The game itself feels like a stripped down Fatal Frame with a whole bunch of Indonesian ghost lore.
If you wanna skip the lengthy part of my review and go straight to the pros and cons, you can find them below.
But first things first: the story.
You play as the Indonesian high school student Linda and you're just coming back from a trip with your school class. Your teacher drives down a road until she notices a blocked off bridge leading to an abandoned village. You don't know how you came here but you all decide to investigate. After investigating the village you find yourself in the school located there. Something terrible happens and you're trapped. Alone. Your main objective: get the hell out of this place!
Linda herself has special abilities which make her sense and see supernatural beings that are nearby as well as items of interest.
To stay with the story, it isn't too bad actually. The game is comprised of three acts, act 0, act 1 and act 2. Act 0 acts as a foreshadowing to act 1 and act 2 is the continuation of act 1, released almost over a year after the initial game release. The story centers around a big chunk of supernatural beings from Indonesian folklore and has many twists to it. Also there are two endings to be achieved. Personally, I got one of the endings and it wasn't bad at all. Also, after act 1 the game gets much less cliché, effectively making everything more enjoyable.
But... what about the gameplay? Well, here are the basics:
You can run, walk, interact with a lot of doors and items and use your IrisPhone (harhar) to take photos. The camera is the key mechanic of the game. Taking photos is used to defeat ghosts and solve puzzles, the camera vision is also used to uncover hidden passages, invisible ghosts and progress through the game.
Then there's the dying mechanic. And by that I mean: you can not "die". You may fail, but you will never get a "game over" screen. Once a ghost defeats you, you will end up at Limbo. From there you may head to a bright light and you'll be given a chance to go at it again.
Also you may collect some items along the way. Even though there is an inventory, there is no combining of items to solve puzzles in any way. Which is kind of a shame, the game had some potential there.
Since this is a horror game, the horror oughtta be there, right?
Well, it is. As soon as it is nighttime, ghosts start to show up. When encountering some of them for the first time, they can be pretty scary. Through act 0 you will only encounter two of the many ghosts in the game - one of which is a heavy one. You can only sense it and see it through your camera, so when you need to get someplace fast but know there is a ghost breathing down your neck, you're kinda on edge. Act 1 features much more ghosts and if you're not prepared or know how to fight them or successfully get away from them you will get scared a lot. But after a while in act 1, you will know how to deal with those entities and then defeating them kinda loses its scaryness. So the horror doesn't last long. Until act 2, that is.
For act 2 brings out a much wider variety of ghost mechanics that will put you on edge if you're playing it for the first time because you will get into situations where you just don't know what to do about them.
But the horror doesn't only lie in the ghosts themselves. Act 2 does a lot with its surroundings. I won't spoiler anything though, but let me tell you this much: mirrors are the worst. Aside from that the game does underline its horror a lot with sounds and music, sudden turns of events and a couple of very well-placed jumpscares.
It is quite rare that I appreciate jumpscares but the jumpscares in this game are just perfect. You'll never expect them, they will always catch you off guard and they aren't just cheap screamers with overly loud sound. They're good.
So overall, the horror in this game will wear off quite quickly during act 1, but that only leads you into a false sense of security because act 2 is just so much different.
But speaking of music, the soundtrack of this game features some really nice themes that are doing their job well. Some of them aren't for the horror of the game. These tracks just sound good.
Back to the ghosts: A nice thing about this game is that every supernatural being you will encounter actually is a thing from Indonesian lore people in the real world believe in. That's a nice little detail. I adore that.
Of course, not everything is good about the game. But this isn't about plot holes, boring combat or anything.
The main issue I am going to adress here are the horrendous loading times and the performance which sometimes goes BAD. Also the texture resolution is still hilariously awful and doesn't justify the loading times one tiny bit. Seriously, I thought I forgot some options in the options menu but nope, the textures are just blurry and I can't do anything about it.
On occassion this game's performance sucks ♥♥♥. I mean, you're running around, moving your camera and BAM! you look in the opposite direction because the game was frozen for half a second and turned you around. Really annoying at night when you can't see sh*t. And the loading times are just awful. I don't even understand why they are so god damn awful. It's nothing on my end, that's for sure.
On the technical side of things, I didn't get any crashes whatsoever. Just some bugs sometimes.
On occasion the world won't load fully so you'll se the surroundings pop in one by one. And then there's starting from act 1 or act 2 which sometimes causes game breaking glitches. A restart usually fixes this however.
Well, what else about the game?
It has got some little details to it that I want to point out here before switching to the pros and cons.
If you beat the game once you will be able to go to the back of the car in act 1 and choose between a selection of different outfits for Linda once you start a new game. Some traditional outfits as well as some casual outfits.
This game has some pretty nice effects, especially when interacting with some of the ghosts (one in particular that shows up in act 2) up close.
And the game has boob physics. Yay...?
Also, there's a ton of eastereggs to find. Some are related to the developers, some are related to other horror games and some are just silly little things to brighten up your day.
Oh and the English translation is sometimes... hilarious. Yeah. Hilarious. Let's leave it at that.
So, off to the pros and cons.
+ A semi-open world for you to explore, find hidden items, secrets and eastereggs
+ A variety of different settings, you didn't honestly think all the spookyscariness will be in that school, did you?
+ The supernatural beings are all reminiscent of Indonesian folklore
+ Solid horror that will keep you on edge upon getting to act 2 because it changes up things dramatically
+ Very good sounds and music
+ Story's not all bad and got a lot of unexpected turns, some stuff can be foreseen though
+ Good English voiceover, good animation quality, nice character design
+ Impressive jumpscares
+ Big ghost variety
+ Runs well most of the time, no crashes
+ Boob physics
+ Female protagonist (that's always a plus)
- You cannot die
- The texture quality on the environment tends to be sub standard
- Sometimes your framerate drops to 0 for half a second, effectively annoying the hell out of you
- The horror in act 1 wears off quickly
- Once you know how to deal with most enemies, killing them gets quite trivial (act 2 fixes a lot of this though)
- Some achievements fail to work a lot of times
- There's only two acts, wish there were more
-+ Dat English translation tho
Would I recommend this game? Yes.
The horror's pretty decent and at the current price I'd call it commendable.
Also it's nice to play an Indonesian horror game for a change.