomes relevant after being sidelined for the rest of the game; I won’t spoil it, but I will say it’s so mind-numbingly stupid that it actually made the rest of the game seem worse in retrospect.

So if it’s not a good horror game, and it doesn’t tell a worthwhile story, what exactly are Perception’s selling points supposed to be? Well, it can be quite pretty, even though it stubbornly shrouds its environments in darkness for most of the game. There are also elements of The Presence that I like, even if he’s too much of a narcoleptic to make a good antagonist; in particular I liked the use of moths and the sound of their wings as motifs – it’s unique, it’s creepy, and Perception could badly use more of both. And some of the individual chapters stand on their own well, divorced from the rest of the story. It’s these moments that make the game’s failures that much more frustrating, because they hint at what a better version of Perception would look like and how close that was to being achieved. But it wasn’t and far too often Perception is just plain boring: that’s a bad look for a horror game.

BlueRaja

Posted: March 11
Follow "First Person Exploration and Puzzle Games" for more games like this!
A horror game about a blind woman who navigates a haunted house using echolocation. The game has two modes – "horror mode", where you run away and hide from a monster; and "walking simulator mode" where you’re free to explore the creepy house and discover the story without worrying about dying. As a huge walking simulator fan, I played the latter.

The story is decent, though the ending is obvious. Exploring the house is great, though it would be nice if there were more to discover than a few papers and audio logs. There are a few moments where the transition from "horror game" to "walking simulator" wasn’t very smooth (particularly the dolls that shoot at you). The game takes about 3 hours to beat.

However, overall the game is good. If you’re a Walking Simulator fan looking for a spooky experience, this is one of the best options available.

RVD_IDO

Posted: December 27, 2018
After months or even a year sitting in my wishlist I finally bought the game. Thought I can finish it soon, but the game is too spooky for me. I’ll beat it months later I think (I’m serious though), almost had a heart attack at the very first door slam so I need to take a break xD. This is even way more scarier than Alien Isolation that took me almost 4 months to finish it lmao.

What makes this game scary? Well, you play as Cassie, a blind girl, here you’ll see her perception about how the world works around her, with a very very limited "visions", everything is 95% dark, see what I mean? I really really love the concept, also it has great voice acting, immersive graphics or artwork I’d say, great jumpscare(s), not sure about the whole story but at the very beginning it’s all well explained, anyway it’s 9/10 from me, thank you!

Killerzone

Posted: November 17, 2017
Ahhhh, I remember seeing this game on kickstarter and missing the chance to help out what looked to be an interesting game. I played a similar game called Papa Sangre on the iphone a long time ago and, while that game was overall mediocre, the chance to revisit a sound-based game was riveting! Saw it on sale and decided to give a whirl with the good reviews it got. Sadly though, I ended up being disappointed by the end at the missed potential this game had going for it.

Pros:
Cool concept
Solid Sound design
Interesting protagonist

Cons:
Weak story
Short game
Weak game mechanics

I’ll break this down into a couple short segments.

STORY:

The game’s biggest selling point here besides the echolocation mechanic. The overall story is about a character named Cassandra who visits a manor in Boston that has been haunting her dreams lately. The dreams point out 4 distinct items within the manor that the character has to locate and use to figure out the story behind the mansion. Throughout the visit, she finds the place is haunted and an entity known as "The Presence" is haunting the grounds and trying to find and kill her. She also runs into some ghosts as she explores the manor. This is the general basis of the game and, while it starts off intriguing and exciting, it starts to run out of steam real fast. The story has 4 chapters that focus on each of the distinct items that holds significance to each person that used to live in the manor. The first chapter develops one particular item but the later chapters don’t and you find that you are merely going from point A to point B until the game says your done. There is optional exploration to develop the character’s story. However, I feel the overall development of each character falls flat as each proceeding chapter is shorter and shorter. By the end, you’ll most likely not remember or cared for those characters that the game tries to focus on during each individual chapter. The only character really developed is Cassandra, the protagonist.

Also doesn’t help that the game’s mechanics don’t help to develop the story whatsoever in interesting ways and makes the whole thing feel more gamey in that sense. With a game that is built around its story, immersion is very important and I found myself feeling less and less immersed as the game dragged on. By the 3rd chapter, I lost interest and the horror elements fell apart by then.

GAMEPLAY & ATMOSPHERE:

To give credit, the game has a pretty solid start. At least they get you into the game itself pretty well as I found the blind mechanic and the introduction to the enemy well done. I felt pretty scared and powerless by then but once you figure out the quirk behind the enemy’s mechanic, all tension is lost. They use the phrase "The house is listening (no longer)" to signify when the enemy is active or not. Had he been a more active/patrol-style type enemy, it would have worked a LOT better, because you can see where he is due to the noises he makes. Sadly, they don’t develop this enemy whatsoever and he turns into just another mechanic to limit your vision because why not? I mean, the cane itself becomes tiresome after a while when the game just doesn’t become more interesting after the first chapter or so. Of course, there are additional enemies that appear in chapter 3 but I found them to be uninspired and dumb. It would have been cooler if they were used in more subtle matters like at the beginning of chapter 3 (appearing outside a door or taunting you with phrases) rather than turn into mobs with guns. Overall, the gameplay mechanics are shallow and it is basically a walking simulator with the occassion tap and simple puzzles. I did find a couple puzzles interesting towards the later ends of chapter 3 and I wish there could have been more of that throughout the game. As for the echolocation mechanic, since you are blind, the entire game is pitch black. To find your bearings, you use the cane and your footsteps to echo sounds off of and get an idea of your surroundings. This mechanic is kind of boring and shallow as it is just a means to an end. Not trying to deter them from doing this in the future but I do wish the blind mechanic could have been more involved like losing the cane for real (instead of a game mode) or having to sac your echo (vision) to keep quiet. Sound design could have been more involved too but sadly, the sounds don’t really develop either beyond the first chapter nor is it a major mechanic focus of the game. Just some spooky sounds here and there.

With weak gameplay and weak story, the atmosphere of the game falls apart. It starts off strong and then just disintergrates as the game drags on. It would have been better if they didn’t include "The Presence" or try to use it more uniquely. Heck, you could have used the whole house to your advantage with rearranging rooms and whatnot but they don’t. Since it is haunted after all, the developers could have taken more chances with it but played it super safe and overall, brought the game down. Without the atmosphere developed, you can’t really be immersed into the game and be in her shoes and that creates a weak game.

OVERALL:

The potential was there. I won’t deny that, I thought it had something strong going for it and it just devolve into the same repeated horror cliche mechanics we have seen a dozen times now. Spooky noises, creaky wood, little doll girls, haunted objects, etc etc. The end message was nice and all and I appreciate that the game was dedicated to those kinds of people, but it is a video game in the end. Asking for 23 bucks (15 bucks would have been more appropriate in my opinion) just to have 4 hours of walking through a house with a weak story and a message at the end, developers could have done better. If they end up doing something similar in the future, I hope they bring more to the table as they have the means to do it, just need to take those risks.

Final Verdict: 4/10