Well it’s October which means it will soon be the best holiday of the year for Cousin Gregula and me! Halloween! And what better way to kick off Halloween month then with a SPOOKY review?! And this review will definitely be a SPOOKY one!
Nothing is more terrifying then being alone is a dark creepy house. Except maybe knowing that you really AREN’T alone! This is the concept behind Russian developer Ice-Pick Lodge’s newest PC horror game Knock-Knock. You play as a scientist who is mainly referred to as “the Lodger.” The Lodger is a mad scientist whose many years of isolation (plus whatever it is he has been working on for all those years) have made him go a tad bit completely insane. He suffers from terrible insomnia which is bad because evil creatures break into his house each night, creatures who may be real or only a figment of the Lodgers insanity, and threaten his life, and whatever sanity he has left. All he has to do is stay alive and sane till morning, but that’s no easy task! The Lodger frequently talks to you and tells you how he finds his home is different then he remembers it; like it’s changing on him. He also says that he lost something and this lost object may be the reason for all that is going on. Most of his rantings, however, are as crazy and creepy as he is.
The game itself in Knock-Knock is very simple, you just have to fix whatever is wrong in each room and keep the monsters away from you till morning hits. Usually, this is as simple as fixing the broken light switch or opening a jammed door and also hiding behind something to hide from the creatures. The hard part comes when you are able to fix the light in time and a creature is descending on you. Your only option is to either leave the room (which isn’t always possible if the creature is blocking the door) or try to hide.
You can’t hide from every creature though because they sense where you are hiding. So most of the time you just have to be careful and pay attention to where the creatures are in the house. If you pay close attention to what the creatures say to you, you can determine if you can hide from them, or if they know where you are. Also the Lodger will tell you he senses that something evil is behind a door which means you should get your crazy self out of there!
As you are fixing lights and looking around the house, time passes and brings you slowly closer to daybreak and safety. You can tell how long you have from a clock in the corner of the screen which ticks away as you play. Different things affect the flow of time positively or negatively. Simply moving around and such make time progress, and every once in awhile you can find a strange clock that looks oddly like the Lodger that will progress a big chunk of time. Certain things also cause time to slow down or even reverse however. Opening doors and fixing lights cause time to slow down, and hiding actually causes time to reverse a bit so be careful to only hide when absolutely necessary and only for a short period. Trust me when I say that you will want daybreak to come as FAST as possible!
So what happens when you do get caught you ask? Well good question! Actually, nothing really happens to the player when the Lodger is caught except that you have to restart the terrifying scene again, which might just be punishment enough. We will never know what exactly happens to the poor Lodger but I personally think he just goes completely utterly insane; either way it’s best not to get caught. There are two ways to “die” in Knock-Knock: either by getting caught by the creatures themselves, or by being exposed to this giant eyeball that appears in the walls once in awhile. The giant eye causes the Lodgers insanity to slowly slip away and if all his sanity is drained you lose and the level starts over. It is possible to escape from either monstrosity by turning on or fixing the light in the room or by escaping the room. I think you can even survive being “caught” by the creature if he touches you by quickly moving past him, but its very hard to do; it’s much easier escaping from the giant eye because it can’t touch you.
Knock-Knock is simple in game play but very hard in other aspects. It’s rather hard when you first start out because you don’t really know what your doing and how to escape. As I mentioned the creatures give you verbal clues about how to escape from them, for instance if they say “don’t hid from me! I know where you are!” then obviously you can’t hide from them, but other clues are not so obvious. There are also these scenes where you are outside and it seems like the only point for these is to find another route to your house, so you just walk around in the forest till you find it; no threats or even a real challenge. I guess I just don’t really understand the point of these scenes.
The one nice thing Knock-Knock has going for it is that it is DOWNRIGHT TERRIFYING! The creatures are terrifying, the house is terrifying, the mood is terrifying, and even the Lodger is terrifying! This is definitely not a game you want to play alone. I played it in my pyramid during the daytime and even had some mummy friends over and I was still scared out of my bandages!
All in all I enjoyed Knock-Knock. Even though it was hard to figure out and the outside scenes seemed to serve no purpose, Knock-Knock. succeded well in being an incredibly creepy and disturbing game, which is really the main reason to play the game. Not even the rough, cartoony artwork of the game could ease my fear, if anything it made the game scarier!
I give this awesomely SPOOKY PC game four out of five ankhs. Knock-Knock is now available on Steam for $9.99 (buy it now for a special 15% off!) I wouldn’t recommend this game for anyone under the age of 13 just because of how scary and disturbing it is. Don’t play this game alone unless you don’t want to sleep for several weeks!
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