Alright, after the last game I tested, I wanted to try out a game that really labels itself as a horror game, but this time on Kongregate instead of Itch.io, and this game looked to fit the bill! I’ll be honest: I did not want to play this game at first, because I thought it was going to be terrifying, and I’m somewhat of a wimp. But this game is not that bad in terms of scary, so if it sounds like you can handle it, then just click the link below and try it for yourself!
I did notice something about this game, though. It seemed really familiar, so I pulled up the comments about the game and about 90% of the comments were claiming the actual game you play after all the introduction screens was a direct copy of another horror game called The House. Having peaked my interest, I went and played The House and realized that this is why it seemed familiar; there is an area in The House of a bathroom, which is the only level featured in Horror Simulator Demo. I played both over and over and found that only a few things were changed from the original level to this one. Now, the developer explains in the description of the game that a friend who worked on The House helped him design this game. While I am skeptical, I cannot say for sure if it is untrue. Nevertheless, I cannot critique this part of Horror Simulator Demo as in-depth as I would like to, since I would instead be critiquing The House. Fortunately, as I’ve said, there are a number of parts in this game that were of the developer’s creation, so I will be giving feedback on that!
The rest of the game isn’t too bad! There are things that can be improved, but those will be discussed shortly. I, overall, felt the developer put in their best effort to tie a unique theme into a game that already had one; he attempted to make this game his own and it shows!
Now, usually games have bugs or glitches that I can mention first before getting into the typos and design suggestions, but this game didn’t have anything like that. I do have a number of grammar, spelling, and punctuation checks as well as the aforementioned design suggestions. These are the areas of the developer’s creation, and I will also be listing them in a different format than usual, so without further adieu, here’s what I found!
After loading screen:
- Perhaps make a “Start” option so the player can start the game themselves, rather than starting up the text screens immediately.
- Make the “Warning” text bigger and place it in the top center of the screen for emphasis.
- To be free of errors and increase effectiveness, the sentences should read: “If you are faint-hearted or afraid: (next lines, separated by bullet points) Turn lights on / lower volume / Sit 3 meters away from monitor.” “For full experience: (next lines, separated by bullet points) Turn lights off / Turn volume up / Sit 50 cm away from monitor.”
- Remove the “Enjoy your ride” text and the arrow pointing to the “Play” button.
- Choose a font for the “Play” button that is similar to the font already being used in the text above it.
- Place the words “Oh, and…” in the top center of the screen, and make it the same size as the “Warning” text from the previous screen.
- To be free of errors and increase effectiveness, the sentences should read: “There will be loads of facts from famous videos, games, books, etc. based on true stories. In this demo, there is only 1 fact and 1 out of 10 based on a true story.” The last sentence is difficult to understand before I attempted to improve it, so try to explain it, because it sounds interesting! Also, center this text in the middle of the screen.
- Remove the “VERY IMPORTANT” text as well as the two arrows pointing towards the paragraph.
- Make the “Play” button the same size and in the same place it was on the previous screen. Again, choose a different font for it.
- Overall, for these two screens, keep the glow effects are the text consistent and make the font clean and matching/similar.
- To be free of errors and increase effectiveness, the sentences should read: “A mirror is an interesting object. We use it in our everyday lives…” Center this text at the top of the screen.
- The image of the mirror is very out of place with the rest of the game, so perhaps choose a creepy mirror so it matches the rest of the game.
- You could use a fade-in effect to fade into this screen.
After clicking “Continue”:
- Have the next text replace the old text; do not keep the previous text here.
- The mirror moved down and to the left, so keep the mirror in the same place as before.
- To be free of errors and increase effectiveness, the sentences should read: “By day, it is normal. Yet, in darkness, everything changes.”
After clicking “Continue”:
- Again, old text should be replaced by the new text.
- To be free of errors and increase effectiveness, the sentences should read: “When it’s dark, and your eyes are almost adjusted to the darkness, have a look in the mirror…”
- The “then you will see it.” text can be moved onto the creepy mirror, and have a fade-in effect on it, so it fades in on the mirror.
- Overall, on these screens, have all the text be a white and narrow font so the player can easily see it all. Center these texts at the top center of the screen unless otherwise specified.
After clicking “Continue” and into the game:
- The sounds and voices that the player hears when the scene opens up are great!
- The instructions, to be free of errors, should read: “Continue clicking on the items at different times…and you will see it.”
- Move the “Quit” option to the bottom righthand corner of the screen.
- The hand that jumps at the player looks cropped off, and the fingers do not match up with the blood streaks intended for it when they go down the screen.
- After completing the simulator, to be free of errors and increase effectiveness, the sentences should read: “Horror Simulator Complete (next lines) Program designed to give you the feeling of being there; / so effective that it isn’t a game anymore…” Center this text in the middle of the screen.
- Make a button that takes players back to the main menu after the complete the demo.
After clicking “Quit”:
- Good song choice!
- To be free of errors and increase effectiveness, the sentences here should read: “Horror Simulator Failed (next lines) Listen to this song to calm down.” Remove the image of the little girl, or move her to the right more and make the text next to it smaller. Remove the “If any symptoms of a heart ache…” and following text.
A round of applause to Kaywire for this game! Links are below as always to check out the website and game itself. Thank you for stopping by!