REVIEW: Game of Horror

Love it or hate it, plenty of indie titles have gone after the ‘jump scare’ market on console and / or PC, to varying degrees of success. XBLIG has been no stranger to the craze, but, when done right, it provides plenty of legitimate terrors… at a legitimately cheap price point. You can go ahead and add NeuronVexx‘s Game of Horror ($1.00) to that ‘done right’ list, if only for its gleeful willingness to quicken your pulse with each passing second spent in its pitch-black mansion.

Game of Horror - Screen Confirmed: not a nice guy.

While the game is less a machine for easy jump scares1 than it is a slow-burning sense of dread at what waits for you on the other side of the door, Game of Horror does a great (albeit familiar) job of ratcheting up the tension without making things too complicated. Your objective is straightforward; some serial killer nicknamed ‘The Eviscerator’2 is tossing people into a maze-like mansion and throwing away the proverbial keys, then hunting them down for sport. Should you find said keys (think Slender-like collectathon) to unlock a series of doors and survive, you’ll be granted your freedom.

Oh, but did I mention your search and the path you take is randomized on every attempt? Starting in a very Resident Evil-ish main hall, the game closes off each portion of the mansion behind a themed door (Clubs, Hearts, Diamonds, etc.). Each area contains a handful of rooms, offices, and storage closets, with you searching all the drawers and cabinets3 along the way. Exploring one section for a key grants you access to the next, etc. etc., all while ‘The Eviscerator’ silently— and continuously— stalks you.

There’s very little music in the game, which makes the idea of that relentless pursuit and its scares that much more terrifying, hearing the approaching killer’s breath through its mask, say, or the jiggle of a door’s handle being turned. You don’t have any real means of fighting back, either. Your only options are to duck behind furniture, shut off your flashlight and pray it doesn’t see you, or try to ‘block’ the door from being opened4. You can be ‘caught’ twice, with the third time being fatal and resetting your progress.

And so it goes, until you either escape or chicken out and curl up into the fetal position in the corner (…I chose the latter). Granted it’s nothing original, but it’s unnerving and not for the faint of heart, as the description states. And that’s really the only endorsement this game’s prospective audience needs. I still can’t understand why anybody would readily commit to scaring themselves for entertainment, but Game of Horror is absolutely up to the challenge.

  1. Don’t worry; you’ll still get plenty of those. 
  2. It’s… cute, right? Yeah, you don’t earn that title by being the affable sort. 
  3. The game helpfully ‘fills in’ objects you’ve searched already, ensuring you won’t easily backtrack or waste precious time second-guessing your work. 
  4. Word to the wise, this option isn’t very reliable. Mash on the button prompt all you want, the killer getting in seems like a 50 / 50 chance either way. 

38 thoughts on “REVIEW: Game of Horror”

  1. This game is incredibly fun, I only wish it would have come with an increasable difficulty level. I found all four keys relatively easily and then the end he wasn’t anywhere within a distance to cause me to panic (why were you looking in THAT closet ALL THE WAY IN THE BACK?!) I would have liked for it to be more difficult for me, but also have a lighter mode for just starting out. Still, the game terrified me and gave me a good scare. It’s not often games can do that to me, being as I’ve been playing the likes of Silent Hill and Resident Evil since I was 5. Dead Space did nothing to me. That’s a good enough description right there. I play these games in search of something that makes me jump just to remind myself that the reflex still exists within my body. I always tend to piss off the men I’m around when they jump over something that’s supposed to be scary and I don’t even move. It’s funny as hell.

    1. Well… hey… wait a minute… I wouldn’t say I was scared scared, but it certainly caused some undue stress… I mean… Ok, fine, I was a biiittt scared. 😀 Seriously though, props to you for beating the game. I don’t do well with this type of horror (though I’m fine with Resident Evil, Silent Hill, and the like), probably because there’s no ‘weapon’ or way to fight back. Being ‘helpless’ against a game’s enemy definitely has a way of creating tension and fear, and I think that’s what gets to me more than anything else.

      Thanks for the comment!

    2. Have to admit, those games always scare the shit out of me. And by those games I mean games that use the first person view. I think the two biggest differences between first- and third person are a) your field of view is quite limited and b) it really feels you are that character you’re controlling.

      But personally I think jump scares have been overused by now. My dream horror game would be a game that mostly relies on its atmosphere and occasionally shows something for a fraction of a second. Basically a game that fucks with your mind, up to the point where you’re not sure any more if you just saw something or your imagination playing tricks on you.

    3. @Soosh: Ah, reading your idea of a perfect horror game brings back (disturbed) memories of P.T. / the Silent Hills teaser, and what will never be. Even if it was only a demo, and only a sample of something that might have never made it into the final game, just the pure genius / terror of it was enough to spawn a cult following for months (and probably years) afterward. Damn, the greatness that could have been… Oh well, I’m encouraged after reading that Guillermo del Toro definitely wants to work with Kojima on another project. Here’s to hoping…

    4. Having thought about what I said in my previous comment, there used to be a Myst-like adventure game called Scratches that solely relied on its atmosphere. Completely forgot about that one.

      And yeah, it’s a shame about P.T. / Silent Hills, would’ve loved to play that demo, but don’t own a PS4 yet. But hey, this Allison Road game looks quite promising:

    5. Never heard of Scratches before now, but I’ve never been a fan of the Myst-style stuff. Personal preference, I guess.

      Allison Road does look good, and even though Silent Hills is no more, if it inspires stuff like this, I’m all for it. This was actually the first time I watched this vid the whole way through, and shit, I was getting nervous just watching him peek around corners! My heart can’t take this stuff! 🙂

  2. For some reason I cant reply. Oh well, I think the game worth a try and I still got like 2 dollars in my Xbox Account. Still playing all my backlog to get ready for next gen in 2016. Btw I liked your comments and then a THANKS came up, awesome future technology you good here. And its good to see that at least once in a blue moon the site gets revived.

    1. Haha, yep, the site is very ‘polite’; it thanks you for your ‘likes’. It’s a customizable thing too, so I can change it up if need be… 😉

      And yes, it’s always nice to have something on XBLIG worth writing about. The releases are few and far between, though, so I’ve got to drag out the space between reviews so I don’t cover too much at once. Hoping to review the underwear-throwing Maison Kanraku in the next few days.

  3. You know, Hurley, horror games are like stripper, yo are shy to go around them, walking in nervously, you get a bit scared, but when you finally get into the adrenaline, you just want to get in deeper, and never let it out. Soo, a game worth of my attention in the indie section, thats a new one. I like scary stuff even if I am wuss. Btw you got a code left, If I counted correctly I guess Derp got the last one but just in case.

    1. ‘Get in deeper, and never let it out’? Are we still talking about Game of Horror here? Haha, I never tire of your descriptions. 😀

      All kidding aside, though, it is nice to have a few new indie options again (even if it’s a slow trickle of new releases, and long gaps of nothing in-between). Unfortunately, your math is correct, and all the codes are taken. 😦 …But, on the plus side, you now have extra stripper money! 🙂

  4. tried the game, damn its scary!
    also, its very well done, i love the menu and the graphics are pretty decent for an indie game!

    1. Definitely scary once you start hearing doors opening close by, and you’re in a room with zero places to hide… 😦

      Zac (the developer) was saying how this was his first foray into 3D, and agreed, he did a really nice job with the environments and setting the mood. I’d say that first attempt was a success.

  5. really scary game. However, I didn’t succeed in blocking the door.
    I played Vital Force a couple days after, and if i have to choose scary moments, Game of Horror is the best, even if it is shorter.

    1. The ‘blocking’ part feels like it’s luck-based more than anything, which I guess adds to the tension. For me, it was better to hide behind something (when I could), or try to run to another door.

      It is scarier than Vital Force, for sure, but I liked that one for playing like Fatal Frame (one of the few horror games I do play). Even with all the ‘fan service’ involved, I’m glad Tecmo is finally bringing Fatal Frame 5 to the US / Europe later this year. Well, hopefully, anyway. Haven’t heard much about it since the announcement… :/

  6. Of course I comment on this site only to get dem freebies. It’s my sole job around here, after all.
    Even though I don’t like horror games, I’m fascinated by some of them, like the Silent Hill series. This has nothing to do with it, but I’m quite interested in it.

    What happened to Vorpal 2, anyway?

    If you see three posts, it didn’t show me the other ones.

    1. Haha, free is good. Hard to pass that up. 🙂 To me, this feels more like Slender or even the Clock Tower series than Silent Hill, but it’s unnerving stuff nonetheless.

      Vorpal 2… I wish I knew. I liked the first one, and I know the Dev was working on the sequel, but that’s about it. Fingers crossed that it still comes to XBLIG. Looks like there’s a new ‘Van Damme’ mode coming to it, at least… 😀

    2. Thank you.

      Almost going to celebrate the first anniversary of that one time when I played (not really, but still) that accursed P.T., which prevented me from sleeping for the first time in my life. Every time I closed my eyes, I saw that long, narrow corridor. shivers

      According to their Facebook page, they’re still working on it, but I only read about the PC version releasing first and Xbox One on the comments. Dang it, I want it.

    3. Ha, yep, same here. That damn P.T.… Still, I’m glad I played that one, and kept it on my PS4 hard drive. At least we can dream and think about what might have been, had that game been made…

      As for Vorpal 2, that’s cool news. I’d actually like to see it on Xbox One instead of XBLIG; it would have a much better chance of finding an audience. Wish more small Devs would be invited into the ID program. 🙂

  7. Don’t mind occasionally soiling yourself or sobbing like a baby at the slightest noise? Thanks to the developer, NeuronVexx, I’ve been graciously gifted with five codes for Game of Horror to give away. Same routine as always; reply to this comment, and the game is yours!

    1. Oh, freebies. Sure, why not, haven’t really used my 360 lately, a good reason to turn it on again. One code, please. 🙂

    2. @Soosh: Same here. Only for XBLIGs, which, unfortunately, hasn’t been that often. 😦

      @Soosh & @Derp: Codes will be sent, gents!

      @ALL: Oh, and still TWO codes left, for anyone interested…

    3. Cheers Tim, got the code. All I need now is my Xbox. Just recently moved to a different city, but had to leave my 360 at my mate’s gaff.

      Btw what’s up with Indiepitome? Last time you published something over there was last year in late September.

    4. @ImTheMetalLord: Yes sir, Zac’s been a hell of a nice guy with giving me codes to hand out for his games. That, and even when I don’t like the games he releases, he’s been kind enough not to go off on me for saying so. 😀

      Also, I will assume that your comment here means you’d like a copy of the game, so I’ll be sending a code shortly. Still ONE left, all.

      @Soosh: Ah, I see. I guess it’s just me, but my first priority in any move is to make sure I’ve got all my games / systems. Still won’t forgive myself for losing some old NES / Genesis games during my previous move, not to mention the strange disappearance1 of my original copy of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

      Oh, and Indiepitome is pretty much… dead. I never found an audience there (I averaged 10-15 views a day only), and the extra work involved wasn’t worth it for that. Also, outside of the reviews, most of the ‘news’ I posted there was easily found elsewhere, making my work more overkill than original. Still hanging onto it for now, though, in case things change…

      1. Still think somebody stole that shit from me. Bastard(s). 
    5. @Jordan Michael: Damn, you’re quick, man! You scooped up that code before I could even post my comment saying there was one left. Nice clairvoyant work 😀

      Code will be sent shortly!

    6. @Tim: haha, pretty spooky indeed. a cold chill fell over me and suddenly I was having a premonition of scouring your site for free codes 😀 thanks!

    7. Well I hadn’t posted that FOR the free code but I do have a policy.

      “If it’s free, it’s for me”

      So thanks for the code Zac and Tim. Might be a bit till I get to play it but I’ll bet there eventually. Working on getting me a 2TB external HDD so I can have all my games at my fingertips instead of having to trade out HDD’s. Between that and my original 250GB HDD I should be set. I have to use an original since I have a couple digital OG Xbox games I like to play.

    8. @JordanMichael: No problem!

      @ImTheMetalLord: 2TB External sounds like a good idea to me, too. Need to do something to expand my space for the Xbox One (ridiculous, whoever made the decision to put 500GB drives on next-gen systems, lower cost be damned!), instead of deleting old AAA / ID@Xbox games like I have been doing. Wait til you make the switch to current-gen… :/

    9. Well Tim the External HDD is ordered and just waiting crazy amount of time for the free shipping form Amazon. I should have paid the 10 bucks and got the 2 day shipping. Or better yet buy Prime. But I didn’t so I wait. (ordered it last Tuesday) I stayed away from the big companies that produce them and purchased a Fantom G Force. I’ll let you know how it works out on the 360. I read reviews that it worked well on the One.

      Seems that most people are putting larger external HDD on their One’s then just 2TB. I mean when the average game is 40-50GB that can fill up a TB rather fast.

      Can’t wait to see 400+ games available in one spot on my 360!!! I’ll have an exact number when it’s all done.

    10. Awesome, let me know how it works out for you. I may go with a bigger size for the One, but I’m thinking even 2 TB is better than the current option. Sure, it’s not that big of a pain to re-download stuff if I want to play an older game sometime in the future, but I’d prefer to keep my library intact as much as possible. With updates / patches on a near daily basis, it’s better to have the breathing room.

      P.S. Prime is a good deal, particularly if you’re buying a lot of small / recurring / essential household stuff from it (which I do… part lazy / part convenience). Even better is the fact that you’re getting a mini-Netflix out of it with the video streaming just for having Prime.

    11. Hard drive installed and working GREAT!!! In fact I believe it’s faster than anything else I have used.
      I like that it’s powered with it’s own plug and not from the USB. It has a power switch but it turns itself off when not being used on my 360.

      Got some total numbers for you that I found interesting.

      414 Total Games
      113 Indie Games
      175 Arcade Games
      124 “Triple A” Games
      2 Xbox Originals Games
      128 Themes
      217 Picture Packs
      187 Avatar Items

      Just over 1 TB total Data for all the above including all the DLC’s (which I didn’t count up since there wasn’t an easy way to get that number) combined on a 2TB external HDD and a 250 GB Authentic MS Xbox HDD (which I have to use in order to play the Xbox Original games otherwise I would use my 500GB drive)

      I actually own the Authentic 250gb and another 250gb and the 500gb “internal” HDD and will be putting my 250 and 500 up for sale now that I have the 2TB one.

      I have enough space to double my collection now so I don’t think I need anymore space. Oh and I was also storing some of my games and saved games on flash drives using a total of at least 6 of them with two being 32GB each and a 16GB and various others. Most of all they were all purchased for the Xbox. I wish they would have added external support long ago.

    12. Nice, and thanks for the link; I may be looking into getting one shortly. I’ll bet it’s easier having all that content in one place, and not having to worry about space issues. 🙂 Sad part is, I’d be getting this for the One, and I’d still probably manage to run out of a room in less than a year. :/ That said, it’s still better than the current option. Anything is. 😀

    13. Right now the cost per TB it’s better to get the 3TB or the 4TB versions that the One supports (the 5 and 6TB versions are actually $10 more per TB than the 3 and 4). I was limited to the 360’s support of only 2TB per USB port. (up to 2 total) One the One there isn’t any upwards limit per USB and you can connect up to 3 of them.

      Something I didn’t mention was the fact that this thing is beefy. Feels like it could be run over by a truck and still survive. Unlike the WD one I had for my computer that fell off a coffee table (I was using it on a laptop at the time) and was useless afterwards. Lost a bunch of music and movies.

    14. Yep, 4 TB is probably the one I’d go with. I’m hoping I wouldn’t run out of space quick, but you never know. Shit, if we’re talking realistically here, I doubt I’d need the 4 TB since all I play these days is goddamned Destiny! 🙂 … :/

      That’s good that it feels bulky, though. The last external I had was not friendly with bumps / movement of any kind, so I understand your pain there. Oh, and I forgot to mention this in the last reply, but that is a healthy amount of arcade games you own. I expected the indie count to be high, but you definitely have me beat in the arcade category. Not that it’s a competition or anything, just an observation. 😀

  8. Don’t love it. Don’t hate it. Bored with it would be more like it. I understand when you don’t have much to choose from to review but there has to be one more surprise left out there. Doesn’t there?

    1. Yeah, it’s not for everyone. Even though I don’t get the fascination with these games, I understand their intent. Game of Horror does what it needs to, so I’m fine with it.

      I do think there’s a surprise or two left in the service. Cast of the Seven Godsends is still coming in the Fall, for one, and I’m sure there’s still a few more in the works somehow, somewhere. Even this game was a pleasant surprise to see.

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