A one-of-a-kind horror shocker – a game aware of your fear! Check out new games modes introduced with Update 1.5!
User reviews: Mixed (186 reviews)
Release Date: Jul 31, 2014

Sign in to add this item to your wishlist, follow it, or mark it as not interested

Buy Pineview Drive

 

Recent updates View all (3)

March 30

Pineview Drive is now available for Linux!

Pineview Drive now available for Linux (Ubuntu 14.04 - Trusty Tahr - recommended).

1 comments Read more

December 11, 2014

Update 1.5 now available!

Changelog Version 1.5
----------------------
-new game mode: "Open House Today" - Check out on the store page
-new game mode: "Scarecrow - The Eight Letters" - Check out the store page
-several small issues fixed
-improved wall und ground textures
-selectable voice actor
-alternative german voice over

4 comments Read more

Reviews

“Great and varied moments of shock.”
79% – PlayNation

Just Updated


Additional game modes (unlocked once finished the main story)

  • Open House Today: Explore the mansion in bright daylight
  • Scarecrow - The Eight Letters: Collect eight Letters that are scattered within the house and garden - but watch out for the scarecrow

About This Game

A one-of-a-kind horror shocker – a game aware of your fear!

An old abandoned mansion lies at the dead end of Pineview Drive. A troubled man is standing at its gates, looking over the property. 20 years ago he had visited this estate with his wife Linda. During their stay his beloved vanished without a trace – her mysterious disappearance unresolved.

For 20 years no clues, for 20 years no peace, for 20 years this house on Pineview Drive has not relinquished its tormenting grip on him. Now, he returns in hopes of coming to terms with his nightmarish past.

The ominous legends haunting this seaside lodge have become renown. The stories abound that no one has been able to endure more than 30 days within the mansion since Linda’s disappearance. Facing a force greater than you ever imagined, you must cross the threshold and confront the evil that envelops this cryptic cottage. To solve the mystery of Linda’s disappearance and lift the veil on this troubling history, there is no time to spare.

Features


The game watches your every move and reaction - you will need steady nerves if you want to survive the game unscathed. In this extraordinary gaming experience, any trace of fear comes at a price – your life. Get ready for a ground-breaking spine-chiller.

  • 30 in-game days: Each one allows you to delve further into the secrets of the house on Pineview Drive
  • Every move and reaction is being watched: Do not get yourself worked up or you will lose precious health
  • Premium sound scenery and effects: Every tone will run your blood cold
  • Breathtaking horror atmosphere: Face your deepest fears within the house

  • Additional game modes (introduced with Update 1.5):
    • Open House Today: Explore the mansion in bright daylight
    • Scarecrow - The Eight Letters: Collect eight Letters that are scattered within the house and garden - but watch out for the scarecrow

System Requirements

Windows
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows® Vista / 7 / 8
    • Processor: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo / AMD® Athlon™ X2, min. 2.8 GHZ
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia® / AMD® with 512 MB memory
    • DirectX: Version 10
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX® 10 compatible
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows® Vista / 7 / 8
    • Processor: Intel® Core™ 2 Quad / AMD® Phenom™ X4, min. 3,4 GHz
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia® / AMD® with 1024 MB memory
    • DirectX: Version 10
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX® 10 compatible
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty Tahr)
    • Processor: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo / AMD® Athlon™ X2, min. 2.8 GHZ
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia® / AMD® with 512 MB memory
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty Tahr)
    • Processor: Intel® Core™ 2 Quad / AMD® Phenom™ X4, min. 3,4 GHz
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia® / AMD® with 1024 MB memory
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
57 of 72 people (79%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
11.1 hrs on record
Posted: February 3
I don't know how this game has so many positive reviews. All you do, for thirty game days, is find keys and try them in all 200 doors of the house until you get the right one. The house becomes a maze, so by the time you're 1/3 of the way through, it becomes difficult to find doors you haven't unlocked yet. In addition to that, the house becomes completely dark at around the same time, and your flashlight batteries last about 2 minutes (I've just run out of batteries, by the way, and can't see ♥♥♥♥). There is no indication of what you're supposed to do, so you basically have to go into each room every time after something happens, every day, to see if something is going to happen there so you can get another key to open some unknown, random door.

My main emotions have been consistent boredom and frustration rather than fear. I don't even notice half of the "scares" because it's too dark. It also seems like you lose health if you start moving the camera around when something spooky is happening (detecting your "fear"). The problem with this is that I'm not scared -- I just want to see some content to this game other than spending hours doing nothing but checking doors. Pretty much the only way I ever can tell that anything is happening is that I hear dramatic music.

I didn't finish the story, and at this point I don't give a crap about it if it means I have to spend several more hours d***ing around with the same doors. You find one note at the end of each day -- that's the story. Considering that these notes are one sentence long, I don't think there is much substance here, anyway. The notes haven't even been slightly interesting so far.

Also, the walking is slow. It's so slow that I feel like the game is majorly lagging every time I walk instead of run. You can sprint, but I think that also makes you lose health if you do it while something is happening. Obviously, we are running in this stupid game because we're scared, not because we don't want to check a giant mansion of doors at a turtle's pace 30 days in a row.

I can't even express how bad this game is. I liked Gone Home, but the lack of personality in the environments in this game is unacceptable. This is even crappier than Gun Monkeys if you really think about it, which is the standard for crap as far as I'm concerned.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
30 of 37 people (81%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
11.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 11
8/10

genre: point and click horror/mystery adventure game in 1st person

+ great atmosphere, great use of lightning and sound effects, nice graphics that fit the setting
+ gameplay is about exploring and finding keys to unlock the rooms in the house and later on on some external locations - you rely on your flashback and matches to light candles since you have very little time at the start of each day until it gets really dark - the game is long enough, consists of 30 days, each day ends by reading a note that explains the story - simple controls and simple gameplay , it's all about exploring and getting in the mood of the game.
+ some jump scares are pretty original - the game also doesn't rely on them to frighten the player rather on the great atmosphere, i found some sound effects creepier than anything i saw so far in the game.

- story is simple and not explained in detail
- lots of backtracking makes it frustrating sometimes
- often player looses direction until there is an event that is triggered and gives you hint on where to go

i really like the game so far, was expecting less to be honest, it's exactly the kind of indie horror/mystery game i enjoy playing. highly recommended to fans of the genre.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
27 of 39 people (69%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
12.7 hrs on record
Posted: February 12
Please not buy this game, it starts out good but then youre just walking through the same rooms over and over, day after day, with so little light it hurts your eyes. By the end I never wanted to play this game again. And if youre thinking the ending will be worth it, i will save you a great deal of wasted time and tell you now it is not at all worth it. In any way. At all.

TL;DR
DONT BUY!!! WASTED TIME!!!!! WASTED MONEY!!!!!
You've been warned :)
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
14 of 16 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
9.1 hrs on record
Posted: February 5
Usually, horror games feel like regular games, only without gameplay and with dimmer lights, and the tension is built more through ominous music, eerie noises and jump scares, and the whole genre relies heavily on how much your mind is willing to work to fill the gaps and especially on how loud you can scream and clown around while streaming it.Which is a pity, as the horror genre relies on character development, mystery and conflict in order to deliver its effects, alongside the mandatory creepy vibe. Pineview Drive gets the atmosphere part right to some effect, but it unfortunately lacks the necessary depths to immerse one in its world and offer a truly thrilling experience.The story is delivered in short bursts that are unfortunately too vague and unengaging to hook you and make you interested in sticking around long enough to find what’s going on. There are no puzzles, there is no action, there is pretty much nothing to do but look around for keys randomly left around that unlock random doors to new rooms that have little to offer.The game relies a bit too much on our innate fear of the dark. It feels genuinely creepy at times, but more often than not, you are stuck circling endlessly at a very slow pace, attempting to find something new or something that you missed during your previous rounds.The overall experience is very tedious and slow, as Pineview Drive doesn’t even allow you to grab an axe (that you stumble upon, just can’t pick up) and smash doors open, and coerces you into being the perfect gentleman, who doesn’t stoop to breaking windows with rocks or jumping over the fence just because he doesn’t have the right key to open a lock.It’s disappointing really, because there’s not much going on, you have to constantly backtrack, and there is no reaction to the various instances of tame poltergeist such as furniture pieces piled on top of one another and other such weird occurrences.The gameplay revolves around looking for keys and feels very contrived and lacks the kind of flow that would allow the developer to get away with this.Pineview Drive advertises itself as a game that knows when you’re afraid, and thus gauges your reaction to sudden noises and other such things, but does nothing to tell you what you’re supposed to do in such a situation.Luckily, your health pool is pretty generous and these moments do not come up very often. It’s in a way better than older games that threw monsters at you and had you smash them upside the head with a sledgehammer, but it would still need a bit more interactivity in order to function properly.You won’t be attacked by anything in a physical sense and you won’t even explicitly see bizarre apparitions, not in the beginning at least, since you’ll be too busy backtracking and searching for letters from your disappeared wife, that mysteriously pop up around the house.Further in your journey, the electrical lights will cease to function, making everything even more annoying. The overall vibe of the game is that it’s less about being a horror game but more along the lines of a reminder to pack camping gear unless you like to wander aimlessly in the dark.When there’s light, the game looks pretty good, especially the vegetation, but it also requires quite a bit of processing power to do so. Walking around the garden in the middle of the day was pretty enjoyable, if uneventful.If you like horror games where there is nothing much to do, you’ll most likely enjoy its atmosphere, in spite of its slow pace. Unfortunately, the creepy vibe that the game nails is not enough to carry all of it, especially due to the slim narrative, which severely detracts from the entire experience.Overall 6/10.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
7.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 18, 2014
This game has amazing atmosphere and is truly an awesome experience but there are things about this game that cripple it for me. For one they need to put in a REAL day/night cycle. The one in this game is fake, no other way to put it. It's also very, very, dark. When most of the game is played at night its extreamly hard to see anything infront of you. They released a prequel to this where the problem was fixed and worked very well!

This game has great potential and shows the skill of the developers but theres problems in the gameplay that make the experience more frustrating than fun. But uniquely horrifying non the less :)
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
32.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 3, 2014
This is an amazing first person ghost-horror story/adventure. Though I thought at first it was a bit slow, it crept up on me like a storm and before I realized it, I was actually frightened and obsessed with finishing. Few games have interested me as much as this one (Outlast and Slender The Arrival compare with strength of story). If you are into First Person Shooter games or lots of gore, this one isnt for you. However if you value story and substance as well an an ever increasing sense of dread, this game is for you. Lastly, this game is long compared to some of the others I have recently played. I enjoyed it for over a week while other games I can finish in a night or so. I hope this team makes more games similar to this one.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 6, 2014
Only been playing for a couple of hours but I like it, it has its spooky parts but the keys can sometimes be annoying to figure out where they go. Other than that, good game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
13.1 hrs on record
Posted: March 13
It's a haunted house simulator. What do you REALLY want? Are you looking for some grand masterpiece? This isn't it. It's just something to egg yourself on with because you refuse to be beaten by a virtual spooky house.

While realizing the statues and busts are most certainly looking at you and nosily watching your every movement, but reset their positions the moment you set your eyes on them, I finally spazzed out and took my frustration out on a cherub. "(EXPLECTIVE)ing BABY ANGELS!"

That adorable little kitty statue you might think is the only precious thing in this game? No they'll take that away from you. Yes that's a ghost girl doing a little Sheldon Cooper outside your door. Knock knock knock, MAIN CHARACTER. Knock knock knock, MAIN CHARACTER. See you in hell, Sheldon!

Birds that rustle around and make unsettling noises when you explore outside? Thanks. I already have a fear from Hitchcock but this just brings it all rushing back. Creepy toys around the house, some of which with an impact upon the plot? We got that. A scarecrow in the uncanny valley territory? Mmhm, yeah we got that. Blood! Tasteful, but gracious when needed! Yeah, we've got it!

Pretty much any haunted house trope you can think of was put into a blender, had a curse to chill it with, and then served as some Boo! Smoothie.

Your scare factor may vary. While this game boasts being able to find out and track (more like punishes through your health bar) what frightens you, I've noticed my character tends to mostly gasp at disembodied noises. This makes me paranoid and angry. Angry that I can't find a ghost to smack with my flashlight! If you're more of a jerky player and have the need to constantly move to find what made noises or move when you are faced with a jump scare, you'll likely get a new batch of scares.

A minor gripe? If you are suddenly lost and have no idea where to go, you'll run out of batteries and matches quickly. Ghosts love to play poof with your candles and later on in the days, you'll find matches very precious. When the fire goes out, it's all that more irritating. Your flashlight will suddenly pick up a little charge from not being used, so don't worry too much. You're not lost in the dark for long! It's just slightly irritating. If you keep wandering, your character will eventually give you a hint, but that takes a great deal of time. However, some of the very fun "scares" can happen this way. Just uh, stay away from the windows. Or don't. So far I've been pressing my face against the busts and yelling BRING IT ON but things BEHIND me have been lowering my health, so don't do that.

Second minor gripe? I had heard through the grapevine that the ending was very confusing, so I spoiled myself before buying. I'm not saying that everyone should do this, but if you're really on the fence after reading these and knowing an ending won't influence you either way, you may want to do that. It really is confusing and going in while knowing what was going to happen helped me understand just why things didn't really add up from the start. This may not work for all gamers, though it was helpful for me.

You'll be learning the storyline through short notes found at the end of each day. Even then, you may never get closure of what happened to your character.To be perfectly honest after playing this and Passing Pineview Forest, I'm finding a storyline that I've enjoyed and I'd like to see more of. I need to know more about Pineview. How many victims are there? I'm not even completely done and I'm very interested in seeing more.

Still, this isn't for everyone. This is a haunted house simulator, but it's much more of a puzzle/maze type game than say, an Amnesia clone or a Slender clone. Although there...is a mode for a Slender level... But I haven't unlocked that yet and I don't think I have the guts to do so. This game can get tedious for some people. For others you're just going to end up getting more frustrated because you don't want this house to outwit you. Stupid house. Stupid lights.

GIVE ME SOME MATCHES! And boop that clown!

...Where did the clown go?
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
10.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 26, 2014
Pineview Drive is all about being alone at night in a haunted mansion. Even though this sounds like an overused scenario, the game makes use of some clever scares.

If you like house exploration, almost no story and creepy atmospheres (think Gone Home), this is for you. If you hate searching for tons of keys opening tons of doors, walking in pitch black rooms and not being able to fight, this is not for you.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 27, 2014
Someone sent me a text while i was playing this game and the ringer volume on my phone was maxed out, i ♥♥♥♥ myself.
Suzanne ( the name i gave to the ghost lady ) keeps psssttting me, i pssstt back at her.
Phone's wouldent stop ringing in the house, i couldn't even.
If you're debating on buying this game but you're too iffy, check out my DAY 6 video, this games deffinitly worth it, sound effects are on point!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuVWllWVnKE&list=UUGETXX2vrz8qYh-izs4ZteA

Please don't ♥♥♥♥ yourself, as i did many times... I had to change after the recordings...
Have fun, hope this helped!


I still have 27 more days to go till i beat it... ♥♥♥♥ me :'(
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 8 people (63%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 24
I've never posted a review for a game when I've only played 15 minutes of it. That's all I could stand of Pineview Drive. 15 minutes, which seemed like a small eternity.

First off, why do you move so incredibly slow? A 90 year old can move faster than you can in this game, even when holding down SHIFT (run).

Secondly, and more importantly, why is this game so poorly optimized? Not only is it poorly optimized, but the graphics are poor regardless! I have a $2,500 gaming rig, and on max settings at 1920 x 1080 I was getting 27 or below FPS. Wtf!

Third... why does the character gasp and breath heavily at NOTHING! Nothing at all! The house creaked... *BIG INTAKE OF AIR AND SHUDDER SOUNDS*.

Fourth... why do the achievements only unlock when you exit the game?

Now my pinky is tired from holding down the run button to move at a snails pace, I wasted time installing this POS and I gotta go find something better to play.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 6
This game really did have potential.

It has a nice and creepy atmosphere with a nice mechanic involving scaring you when the game feels you 'need' it based on twitchy movement and looking around often.

However, any semblance of fun this game might have had is ruined by the actual gameplay. You wander around the exact same house repeatedly. At first you look for keys to open more of the house. Soon you're just searching for whatever usable thing has appeared in this particular day at the house so that you can progress. That's it. This single handedly makes the game awful. You literally just comb the same rooms repeatedly whilst the game occasionally throws a loud noise your way.

Terrible, and I got it in a bundle.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 9 people (56%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
8.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 8
This might be the most oppressively dull attempt at horror I've ever played.

The game is entirely too long and the gameplay boils down to finding a key to open a door and find another key. That, however, assumes you're not wandering aimlessly around the house for several minutes, wondering where you're supposed to go before the main character randomly blurts out "I heard something from <insert room here>." What's more, the scares are all recycled ideas from other media (Amnesia and The Ring in particular), several of which are repeated no less than half-a-dozen times.

Don't waste your time or money on this one.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 9 people (56%) found this review helpful
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 27, 2014
This game creeps you out. It's good. But not great. Even for people afraid of the dark, as well as people seemingly without fear alike, could get bored pretty soon if the game developers don't fix the unnatural lighting of the game engine rendering "dark room" or "night" scenes. Even with all settings set to full it disappoints at moments. Day-time outside lighting is great. But if they could fix the unnatural lighting in the "dark", the game would be even better than it is now, and it's not too bad. It's okay. I'm just saying you're not supposed to see a lit wall or anything illuminated without light source beaming on it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 16
I'm not such a fan of Horror Adventure games, but this one I really enjoyed.
Same with Gone Home, I went through this one without a clue what the game was about.
For Gone Home however, it was quite a different story. This game actually had some scary parts.

This game has a really amazing atmosphere. At day it feels really safe, but at night.. Who knows what will happen.
I eventually fled from the game cause I chickened out.. I remember having 3 keys which none of them fit in any lock.
I went outside to check if the gate fit any of the keys, when my flashlight suddenly went out..
I was left alone in the dark with nothing but a far away lighthouse to keep me from turning insane.
Suddenly I heard footsteps and they weren't mine. The first thing I did was close the game.

This being such more of a scary experience to me than any game that want to scare the player so consistantly is really interesting. The fact that you don't know when you should be scared and when not to is a really good part of this game.


+ Good Elements
Good Atmosphere
Great Sound
Pleasant Control

- Fixable Elements
(as far as I have read) Too Many Days, Too Many Keys..
Odd Intro
Finite batteries?


I certainly do recommend this game dispite my issues with this game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
256 of 296 people (86%) found this review helpful
7.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 2, 2014
Summary (TL;DR): The game is OK. It will (probably) scare you and give you the feeling a horror game should. But if you’re in for a storyline or interesting/innovative gameplay then you’re going to be disappointed with the game.

So I just finished playing this game, so my opinion might be heavily influenced by how the game ended. I will try not to spoil anything in the opener, and talk about the game mechanics first.

Sound: So at first the sound in the game is alright, the music is there to creep you out and create an atmosphere. However, the music is constantly there and it feels out of place at most times. At times, the music will get intense as well, and loud noises will come out of nowhere, which again feels out of place most of the time and is overused in my opinion. There are a lot of sounds that are there to disturb you, example at times you’ll hear footsteps near you, or someone “Psst”-ing. Personally I don’t think these are out of place and makes sense to use, and they aren’t really overused to the point where they become an annoyance

Graphics: Graphics were okay, I don’t have anything to add to this since I didn’t really expect AAA game graphics in the first place. Some textures were weird, but it’s nothing to really focus on.

Gameplay: Gameplay wasn’t that interesting. Opening the same doors to the same rooms every day, trying to find out which room is going to have any “Action” or events happening in them is not as interesting as it may sound. It was alright the first couple of days when there weren’t that many rooms to look through, but once you unlock almost every door it gets irritating to put up with, because the game basically requires that you re-visit every room every day. If you run around confused for a prolonged time, the person you’re controlling will give you a clue, which is nice, but I still feel like it’s annoying that you have to walk around every room all the time.

Level-design: The level design isn’t TOO bad, but it does fall short on some parts. Some rooms connect weirdly, though it does help you getting around the house easily once you have all the doors opened. Still, it’s an annoyance walking around, and you will often find yourself being lost in all the rooms that you can visit, and will probably miss some every now and then. That being said, the rooms were nicely decorated and they helped with the atmosphere.

Atmosphere: So I guess we can all agree that atmosphere is the most important thing in a horror game, and Pineview does get away with it pretty nicely I’d say. There are the annoyingly repetitive sounds I mentioned earlier, but if you look past that, the game does succeed in having that horror feel to it. Some of the props helped nicely and were put to good use. Overall I’d say that Pineview does capture a good scary atmosphere and there’s not a lot to really touch on here.

Story [No spoilers]: So I decided to split this up in to two, because the story annoys me to no end. It starts off by the main person arriving to the house where some stuff has gone down. Linda, the wife I’m assuming, has died in the house and “No one has survived in the house for 30 days” and you have to find out what happened to Linda. Simple stuff, though from there the story kind of falls short, and I can’t go in to detail without spoiling the game, but you basically find letters scattered around the house that tells you what has been going on in the house back when the incident with Linda happened. That’s it, that’s the basic storyline.

Story [SPOILERS]: Right, so moving on, this is where the game falls short and REALLY disappoints me. Note that this section will spoil the entire “Surprise” of the game, so read with caution. During the game you find some notes which help you finding out what happened to Linda, and you find notes explaining what has been going on around the house, like the clown being moved around and then appearing in its original place, and that Linda had been hearing strange noises in the house. Though, the notes doesn’t seem to tell all that much until you start gathering the pieces of a picture, which then reminds the main person about a doll. A doll that is evil, and, assumingly, is buried with Linda. On day 29 you gain access to the cemetery, and enter Linda’s tomb, and in that tomb you’re going to face the game’s biggest disappointment. You’d expect everything to be cleared up, an open ending, or some sort of explanation as to why the house is being haunted, why the clown is moving around, why the scarecrow will chase you, why the shadows of the girls appear at random times or get to know something about Linda’s death. But no. The game ends weirdly, abruptly and in a very strange fashion. As you walk in Linda’s tomb you suddenly find a machine. There’s no explanation as to what this machine does, and you have to turn it on. Once you do, the game ends with a video which I assume is a continued version of the video in the very beginning of the game. This still clears nothing at all, and the machine still feels weirdly out of place.

Edit: This is the first time I have actually taken my time to write a lenghty review for a game, and I would love some feedback. Thanks in advance
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
97 of 119 people (82%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
9.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 5, 2014
I am currently unemployed, and sometimes worry that others may be "right" when they opine that I should NOT be waking up as late as 3 or 4pm in the afternoon. I am glad to see that this game has cured me of any such concerns, as our main protagonist, in spite of having set himself a task of exploring a spooky haunted mansion over the course of thirty days, seemingly elects to get up no earlier than 5-5.30pm each and every day (judging by how quickly the sun goes down). And considering how low he is on flashlight batteries and matches - indeed, did not even think to bring any with him, but as luck would have it, they are intermittently dispersed throughout said mansion - this is perhaps not the wisest of strategies. Alas, a work ethic is a work ethic, and if he feels he is most efficient at night, I can only empathise. Like a male ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥, it would seem both myself and the hero of Pineview Drive do our best work after dark. (It's a burden sometimes, but someone must be up to the task.)

It would also appear that our protagonist is either an avid horror gamer himself, or failing that, someone aspiring to join the team of the Most Haunted TV series. Because for whatever reason - "searching for clues" which have something to do with his wife, apparently - he gets up every evening, at the crack of sunset, and wanders around the house just HOPING something spooky will happen. He searches the same rooms, over and over again, night after night, to see what spooky tricks the mansion might have to throw at him THIS time...as sooner or later, one of these spooky events is destined to lead to the finding of yet another KEY.

Yes...sigh...it's one of THOSE games.

In fact, whereas other horror and/or first-person games intersperse door-locking "puzzles" with slight variations on the theme, such as turning cranks or, well, actually solving PUZZLES perhaps, this one pretty much operates on the principle of forever looking for a key which wasn't there five seconds before said spookiness occurred. Well, okay, sometimes it takes a smidgen longer than five seconds to acquire the key...for example, you might be standing near some windows and hear some creepy childish laughter, and look out the window to see a ghostly young lady on a set of swings outside. So what does our humble hero do next? Well, like we all would, he decides it's time to venture outside, into a storm, in the middle of a dark and spooky night, and check out the swings...I mean, we'd all do that, right? ♥♥♥♥ waiting 'til the next day, and DAY-LIGHT...let's go outside right this second, at a time of optimum eeriness, just so we can unnecessarily scare ourselves ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ whilst obtaining yet another key (which would, presumably, still be there in the morning or afternoon if we'd only wait).

This "logic" is by no means the worst of the game's problems, however. Scenarios like the one I just described, while a tad bemusing, are frankly a God-send compared to the numerous bits in the game where you simply HAVE NO ♥♥♥♥ING IDEA WHAT TO DO NEXT. Fortunately, after about ten or so minutes of fruitless wandering about, your character will eventually muse something aloud like, "I don't know why, but I have a feeling I should go and check the children's room again"...which, while a bit LATE in coming, would still be something of a God-send IF WE COULD ACTUALLY REMEMBER WHERE THE CHILDREN'S ROOM IS. If ever a game needed a map...THIS IS THAT GAME; not just to help find a room we know we're specifically looking for, but indeed to save us walking up to almost every single door in the house (which consists of several floors, AND several wings) to see which one our latest key might happen to fit...which is to say, a map could have clearly shown us which doors we HAVEN'T managed to unlock as of yet, narrowing things down a bit. Something as simple as that could have saved THIS particular gamer, at the very least, a good few hours of unnecessary gameplay, and significantly tightened up the pacing and structure of the game while we're at it. Wouldn't that have been nice? Just a thought.

Oh, and I haven't yet mentioned the game's supposedly innovative "fear-detection" system...which basically adds up to you losing a bit of "health" every time you jerk the mouse too suddenly after a scare, or keep the run button held down during such encounters, or...something like that. Personally, I found this little feature to be almost null-and-void for the first twenty-nine chapters, as I barely ever took "damage" anyway. That is, until Day 30, at which point the balance completely flips in the opposite direction and you can barely even MOVE FORWARD without the game interpreting said "violent" motion as sheer-and-utter-horror on your behalf. It's a bit poorly-executed, in other words, and kinda borderline pointless even if it HAD been flawlessly implemented. Still, I'm sure it was a nice idea on paper, a bit like the first Amnesia's almost equally pointless "sanity" system. Full points for trying something different, though...

Now, if it sounds like I'm giving this game a hard rap, don't believe a second of it. I actually really, really liked this game. At least until the bewildering final chapter and the ludicrously baffling final cut-scene which follows it. Sure the game's a tad long (THIRTY DAYS? Was it really necessary for us to endure THIRTY DAYS?!), rather repetitive, and not really all that "scary" ("spooky" is definitely the more appropriate word, as it's ultimately more bark than bite)...but other than this, if you were the kind of kid, like yours truly, who used to enjoy wandering around abandoned schoolyards and empty old houses at night in some attempt to try and scare yourself silly, this is the kind of game you can probably get behind. But be warned: You really DO need to be that kind of person, who enjoys EXPLORING things, and RE-EXPLORING them, and RE-EXPLORING THEM AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN, or else this is gonna bore you stupid in no time; not least of all because the occasional "hints" as to where to go next are generally few and far between.

In all fairness, this IS a tiny bit more than just a "walking simulator" - you can at least add "key-finding simulator", "door-unlocking simulator" and "note-finding simulator" to that list - but there isn't a great deal more to it than that. Like any good horror game, it's really just the vaguest semblance of a "plot", ultimately serving as an excuse for the game to throw a certain number of super-atmospheric and spooky "set-pieces" your way. If this is the kind of thing you consider entertaining, then by all means, come inside...just remember to wear your halo, though, 'cause THAT's the level of patience you're gonna need to make it all the way to the final cut scene (though if you made it all the way through this rather long-winded review, I guess you're part-way to Sainthood already)!

Verdict: 8/10.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
128 of 168 people (76%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 2, 2014
I pretty much immediately felt creeped out by the atmosphere of this game, which is a great sign. The aware-of-your-fear mechanic is also really, really cool. 30 mins in and -- even though all I've done was find keys to open doors -- I was visibly frightened. Then for the next three hours, all I did was find more keys to open more doors.

Door Unlocking Simulator 2014: Dumb Mansion Floorplan Edition
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
57 of 67 people (85%) found this review helpful
7.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 5, 2014
Pineview Drive is an indie haunted house simulator with relatively simple gameplay. Over the span of 30 days, you try and find clues to what happened to your wife, Linda, who disappeared without a trace at an old abandoned estate 20 years ago, for your own closure. To accomplish this you must look around the house, find keys, open doors, and experience a variety of scares and spooks.

And let me restate this point: This game is a haunted house simulator. It's with these expectations that I think the game is best experienced. It's done in a similar vein to the Ju-On The Curse game or the Haunted House mode in the Fatal Frame 2 Wii Remake. Nothing is coming to attack you, there is no hiding mechanic, no enemies to shoot and kill. Your character is slow, can't jump, and gameplay consists of looking for keys/matches/batteries/notes/locked doors, and experiencing events.

On this accord, it does some smart things. Your character does have health even though you're not attacked directly, the health instead is basically responsive to how you react when 'scared' When a scare happens, if you do something with your controls, IE starts shaking your mouse around or suddenly start running or stop running or stop altogether, basically changing the pace of movement you were doing when the scare happens, you'll lose health. How much health you lose is accordant to how extreme/timely your reaction is. This also is all monitored to take note of what you react strongly too and don't and stores that information away to change some minor events. It works well for the most part, though I noticed the game seemingly thinking I was scared of certain events that didn't scare me.

And in my opinion the game works, mainly due to the fact the atmosphere of the game is good and some of the scares did legitimately scare the crap out of me. Scares are subjective, but most games don't scare me, so when one game manages to scare me a few times over the course of the game, I take notice. The atmosphere helps a lot towards this, the rooms look appropriately creepy, the music has good variety and can be good to make you unnerved, along with the type of music you sometimes question if the music is the background music or something happening. The game starts off rather slow with little happening, but escalates as the days go on.

Some scares and moments are obviously inspired by other things however. They're still effective, but can take away from the moment if you recognize the scare's obvious inspiration. Without spoiling too much, there were two scenes that were very obviously inspired by the film, "Ringu", and the game, "Condemned: Criminal Origins." And not all scares were winners, many either left me unphased and some were a bit silly.

On the flip-side, there was some very unique scares in places and some were handled well, and there's a good variety. There's even a few scares and entities that are randomized and can happen anywhere later in the game as you're exploring. Special mention from me goes to a certain clown and scarecrow...

But the game is bogged down by a few problems. Firstly, it's very dark. I had to turn brightness all the way up and it was still super dark. This would be fine, but you don't get your flashlight until a bit into the game, and I found myself stumbling through the dark for a while before I eventually found it. A second flaw is that while new elements get added in scares and the like, the gameplay remains mostly the same, making the later parts sometimes feel rather tedious. On this, in some of the later areas when a lot of the estate is opened up to you, sometimes there's very little indication of where you're supposed to go, leading you to randomly scout rooms to see if you spot any keys or if any events trigger. Spend too long searching, and your character will eventually tell you where to go, but it seems disappointing and not well designed especially since the game at some points does an excellent job at leading you to specific parts of the house with cues, sounds, and graphical things.

Also the last area of the game and the ending are slightly confusing and come out of left field, and I found the last area ended up being kind of trial and error with getting past it as it's a bit too harsh on your health and scares to get through all of it.

Still, it turned out better than I expected and I enjoyed playing it. It reminded me of a game version of those horror movies about characters stupidly staying at an obviously haunted house that gets worse as time goes on. Some good atmosphere and scares steal the show here, even if not all moments are winners. It's held back by a few problems, but if you want a haunted house simulator to play through, this is a pretty solid effort.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
86 of 125 people (69%) found this review helpful
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 1, 2014
I tried to make it through this game in the interest of being open minded and writing a fair review, but it was so mind bogglingly dull I just couldn't take it anymore. The atmosphere and darkness are indeed creepy but the pacing was terrible, and the scares were so laughably unfrightening, few, and far between that it felt like a poor reward for all the aimless circling ( done at a snails pace walk ) to obtain them. I don't mind a slow start but this went on with no clear rise in the pace of activity for 10 agonizingly slow levels. I felt more annoyed than anything as I made my nightly rounds, hoping against hope to stumble across the door behind which something would finally happen quickly. The story is delivered in single sentences and is, so far, too vague and without unity to be engaging. Yeah, yeah, some creepy stuff happened, but there's no character or conflict or mystery or anything motivating me to find out what happens next. If you don't have action or puzzles you have to have a really good story. A game can't sustain interest on atmosphere alone. Perhaps all of these things improve later in the game, but without some kind of hook in the first few levels that teases at something mysterious or surprising or scary or dramatic etc. I have to presume after 10 levels without change that this is what I can expect from the rest of the game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny