What do you expect in a horror game? Each of us will have a different answer to meet our requirements. But I think even if you are a particular person, House on The Hill can satisfy you.
I think this is among indie horror games that bring something very different. Blame Him, Follia Dear Father, Infliction are horror games released recently. They also have received a lot of attention from gaming community I have had the opportunity to experience.
I still vividly remember the feeling of fear I felt when I followed publishers’ story. But other than all, House on The Hill offers a lasting haunt. “A mass of explosives is packed in a small boom”. That is what I think about it. You will see it when you fall directly into nightmares it brings.
When you think you can succeed, this game gives you a splash of cold water. When you feel being brave, and a little rose is enough, it will prove the opposite.
NO WAY OUT.
Warning: This article directly exploits content of House on The Hill, so it will be unavoidable to reveal important details. Be careful. Once again, welcome to my House on The Hill review.
One of the most tightly structured pieces of content I’ve ever tried
What do we have here? Sorry if you’re feeling an explosion of emotions here because these lines were written as I went through his super horrible trip with Aiden (main character of House on The Hill).
It comes with stories
Five small stories are waiting for you to discover. Each story is linked directly to each other and understands what is going on, and there is no choice to get it unless you are fully immersed in the character.
This is what I find out after being with Aiden for more than an hour. He is a writer with big dreams. But when the dream is no longer enough to support his family and pay hospital bills for his son’s heart treatment, a daring decision is made.
Leave unfinished pages of his novel, Aiden takes a flashlight and becomes a thief at a partner’s suggestion. And an old mansion with many precious jewels became the target of two “reluctant” thieves. Aiden will perform a million-dollar mission alone with help through headphones from his friend.
Everything seemed easy when landlord left the city. But Aiden did not realize that House on The Hill would probably be the last stop of his life.
He wanted to go in and out quickly, but the house didn’t. The house hides a life of its own. And you don’t seem to be there alone. Soon you will feel something strange happening there, in hidden corners of the house.
Something terrible, a supernatural force, the evil crimes and tragedies of a family, all will converge there. Through different angles of entry, you realize that death is the only thing that exists here.
A mother starves her child to death, a husband with hatred ends her wife’s life in search of repayment for the child, and a particular entity being raised in the basement of the house turns out to be the soul of a revived baby.
These stories are intertwined so that you eventually realize that it is our protagonist who has suffered the most pain from the past. A fair amount of information, right? But you will find it extremely fascinating when you recognize logical arrangement of the game layout.
Five stories with five endings are also the fate of people. The complex human relationships between them will make you goosebumps. That’s right because our lives are also incredibly complex and unpredictable.
Fascinating gameplay solves the whole story
You can’t expect anything extraordinary in gameplay of horror games in recent years. A little item gathering, a little puzzle-solving, and a little chasing. That is all that stands out.
Easy to guess, right? House on The Hill gameplay also focuses on that direction, but it is how to handle five different stories to make a difference. What do we have here? The game opens up very gently when you will know how to interact with items through Aiden’s partner’s guidance.
You will even be told how to turn off alarm system. But when nooks and crannies of the game unfold, you’ll find that simplicity is fake.
Feel free to end your way
As I said, there are five stories, and it means there are five endings. Non-linear walkthrough. You are free to explore the mansion in your way.
The instructor only specifies what direction you should look for and where it should be located. The rest is up to you. There is no specific orientation, which room to open first or which item is needed.
You will be provided with pretty “powerful” weapons like flashlights and cameras (in story two). And believe me, when enemy shows up, the only thing you can do is run.
Other objects also appeared but not much. We will not talk about flashlight because this is a legendary item of many games already. But camera is a highlight of House on The Hill.
The fact that game maker fully exploits its features to make this item a miracle. After each photo, details were hidden inside them, the room will appear. And that is your clue.
Besides, its light system will also become an alternative flashlight when you collide with mother’s angry soul, and she destroyed the original flashlight.
Along with that are cassettes. You will find an old TV and a disc player are waiting for you to load in each story. The stories and pasts of members in the house will gradually be revealed.
And be smart
Although it does not play a minor role in the journey, game’s puzzles also partly cause players’ difficulty. How to find hidden passageways in the basement of the house with only random chess pieces?
How to open doors and escape when a fuse box is missing an important part? There are quizzes for you to be put on by Aiden’s partner, but there are somethings you’ll have to solve on your own when he loses connection.
Some puzzles are challenging and complicated, but some puzzles extract material from everyday life. Where do you usually keep your spare key when you don’t want to bring it to work?
And mostly, in House on The Hill, you will experience feeling of killing monsters. When faced with entity, mother is trying to revive from her crimes. You will get knife and take turns stabbing at the worship parts to maintain its life. Of course, publisher is also extremely ingenious when it comes to building chases.
You will meet a mysterious stranger trying to kill you by pumping chemicals into the room or angry mother’s soul. All of them will make you fidgety.
Choose your ending
In general, House on The Hill creates good gameplay to exploit a plot with vast amount of information. Besides, if you pay close attention, you will see although there is no arrangement to direct you in any sequence, storyline is displayed very logically.
Each item you steal after the first three stories becomes a sacrifice to open chains that lock the room where members’ darkest memories are kept.
The story switching is also what I want to talk about. Players choose their ending because stories keep going like a play. When one story rewinds like tape, and another one follows, you will start from the same position five times.
This can cause certain boredom for fastidious players. But you can rest assured, then, your mind has no room for such trivial considerations. House on The Hill gameplay is excellent when it creates a certain charm and requires players to have a high level of thinking and concentration.
Great audio-visual system completes House on The Hill
What Steppe Hare Studio has done with House on The Hill is truly a masterpiece. Layered structure of the house is supported by beautiful décor. Artwork from the Victorian period can be found everywhere, and they create the atmosphere of a wealthy family mansion.
On the other hand, the portraits of supporting characters create a feeling of darkness and horror in hallways of the house. If you are immersed in sprawling of the first and second floors of the mansion, be careful when stepping down to the basement.
A change comes in your face when you see a cave was built out of human bones. It is so beautiful, but that beauty seems from death. And perhaps I have never seen death so attractive like that.
Mixed in the rooms is also illusion of supernatural forces. And this caught my attention. The system of villains in game is also meticulously designed to make players haunt. But to me, that is not enough.
The characters act quite stiffly (only angry woman’s soul is scaring player). Entity’s presence in cavern was a disappointment to not exerting its full strength.
The sound system works quite effectively in driving players’ emotion. The closing sound is so amplified to startle you. Or sound of footsteps clapping to the floor can also make your heart beat faster than usual.
Other effects, such as antagonist’s wheezing and wailing sounding through the air, are all very effective in game’s overall progress. House on The Hill uses very little music, making sense to get players to focus entirely on the plot.
House on The Hill release date is July 29, 2020, and you can be one of the first to experience it. And because the price is less than $5, I think this is a game that deserves to be on your console.
Usually, I wouldn’t say I like indie horror games that are heavy of story, but House on The Hill made me change my mind. A comprehensive game from content to pictures and sure to give you moments of sleep. Download, experience, and let me know what you think about it. Thanks for reading this House on The Hill review.