REVIEW: Really Scary

Really Scary ($1.00) is the fourth title (in as many months) from developer Chris Antoni to feature a low-budget horror set and Five Nights At Freddy’s– style jump scares, with the tension created by said scares meant to provide the enjoyment1 and impetus to keep playing. As with any long-running franchise, though, you risk alienating your audience with repeated releases that only fractionally change the core gameplay. Really Scary is thus really familiar, leaving this series (and its idea) running on fumes.

Really Scary - Screen

That depends… we talking about what I did last summer, or did I just leave the toilet seat up again?

This new outing attempts to once again mash together the two play styles of the previous games, asking you to navigate a supposedly haunted house via on-screen control prompts and tackle the usual gameplay of perusing in-house camera feeds in order to ward off your would-be murderers. Your chief antagonists here are bloodied and / or decapitated teddy bears speaking demonic gibberish (good nightmare fuel for your kids!), but the goal of survival and the perks of steady nerves remain the same.

There is some very light puzzle-work to be done as well, mainly in triggering the next ‘event’ or in choosing the correct door, but the real threat comes from watching your attackers inch closer to your safe room. Said intruders are scared off when you turn to face them, with the trade-off of having a limited amount of time to do so. Disappointingly, you should know the drill by now, and even these moments feature the same obligatory quick scares and sound effects found in the other games.

Really Scary - Screen2

Well… bonus points for the old school console love.

It should surprise no one then that Really Scary doesn’t differ much from previous installments (you have to give the people what they want, I guess), though it does offer up some of the smoothest camera transitions and pseudo-FMV so far2. That increased fidelity comes at a cost, however, as this game is also on the shorter end of playtime. It took me about 25 minutes to reach the conclusion, even allowing for a few mistakes in-between.

Brevity aside, there’s not much here that’s new or fresh enough to warrant another purchase, and the recycled bits have lost their edge. I hate to pull out this old gem of a saying, but if you’ve played one of the games from this collection, you’ve really played them all. Granted, there’s been some decent scares along the way, but let’s hope this series now takes a very long hiatus3.

  1. If you’re into that sort of thing, of course. 
  2. No choppy frames – motion sickness = yay! 
  3. At least until next Halloween, please. 

14 thoughts on “REVIEW: Really Scary”

  1. Thanks for the review!

    I ran out of memory making this game so I had to cut it short by about 40% of planned sequences.

    That being said, the game has had 1400~ sales and 5000~ downloads in two weeks. I believe what’s happening is this title is appealing to a larger audience than 1n2c. If it’s all new then the game will have much more appeal and the player in turn spreads the word about the game.

    If I make a sequel it will probably involve switching between real world view and 3D “dreams” to greatly increase gameplay length.

    Thanks again for the constructive criticism as always!

    1. No problem, Chris, and sorry I didn’t have more positive things to say about it (you can absolutely take it out on me in the next Block King throw-down 😉 ). I suppose where others love this genre and type of game, I’m worn out on it after four semi-same releases. Good to hear it’s done well, though.

      By comparison, how has Block King done? I’m always curious to hear sales data for any game, but especially so for games that are so drastically different from each other. Has the multiplayer-only aspect helped or hurt?

    2. Only 900 downloads and 105 sales! I believe the lack of a compelling (hell it was non existent) demo really hurt it.

      I truly believe that having people play on the same night at the same time and spread the game by word of mouth has a chance to save it from slipping into obscurity.

      I started a thread to get the word out here about our Sunday night games at 10:00 pm est:

      Thank you so much for the support you’ve given it so far. As soon as I release medieval zombies I am adding a patch to put bots in block king single player!!

    3. Thanks for the numbers. Ah, yeah, I see your point about the demo. Hard to get a feel for any game— online or off— without much gameplay to measure it up against. That’s a good move on your part to go back and patch in bot-based matches. Even so, the Sunday night games and word of mouth might not be enough to make a difference on XBLIG.

      I don’t know the particulars, or what hoops you’d have to jump through, but I would follow up on what ‘andregurov’ said about the Wii U. It seems like the perfect fit for their console, and Nintendo has been really nice to indie development the last year. Might be worth a look. I know you previously mentioned wanting to hire an artist to make your games stand out more… this might be the perfect opportunity (and game) to put that focus / money / energy towards. 🙂

  2. Are you intrigued by Really Scary and think I’m really full of shit with the review? (Don’t answer that last part.)

    If so, I have TWO copies of the game to give away, courtesy of the always-accommodating Mr. Chris Antoni. Drop a reply to this comment, and the game is yours!

    1. Yo quiero uno de esos codigos!!! Never tried one of his games, it will be all new to me.
      Out of topic One Finger Death Punch for android is a mess.

    2. @xionix55: Ah, un minuto… code is on the way!

      Oh, and I didn’t know they released One Finger Death Punch on mobile!!! Hope they do an iOS version then, but fix whatever problems they have on android first.

      @Derp: Yep, you get the last code! Check your mail shortly!

    3. Gracias por el código señor!!!
      As for mess, I did not meant the gameplay OFDP on mobile, is the same, they even added new stuff like fire that came out of the floor and do damage, leaderboard, is cool. And is free… Now, by mess I meant the game is a pay-to-enjoy. You need stamina to play and coins to buy skills and health, both cost real money. (two hits and you are dead in survival). The game gives you some coins but is not enough. I prefer pay money for the complete game but not pay for coins so I can have fun. Greed has destroyed one of the best Indies game ever. The game is just an insult to the fans of the game, the game is a fart to the face.

    4. Oh, okay, I see what you mean now. Thanks for that. That is pretty crappy of them, but that’s the mobile market for you. I’m not defending them, but given that most people wouldn’t pay a single dollar for a mobile game these days (or just pirate it), they might have thought that was their only option to make some money. Still not cool, at all. The F2P model is a slap / fart in the face to consumers everywhere, even if we’re partially to blame for it. 😦 At least we still have the XBLIG version.

    5. OFDP on the android crashes on me every time I try to play it….even after a reboot. I’ve been able to play a few levels but I uninstalled it due to crashing so many times.

    6. I bet they don’t publish a windows or iOS version because in order to get on those platforms it has to be stable. Android is more hit and miss.

      At least for me it seems that way. This is my second android tablet and my first Windows phone. About 75% of my downloads on the androids work fine and so far 100% on my windows phone works. I know it’s a smaller observation but still feels that way to me.

      Also when I look up stuff I have trouble with on the android I don’t find them available on the windows app store. Just saying. 😀

    7. I believe it. You can do polls and mass market research, but at the end of the day, word of mouth from the end user is what counts. Of course, it helps to get a sampling of opinions from more than one person, but I get what you’re saying. 😀

      Either way, it’s a shame they had to go the F2P (but not really) route. It’s a fantastic game, and sure, you’d miss out on some sales by charging people up front, but then at least you’re not nickel & dime-ing your fanbase for wanting to play that fantastic game. But, as I mentioned before, you’ve got an entire generation of gamers (mobile as well as console) that somehow feel they don’t need to pay for entertainment, that someone else’s hard work / IP should be theirs. It’s a tough position for a developer to take.

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