Link to submission.
WARNING: Review may contain spoilers. Don't read this if you're afraid of them!
I heard a lot about this hack when it was submitted and accepted. It looked really good from the screens, but for many reasons, I wasn't able to find the time to properly play this. I recall going trough the first jumpscare, then called it quits. But today, after a pretty lengthy play, I can now state I played the best horror/creepy hack ever.
There are litterally not many creepy hacks out there. Most of them are always happy, super colorful, beautiful scenarios, and so on. Others can be a little bit darker than the usual, but the kind of hack keeps the same most of the times: you, the player, going trough levels, finding normal/secret exits, defeating bad buddies, keeping going until final boss, beat final boss, end game.
This hack aims to be something totally different: as for the external look, it's dark, it makes you feel uncomfortable. While in the beginning it looks like the generic hack but with extra care in graphics, once you keep going for a few screens, you'll figure out that something isn't right; this hack breaks the usual schemes, with blood, disturbing messages and endings that just make you keep wondering if there's more of it, if there are more pieces of this complex puzzle of apparently meaningless hints.
It really does a magnificent job in conveying this weird, mysterious atmosphere, thanks to the wonderful work with the graphics, with the audio effects and "musics", and with the cryptic messages the game throws at you frequently. As said already, the messages do seem pretty random and nonsensed on a first look (some were hilarious, I think there was one saying "let's make it big again" lmao ;) ... ok sorry I'm lewd), but they're useful if you really want to discover what this hack is made of. This is probably what I liked most of this hack: it feels like the hack is talking to you, trying to communicate and giving hints that will eventually lead you to find out more. Yes, reading what I just wrote freaks me out, lol.
The only thing I disliked here: dem unnecessary long corridors. I'll compare the "outer" part of the level with said corridors (the glitchy one and the water one).
For how limited mechanics got here (no running/spin jumping), the outer part still manages to entertain the player. This, because of how the work with the foreground has been done: you can jump on ledges, you can take multiple paths, even with the linearity of the level, and it keeps the player busy. Meanwhile, tension builds up, with the dynamic elements such as blood drops, the princess moving fast and appearing, and so on. Trust me, the outer parts made me feel more tense than in the silly corridors.
The long corridors are, instead, bypassable in a certain sense. I won't hide that, while searching for more secrets, and going in the same corridors over and over again, I fast forwarded them until the messages popped out. Why I did that? This happens because of the FG not being "interesting" enough: it's, infact, just a straight line of plain ground, you only have to keep the right button pressed until you get out. I wonder how this could've worked if the corridors also had a similar fg work like the ouside part of the hack. It would probably make the whole hack better, but that's my opinion of course.
In conclusion, I just loved this. This is probably the best creepy hack ever created. Thus, my opinion for it would be to feature
it. This should be an example of how a creepy hack should be like. If I have to think of a very good hack to suggest, which aims to be horror-like, I'd suggest this one.
What about your opinion instead? Go ahead and give yours!
Deadline: 10th September