What you have here is one of the best horror games inspired by Asian folklore. It’s the perfect game if being scared stiff is how you like to have fun. Both instalments rise far above competitors that rely on gore and repetitive, predictable jump-scares. In Home Sweet Home, it is the atmosphere itself that’s terrifying, oppressive, and as stressful as they come.
Yggdrazil, the studio that developed the two games, is not just a games developer: they also do animation, colour grading, and design. This soon becomes apparent, as the game’s background is chillingly atmospheric, not to mention the oppressive soundtrack.
The initial story is straight out of the horror classic playbook: you play as Tim, who wakes up in an unfamiliar place and sets off to find Jane, his wife. He will soon be pursued by a cadaverous young woman with a very flexible neck and a bloody shirt, armed with a stanley knife.
As you may have guessed by now, Home Sweet Home is a psychological survival-horror which, like Outlast, places you in the shoes of a man who is completely powerless against his opponents, and whose only way to survive is to stay hidden. What more could you want?
This means that the aim of the game is not to fight, but merely to survive, and it all takes place in a first person view that immerses (drowns?) you in this unnerving world.
Home Sweet Home’s main strength lies in the variety found in the different stages of the game, rather than limiting gameplay to moving forwards and hiding from your adversaries. You will often come across little puzzles you have to solve, which although they aren’t very challenging, bring a bit of variety into an adventure that you will complete in around 7 hours, for the first instalment.
The storyline is interesting enough for you to want to know how it ends, but to find out, you’ll have to get stuck straight into Home Sweet Home (Ep.2) (also available on Blacknut).
The sequel gets off to an unexpected start in a peaceful, pleasant setting, but will soon take you into dark forests that rustle with whispers, bringing a little touch of the Blair Witch Project, which we really loved.
Make sure you play the two episodes in the right order!
And get ready to sleep with the light on...