SHJOS, Is It Worth a Sequel/Prequel?
At the end of the game there is a message that said,"Did You Seriously Think That Was The End?". It was strongly hinting at a sequel/prequel of the game which made me wonder if there should be one. So, I decided to review the game and review and see if it would be worth it.
The review will cover the synopsis, personal thoughts, the enemies (as there is only 13), and most importantly the gameplay but, I will not speculate on the sequel/prequel. This is only my thoughts of the game, and it's not meant to demote the game.
You play an unnamed history enthusiast who has heard rumors about an old and creepy mansion up on a hill where townspeople go and never comeback. Even the towns oldest can't remember the mansions orgins. Your curiousity gets the best of you so you head towards the mansion unaware of the danger that lerks ahead. As soon as you enter the mansion you are greeted by the ghost of a 12 year old who calls herself, Spooky, and she says, "Can you humble player, make it through a 1000 rooms?" Soon after the player goes into the first room, and they're unaware of danger that lerks down from below (or something like that).
'Personal Thoughts (The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly)
The first time I heard of this game was in late December of 2014 and started playing it after watching a "Let's Play" of the first 100 rooms in early January of this year. I took the 1000 room challenge and made it through 549 rooms, only to be met with a message telling me the game was incomplete. This meant to me the game had been rushed and released unfinished, even though it was free and an Indie game. The monsters so far up till that point (specimens 2-7) were just ones you ran away from and required no skill except to simply run away from them. Also, your stamina bar would always refill in the next room with specimen 6 being the only exception in which you had to face it. Certain tiles would be missing from the walls at times, and the monsters would sometimes glitch into the wall, unable to move until exiting the next room. Specimen 5 would never kill me but instead leave the chase right before it finished me off. Intentionally, I would let it slash me so I wouldn't have to navigate through the annoying thick fog that it created. I gave the game a fair chance until Febuary and gave up on it. I dismissed it as a game that would get loads of hype, only to have a dissapointing pay off or probably even never get updated like some other games.
Then I found it again in late June to find it not only it had now 760 rooms, but it would be finished within less than a month. So thus, I tried it again. All the problems I found previously were gone like specimen 5 had no longer had that thick fog but instead turned the walls into a fleshy color. Specimen 7's glitch had been fixed with it instead of being just a wall. It's now what it was suppose to be. Specimen 3 and 6 no longer got stuck in the walls when they spawned. The game now had a varitey of monsters with there own unique rooms just to that specfic specimen along with build up until you saw the monster itself. The game reminded me of Eversion of how it reminded me it be begins cute but soon turns to something scary. It did almost everything right that I want in a horror game displaying a cheerful and happy facade but only to slowly descend into something morbid. The Enemies didn't have too much of one but it was a good build which is something I particularly like in games. It was properly treating them as more than simple obstacles but not to much build as if they're a vital character. I was proven wrong on what I thought of the game earlier and would definitely be looking forward to a sequel or prequel.
Sometimes between x51-x99, there can be no monsters at all except for the cardboard cutouts. I feel as if something more could have been added to these rooms to actually make it feel like 1000 rooms and not repeating them. The extra doors in filler rooms mean nothing, and I don't understand as to why those rooms exist. The story is almost non-existent and can be written out entirely.
Specimen 1- Being the first specimen you encounter, it does not harm you but creates a funny little jumpscare. I like these kinds of jump scares as they are mostly cute and not scary, and I think that the developers had this in mind as their main method of not frightning people despite it being very frequent. Thus, saving the frights for chases with better suited specimens. I like this because other games rely on jump scares too much for things that are actually meant to be scary but this parodies that idea by replacing it with something cute.
Specimen 2- This specimen gives the player a taste of what's to come since it being the first specimen to be able to kill you. This specimen is generic at best but I think it's meant to be that way so it makes the player aware that the worse is still yet to come and now they have only started to descend into Spooky's House of Death. It's not all hate for this unwanted lubglub, as it is still better then Specimen 3.
Specimen 3- Specimen 3 is one I feel is a lost cause as it is not easily over shadowed by other specimens in terms of giving chase. It doesn't run and when it spawns, the player will already be in the next room.This one has no tactic to invoke fear, except for the tapping when first encountered. On top of that, I feel it is not scary since it doesn't even have a death screen.
Specimen 4- This is the first specimen with an actually horrifying death screen when first encountered. "Ringu" brings something new to the table. This specimen shows true horror with death scences like this, however, you still just run from her until the music stops. Though to specimen 4's credit, her build up rooms show that anything can hurt you really, even shadows.
Specimen 5- Despite being based off Pyarmid Head, you can actually just walk away from this one. If it wasn't for the fleshy walls, this would easily be my least favorite.
Specimen 6- The first specimen that does not feature the run the like hell tactic. Specimen 6 has a rather interesting build and the notes make you feel bad for "Ben" at first up until you learn he's a backstabber figuretively and literally. Specimen 6 lets the player know that they can't just run away from monsters anymore which is a nice touch and it's death scene is the best by far.
Specimen 7- Being the first Specimen with a one hit kill, it's not the monster that's scary as much but rather the cryptic cat that materalizes out of thin air.
Specimen 8- Specimen 8 is the first specimen to be given dialouge showing that they're not just mindless monsters and they know what they are doing. Its "childern" were a nice touch even though specimen 4's build up rooms had the first minor enemies which were only there for cosmetic reasons where the creatures in specimen 8's build up rooms pose an actual threat. The music is the best of the specimens with the violin filling the empitness of the music so it's not just static. It sounds like it came from a vitrola and all the sounds were just wonderful.
Specimen 9- Being a SOUR LEMON specimen 9 has TAKEN THE DEAD TO somewhere unknown.
Specimen 10- Once upon time, an eel like creature had a parasite that looks like 'The Thing. 'The End. Seriously though I love the twist in that Specimen 10 is actually a parasite as this was the only specimen actually to invoke fear into me the first time I saw it. I like the idea of it being able to change forms at will and the player is actually punished for swinging an axe at it by it transforming, unlike Specimen 2 which just backs away and Specimen 6 which is just cut down.
Specimen 11- Specimen 11 is unique in that it actually as three seperate themes as apposed to one only used for chases. It's death scene is unique as the only choice the player has it to be killed once they are trapped in the meat room. I also particularly like the funtubes, unless Specimen 9 ruins it.
Specimen 12- Obviously a reference to Clock Tower, the specimen is the second specimen which is not just the simple run away strategy at least at first forcing the player to find shelter. Despite being rather slow and being specimen 5's cousin (not really), the creepinesss factor is not that high as specimen 12 will just say, "Where are you." when looking right at you.
Specimen 13- This siren may hunt whales and may be invisible and only splash in the water. These are the only ways to detect her. However, there are to many ways to escape her as the water doesn't slow you down enough so you can just run for the door. With there being too many crates even when the specimen manages to get you, all you have to is wait 10 seconds and you're back to full health.
Is this game warrant of a Sequel/Prequel?
Yes it is.
While it does have it's gripes this game is great at what it does. 8/10