The Conjuring House
I received an early copy of The Conjuring House to play and review. Having said that, I have to first introduce my love for horror games. My wife is constantly trying to get me to play them, especially around October. So, receiving this game with no prior knowledge of it truly was a sight to behold. This game will scare you, and it WILL frustrate you. The story pieces are scattered in letters you have to find, and the most horrible part is the fear you may be plagued with.
So far, I've only seen one demon chasing me, but she reminded me of the Alien from Alien Isolation. You can run, but she is persistent. Also, during the course of the game, there is a point where you have to pick up numbers written on walls. This is to unlock a padlocked door. The codes are randomized, as are the locations of the keys you need to pick up. For me, every time I picked up a key and died, I found it, but it was in a different area of the room.
Now, a warning that this game does get intense. As I said earlier, the game will scare you when you are not expecting it. But the reason this game is intense is the constant running, dodging, and even trying to find pieces of the puzzles scattered around the mansion. Besides the padlock numbers, the next puzzle I have found involves a Quija board and statuettes which much be collected, and numerous codes. Plus, finding random weapons, which aren't weapons but could be. One door needs a crowbar to open, while the others need hacksaw to cut them. It's up to you to figure out the order in which they go. This is a linear game, though it doesn't seem like it is.
In the style of Outlast, this game is all about survival. In order to stay alive, you have to be on your feet always. Know where the safe spots are, find doors in which you have unlocked previously, and find the save rooms. If you study the house enough you'll know where there are.
The save rooms are, believe it or not, covered in protective seals. I tried to go in without shutting the door, tempting the demonic lady to chase me, and she wouldn't come after me, and then when I turned my back, there she was! The door must be shut to be safe. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for the rest of the rooms. One part in the game was quite frustrating, as I did happen to die multiple times running from her.
When you use keys, they don't disappear. They are still in your inventory. Eventually, you'll need to find a box key too, I still have been struggling with this. In my opinion, this game is quite realistic. If you were trapped in a demonic infested house, you too would be trying to find keys and such. But, it's not fully there. If I was trying to survive a horror like this, I would've used the hammer on the doors that were stuck, and broke them open. Then again, that means less doors for you to close as you run from the demonic lady.
I will also say that the developers of the game put a lot of thought into it. Yes there are glitches, but what game doesn't have them? Many have been waiting on this game since it was announced back in 2014, and now it's here. Typical indy games usually finish within 4-5 hours, but this still is going long after my 7 hours into the game. That's another reason this review took longer than expected. I was going to have it out before launch, but the game sucked me in. This game somewhat created paranoia around me, and coincidences starting happening. So be prepared for that should you decided to play it.
The best part though is for those who wish to play this game with controller, I tested controller support, and it does in fact work with the XBox One controller. Also, an added easter egg, and I do challenge you to do this, is sit at the main menu. Watch the events transpire in the background. There is a lot of crazy things that happen just at the menu alone.
For fans of Alien Isolation, Outlast series, and even the Amnesia series of games, this is a must in time for the season. Just be careful of the many other demons that appear during your search for all 13 keys. And, pay attention as the 13th Zodiac sign. Research it, and you'll find interesting history. That's the point of the game. It also makes you think on your own. They truly did their research when creating The Conjuring House. I look forward to many more from them in the future. For $20 US on sale, this game deserves the 5/5 rating I gave it.