Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hell's House (XBLIG): "An Interactive Horror Story"

I'm a huge fan of the horror genre. Whether it's in video games, or movies I love the adrenaline pumping scares that the horror genre offers. It's the kind of thing that will keep your heart beating (unless it scares you to death first ...). Halloween 2011 has come, and gone unfortunately. I had sent my request to get this game for review before Halloween had ended, but it wasn't until earlier of this week that 'BM Games (Brave Men Games/The Developer)' decided to reply to my request. It was likely due to the fact that I contacted them through Youtube, so the fault probably lies with me. Nevertheless I was glad to get the game for review. Like many of the indie games I have reviewed here, "Hell's House" offers something unique. I was glad to get the chance to experience it for myself, and share what I experienced with you (my dedicated readers).

Hell's House is a fairly straightforward, and short game. It is based on a visual story about a girl who inherited a haunted house. She decides to spend a night at the house regardless of warnings from her peers. As the gamer you get to experience first hand what the girl went through the night that she stayed at the house. The story is told through a somewhat pixelated video of the girl's account. The gameplay itself is based on button inputs similar to what you find in 'Guitar Hero' games. At certain parts of the video/story you will be required to input button sequences (X, B, Y, A) as a skull of the corresponding color passes through a circle frame at the top of the screen. You are given a certain amount of misses that are displayed as bloody marks on the girl's picture at the bottom of the screen before the game unleashes a frightening image. If you succeed in entering the button sequences properly the scene will move on without scaring the bejeezus out of you. The game features four difficulty settings (Easy, Normal, Hard, Hellish) that each get significantly harder, and require faster button inputs.

In the end I really enjoyed what "Hell's House" had to offer. While the game was relatively short in length, the game as a whole was still very impressive. I loved how 'BM Games' incorporated the signature haunted house music, and vocal sound effects within the game. Everything was put together quite nicely. The female actor that portrayed the part of the girl who inherited the haunted house did a good job in my honest opinion. She may not have said a word, but her facial expressions definitely led you to believe that she was genuinely frightened. If your looking for a good, and unique horror game experience then I definitely suggest this game as a buy. For 80 msp you are getting a heck of a deal.

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