Capsule is a single-player survival game played entirely through a radar interface. Players navigate a hostile landscape, learn about their surroundings, and unravel a classic sci-fi story in the process. Best played in a dark room with headphones. NOT RECOMMENDED FOR PLAYERS WITH MISOPHONIA.
User reviews:
Overall:
Very Positive (86 reviews) - 87% of the 86 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Feb 14, 2012

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Reviews

“It's amazing, the kind of experience that only comes from the tiny subset of games that work on me. Stark and understated, it's the interactive medium's answer to Ridley Scott's ALIEN.”
Harvey Smith

“...you should too, if you are not too deterred by the concept of a near-colourless journey of sound and survival through a pitiless void that tells you nothing and refuses to lend you any helping hand.”
Rock Paper Shotgun

“...the uncomfortable sound of someone struggling to breathe as you run out of oxygen is almost enough to induce panic.”
The Verge

About This Game

Capsule is a single-player survival game played entirely through a radar interface. Players navigate a hostile landscape, learn about their surroundings, and unravel a classic sci-fi story in the process. Best played in a dark room with headphones.

NOT RECOMMENDED FOR PLAYERS WITH MISOPHONIA.

In a strange and hostile place, something has gone very, very wrong. You wake up inside a small capsule, trapped, with no view of the outside world. The only way to survive is to use the radar screen and the capsule's simple controls to try and find more oxygen and more fuel... and to find out what happened.

Capsule is a short game, approximately 2 hours for most players. Capsule is not a game for everyone; if you are claustrophobic, misophonic, and/or have anxiety or triggers related to asphyxiation and/or darkness Capsule may not be a good game for you.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: Intel Core i3
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    Minimum:
    • OS: OS X 10.7
    • Processor: Intel Core i3
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Storage: 100 MB available space
Customer reviews
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Overall:
Very Positive (86 reviews)
Recently Posted
Maxmetpt
( 1.8 hrs on record )
Posted: June 22
CAPSULE is a fairly unconventional game. Alien and hostile instead of fun. But worth every minute, despite being very short.

You're inside a vessel of some kind (I assume a submarine, but the details aren't too important). You try to get from base to base, investigating what's happening around you and trying to reach home.

As I said, it's not "fun". From the screenshots, you can see there's very little that the game gives you. You're isolated inside a capsule, and the radar is your only contact with the outside world. To get from base to base, you'll have to balance your oxygen and power levels. If you run out of oxygen, you die. If you run out of power... well, you'll then be stuck in place, slowly running out of oxygen... until you die. There's still hope, though, as you may be able to get the engine started!

You'll have to use your active radar to check what the points on your map are. These may be enemy creatures, mines, fuel, air tanks, and others. The important thing to note is that using your active radar enables your enemies to detect the signal and know where you are. If you get too close to some of them, you'll also be detected.

Each mission is essentially the same, trying to get from A to B without running out of oxygen. The difficulty increases, of course. And by the last few missions, you'll have to dive (heh) into the deeper mechanics to survive, as supplies are very rare.

So far, although the mechanics are all very coherent and purposeful, the game doesn't seem all that enticing, right? Well, yes, and no.
The atmosphere and sound design tie it all together very, very nicely! Not only does it nail the isolation, it also leaves something for you to imagine. For example, there are areas with many crates around... Maybe a shipwreck?
There are also different types of "creatures", each with a different behaviour.

And finally, although I don't want to spoil it (please don't read if you're planning on playing the game) the music in the final mission was brilliant! After being alone for so long, you suddenly hear music as you approach home. And it's so good! The only moment in the game in which there is music (hope). After you arrive, there's also the sound of birds and the sea, which you wouldn't have heard in a while... ... And then there's something else going on with the story that may also intrigue you.


But anyway. If you like the feeling on isolation, this game is very well worth a play.
Everything from the (simple, but effective) mechanics to the visual and audio design pushed the game toward a specific objective and nailed it. Really enjoyed it!

P.S.: Forgot this before. One negative (or at least dubious) aspect of the game was the discovery element, in a sense. When you use the radar, you get the name of the "points" on the map. These are like labels, but you don't know what the label does. Unless it says "mine", its meaning may be up in the air, to you. Well, I usually abstain from running into things when I don't know what they do, or their names are the least bit ominous.

The price for being conservative is death by asphyxiation. Oops.
The point is that you will have to risk it and try all of the different labels to know what they do. The dubious part is that you will probably die a couple of times as a result (not as an insta-death type of thing, just for the lack of information, or misinformation -- I didn't pick up some fuel cells because I didn't understand what they were, from their name). It feels a bit strange, since, in that situation, the person would simply die. And it's a bit immersion breaking to have use a "respawn" as a planned strategy.

It's not too important, but it's a thought I wanted to leave here.
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bobert awful (F+)
( 6.3 hrs on record )
Posted: May 19
If you liked the archaic, dirty, industrial space look as seen in the movie ALIEN and in the game ALIEN: ISOLATION, Capsule may be something to check out, because CAPSULE IS CREEPY AND TERRIFYING.

Capsule is a minimalist exploration game from Adam Saltsman (who created Canabalt, the game that created the endless runner subgenre) and Robin Arnott (a man who knows what nightmares sound like and ruminates on them in video games) about you traversing through a blasted out part of space in a junky old spaceship. Of course, it starts out simple enough - you're learning about the environment and the limitations of your old space junker, and boy howdy do you have no idea what's gonna be store for you once you get past the first few stages, because once you do, you're gonna realize that your lackadasical behavior towards space survival is not going to be enough, and the game will houndlessly kill you until you learn how your ship works. Maybe ease off going full throttle so you don't run out of fuel and choke to death in space. Maybe don't pick up the Nitroxes, because they make your ship blow up. Maybe figure out how to jumpstart your ship when you run out of fuel. Hurry up, buddy. Your oxygen's disappearing.

The thing I really like about Capsule is that I became a pro at knowing what I could and couldn't do with my old piece of ♥♥♥♥ Capsule spaceship. I learned from it while I operated - it's reliable, but energy-hungry, and I eventually started tweaking how I operated the ship to get the most mileage out of it as I could. Once I started intimately knowing what my ship did at what speed, I easily beat the game. It's all about intuiting what your ship can and can't do. If you can't intuit, prepare to hear that asphyxiation noise before you restart a LOT.

It's five bucks, and judging from the mealy-mouthed complaining about how FLASH GAMES SHOULDN'T COST MONEY ON STEAM in the comments, it might be a bit higher than what you're expecting to pay? Hell, I don't know many people who find the idea of pretending to be in an extremely cramped spaceship desperately searching for a gulp of air before they die to be fun. I like it, but then again I'm a sour, depressed first-world problems having dork who thinks the concept of other people is a concept that should be set on fire.
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tupungato
( 2.5 hrs on record )
Posted: April 29
Minimalist space survival game. You find yourself with a capsule with limited ion fuel and air supply.

Using your sonar you slowly uncover mysteries.

The game is very simple, but really immersive and definitely worth playing. It took me 2.5 hrs to complete.

OVERALL SCORE: 8/10
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41nd
( 0.3 hrs on record )
Posted: April 24
Lack of options in game, bad maps with extremely low air pockets suply makes this almost impossible to advance. Not recommended.
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ObiWannnabe (GWJ philucifer)
( 3.7 hrs on record )
Posted: April 11
A genuinely unique game that relies on a minimalist interface and sound cues to guide the player forward. Be sure to play with headphones on and the lights out, and you'll control your sci-fi (underwater?) vessel using only radar pings as your guide as you travel from outpost to outpost seeking a final destination. The game doesn't give you any real suggestions, so here are a couple that helped me out: once you've learned enough, pay close attention to the size and shape of the objects on your screen before you ping them - and never use full propulsion unless you want to end up stranded!
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DeadishDoug
( 9.5 hrs on record )
Posted: February 14
Enthusiastic about this. Played it through a few times and it maintains a certain allure. Get it.
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Rikki-tikki-tavi
( 3.0 hrs on record )
Posted: January 31
A nice little atmospheric adventure. A good example of "less is more" (although I personally think the story could be just a little bit "more" instead of "less").
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Cups
( 1.9 hrs on record )
Posted: January 22
Atmospheric and quite compelling, Capsule is one of those neat games of single effect.

The graphics are awesome and the writing is pretty good, keeping you going for that next blip.

I don't really like hearing my character choke on his own gases but it does provide an important
motive force.

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Vienticus Prime
( 1.7 hrs on record )
Posted: January 18
This has got to be one of the most interesting simple game I've ever played. The game isn't that long at all to go from start to finish, and the story to it is a nice little sci-fi ditty. Definitely pick it up at some point.
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Tractatus
( 2.0 hrs on record )
Posted: January 8
Immersive short game in which you pilot a capsule with only the radar screen acting as the interface. The sound effects (e.g. coughing, gasping for air right before you suffocate) add to the claustrophobic feeling of being inside a small vessel.
The goal for each level is to reach the next outpost before you run out of oxygen and fuel.
Managing your oxygen and fuel resources while attempting to dodge enemies and hazards make for some tense and exciting gameplay.
Story is told through communication logs between each level and is quite minimalistic and cryptic towards the end.

Game length is short (~2 hrs to complete on first run) and there is no incentive to replay the game after it's finished. The game is initially difficult, but gets easier once you understand the enemy patterns. The key to this game is to move consistently and methodically and never rush through the levels.

Overall, if you enjoy games with an immersive atomsphere, and don't mind its short length, this title is worth a try.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
37 of 38 people (97%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: May 29, 2014
Worth the sale price in my opinion. The game is not very long, but the feeling of being completely lost and having no idea where to go or what to do was amazing.

Claustrophobic, yet atmospheric. Very simplistic. Open to interpretation. If that isn't your cup of tea, steer clear. Otherwise appreciate this game for what it is :)
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22 of 24 people (92%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: May 29, 2014
A little gem of a game.

I was surprised at how effective it was with how little it actually gives you. It really sold me on the whole "I'm about to die in the middle of the deep sea", and I kept wanted to get to the next post to see how the story would develop.

Grab your headphones and immerse yourself in a very atmospheric experience.
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11 of 11 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 18, 2015
I found this to be a somewhat unique little game. In some ways I consider it a combination of a sci-fi / puzzle / horror type of game.

Watching a wavy radar-monitor screen while piloting something like an underwater mini submarine, or "Capsule", and there is an almost constant sense of tension as air and power can quickly deplete along with other lurking dangers hiding in the murky depths.

You’re kind of dumped into the game and left to figure out what to do or what the heck is going on, but I think that’s part of the enjoyment of it.

The atmosphere of the game is well done. Sounds are good and an important part of the game. Graphics are minimalistic, but for this type of game it works really well.

To best experience this game I suggest to play with a headset, turn up the sound a bit, turn down the room lights, let yourself be immersed; Put yourself into a frame of mind that you're piloting a leaky cramped mini-submarine, or “Capsule”, with only an old flickering radar monitor screen for visual feedback, and your ears listening carefully for sounds, to help let you know what might be out there around you.

Hearing the last gasps of breath as you desperately search for a much needed air-pocket, then at the last moment you find one, you’ll be taking a big gulp of air and have a brief sigh of relief and you contiue to limp your way to your destination while always on the lookout for sources of air and power to keep you going. But, oh noooes! *Shhhriiieeeak!*. What was that aweful noise? Something's coming in... fast! Com' on, move faster you leaky tin can. Don't let me die here. I'm so close to the next base... So close!

Overall; I think it's quite a good game with a well done atmosphere and I felt well worth the few dollars I spent to buy it.

Below is a little game-play video of me playing Capsule.
Cheers! :)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-Z8ebDSWro
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10 of 10 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 25, 2015
tl;dr: Superbly immersive in its minimalism, and definitely not recommended for people who are afraid of facing a basic existential horror: running out of breath and dying alone inside a tiny escape pod in the middle of nowhere.

After you turn off the lights and put on your headphones, you are immediately immersed in what appears to be an otherworldly underwater (or space) environment that you can only experience through the minimal UI of a radar screen. The sparse, grirtty interface elements and visuals (and the even sparser controls) force you to surrender to the brilliant and shockingly uncomfortable sounds of your breathing, the whining of the engine and the blips of the radar's pulse. And it is this sound design that makes Capsule what it is: an experience much more so than a game. Mainly because your desire to survive has less to do with winning and more to do with avoiding the desperate gasps of running low on oxygen.

The gameplay is simple and repetitive, but it does manage to keep you tense throughout. Alone in your claustrophobic capsule you traverse this unidentified alien space, using the radar to help you locate pockets of air and power while avoiding dangers, and using the compass/distance readout to navigate to your next destination. Balancing these simple decisions of speed and direction feels like a constant gamble stacked against you, so expect to die alot. Still, despite the very basic controls there are a couple of secrets and subtleties to be dicovered in the gameplay - a look at the achievements may give you a couple of hints.

The game has no pause button but saves at (and restarts from) the last base you have managed to reach. Those are also the locations where you can refuel and uncover your next destination, while skimming through the few lines of communication leftovers you can access - the only way the game delivers explicit story. There is of course a bit of mystery there, an anomaly, elements of the strange. But the snippets that mostly hit home tend to be the mundane communications of daily life: a greeting to a daughter, a joke, complaining about those working in the other department, life as it is lived day-to-day. And they hit home because underlying them is the same existential horror that underlies every design aspect of this game: the mundane sound of a breath turning into a hopelessly lonely death rattle amidst the uncaring void.

So is this a good game? Not... really. The narrative has those fascinating little moments, but never develops, and the ending is at the same time experientially satisfying and way too abrupt. The gameplay, while tense, is repetitive and doesn't evolve, the difficulty is only scaled up by increasing the distance between bases. In fact, the minimalist retro-futuristic aesthetic and the sound design are all that holds this game together, but they constitute such a superb achievement of immersion that they are enough for me to absolutely recommend this game. This odd collection of 4 buttons, colourless dots on a screen and a couple of sound bites took me on a journey that I will have a really hard time forgetting any time soon.
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11 of 12 people (92%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 2, 2015
Immersion is a tricky thing to get right, but when it works it can take a game much further than the gameplay alone. CAPSULE is an excellent example of this, because the presentation really carries the short and simple content. You play an unnamed spaceman stuck in a titular capsule, stranded in the depths of space. You have dwindling air and power supplies, and must find your way to curious outposts to survive and uncover the mysterious circumstances unfolding in the area. Along the way you'll find numerous points of interest that must be identified with a sonar system. Some will be resources, some will be debris, and some will be alive.

All of this plays out on a fuzzy, faded CRT display that looks ripped right from a Soyuz capsule. Much like with Deadnaut, you're experiencing the game through a low-fi monitor that leaves the true nature of the ships and creatures you encounter to your imagination. Some incredible sound design helps put you in the right place for it, too. Outposts buzz with static numbers and messages, satellites beep at you, and your capsule creaks and groans. Perhaps the most effective is your own breathing, which gets more choked and panicked as your oxygen runs low. With a good set of headphones in a darkened room, you can really start to convince yourself you're lost in space in a tin can.

The story is plenty interesting, told through logs at the different points of interest. Honestly it's probably good that the game is only an hour long because there's not much actual exploring to do, and the gameplay gets repetitive quite fast. Once you recognize the pattern to navigating, it can start to drag. That being said, the presentation and the story more than justify the time and money spent on this one.
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10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: May 30, 2014
The initial concept of CAPSULE is very simple but the execution is where it shines.

The game does an excellent job with the atmosphere and immersion. They aren't joking when they say that if you have anxiety trigggers then this game might not be for you. What should be a simple matter of managing your resources has some very surprising refinements and is complicated by the way the world reacts to you, the subtle signs, sounds and behaviours. There is that very strong tension that comes from the warning that your fuel is low, or the gasping breaths as your oxygen supply runs out.

That said, there are some frustating points. The world is randomly generated every time you leave a docking station along with a sensor ping. This can lead to some cheap shots that cost you your resources. Sometimes it feels like the difficulty randomly spikes because of the generation and the immersion is lost as you just accept your death to restart and try again, this can make the death sequence annoying after the first few times.

Still, I enjoyed it and even after being able to manage my resources to maximum efficiently and accurately guess what things were based by their natural behavours and sound alone there were some heart pounding moments of near panic.

The game does very little to explain itself and instead leaves you, the player, to figure things out for yourself. You only get the basic controls once at the start of the game.

In technical terms, the game is set to fixed video options. It locks the aspect ratio of the game and gives you either Stretched Fullscreen (with blackness in the wasted space at the sides), Fullscreen (with blacknes around the game area) and Windowed mode. It can be forgiven as it is a point behind the immersion. You also cannot rebind controls.

If you enjoy games centered on immersion and place that above mechanics then I cannot reccomend CAPSULE any harder than I already am. If you enjoy exploration and figuring things out for yourself then CAPSULE is a fun little title. For mechanically focused players like myself, there are surprising refinements to be found and enjoyed. If any of those sound don't sound appealing to you then CAPSULE may be more frustration than anything else.
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10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 19, 2014
Capsule is a very minimalistic game. All you have to work with is the radar screen, which
gives you vision around you, your scan ability, which allows you to find your objective,
hazards, power vents, and air pockets, and the sound of your breathing.

All these initially boring-sounding elements actually combine into a rather compelling game
experience, really capturing the nervous feel of being low of air in a tiny cramped space.

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=328851622
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10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 6, 2015
A great success in game design, showing that you don't need 2spooky4u mr skeltals or jumpscares to make a good atmospheric horror game. Very well done and best played at night with good headphones.
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19 of 30 people (63%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 1, 2014
From the start it looked like the best thing ever! I absolutely love lo-fi sci-fi, I loved the graphics, the sound, the sense of loneliness. I loved everything, and was ready to praise the game, but then I moved to later stages. It gives you more and more distance to cover to the next objective, but gives no new content.

And I found damn Shrieks and Drones just INFURIATING. I try to approach slowly and scan for resources, but then one of these show up and choke me in seconds. Sometimes jumpstart works randomly, other times I just die with full tanks of oxygen, failing to start like 10-15 times in a row. When I try to flee from enemies swearing like a ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥, I only run into more of them, to lose my direction and then just die again.

When I started I thought Capsule would be the new best thing for me! I wanted to love the game, because it looked and felt great. I ended up hating it and cursing into the screen.

Great idea, great experience, amazing atmosphere, but damn frustrating and irritating game with clunky controls to make things even worse.
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 6, 2014
Wow, to think such a simple, familiar concept could be executed so well. Have a few bucks burning a hole in your pocket?

Capsule isn't a AAA title, but don't let that fool you, this game has more substance than anything else I've played, spare for a few titles.

Why? First of all, this game is a nostalgia trip. Think of all the great sci-fi and horror films of the 1960s-1980s mixed into one place, that being this game, Capsule. Capsule is a minimalistic survival horror game where you control what appears to be a submarine through a large, hostile environment via a radar screen. The GUI of the game itself looks like you're playing through an old CRT monitor left in a space ship for a few decades, complete with scan lines and vignette.

Of the game's many strong points, the first off is the emotional sense this game leaves. In the store's description, it warns players that this game is potentially triggering towards people who suffer from misophonia-- the fear or hatred of certain sounds (more on sounds later.) Going into this game leaves you to wonder many things. This is a visual adventure, though through mostly your brain. Your imagination is what does most of the work while you play. The player is presented with familiar, and cold concepts such as: desperation, isolation, depression, mystery, fear of the unknown, and survival. Everybody will get different things from this game, but that's what I got out of it on my first playthroughs.

The game oozes of substance. Think of Alien, mixed with The Abyss, and some elements from 2001 and The Thing placed in, for good measure.

What it boils down to is that you have to do what you can to survive. If you are easily bored, I would not recommend this game as it can be tedious, going from checkpoint to checkpoint. The fact that the basis of the game is pure survival is frightening; to envision an actual scenario where the goal was survival at any cost is equally terrifying, which is part of the reason why this game hits home.

Simple controls, easy to use, hard to master. Learning to control power levels takes a bit of skill, as you could speed your way to the next checkpoint, saving oxygen, but draining power like a faucet, or take your time, saving power, but draining oxygen. Calculated, mature decisions will need to be made to ensure your survival during this game.

Visuals are top notch, the retro-futuristic look of CRT monitors and clunky keyboards and tons of vector graphics has been achieved. If you appreciate the artwork of Moebius, Syd Mead, Ralph McQuarrie, or Ron Cobb, you will be right at home with the themes of this game. Though there's only mostly geometric shapes in the game, the mind paints a picture of what the objects are. I can imagine the "capsule" picking up oxygen tanks or bumping into lichen on rock formations on the sea floor.

Enemy encounters are genuinely terrifying, and the fear factor of this game in general is pretty scary. The isolation and fear of the unknown come up a lot. The first time I encountered an enemy NPC I nearly exited the game, it was such a surprise to see (SPOILER) a fast moving square come at me. Okay, I lied about the spoiler, but beware-- tripping a radar wave alerts enemies to your presence, making you think twice about your searches. Also, when you run out of power, you are doomed to a fate of slow death by asphyxiation (unless you can restart your capsule.) The screen fades to black and your last checkpoint is reloaded. Very scary.

Sound design is my favorite part about the game next to the visuals. The creators of the game present a meticulous array of perfect sounds. From small things like thruster jets, to the big things like docking with a base, or bumping into lichen (or an enemy hehe) it's all there and paints a huge picture in your mind. You feel like it's actually happening and you're experiencing it (or at least, I did.) When you bump into lichen you can hear scraping noises that are muffled enough to convince you that maybe you hit a rock or large plant. The beeps and fuzz of the monitor were a small, albeit nice touch.

All in all, for $5 I would be hard pressed to find a better game to test my wits and scare the bejeezus out of me without doing much. Very short story though! :l

Some final words, this game requires you to think, and isn't easy. Prepare to spend a long time retrying checkpoints. It's more of a mental experience than a traditional video game in that sense, but it's tons of fun, especially if you're in for a good scare.

9/10
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