Tag Archives: 10/10

Knock-Knock Review

Something is going on in this game that taps into the other side, and not that pretty / flowery other side that good folks are sent to when they pass. I’m talking about the other side that reaches its hand into the realm of the living and touches us only when we are at our highest anxiety levels, inspiring some of our worst fears and least sane decisions. In Knock-Knock, players take the shoes of a restless man who deals with a presence in his home that can only be described as demonic.

You will find yourself blaming your own thoughts as if you are the one who has invited this presence to terrorize you. There are only a few things you can do to try and maintain sanity. Short of lighting up the house and turning your back to the horrific waking nightmare that is occurring, the player is subject to an experience that is possibly more terrifying than the recent releases in this genre. This is because at the same time you are playing the game, it’s really happening to you. That presence is reaching into your life and touching your soul with it’s cold fingers, whether you believe in its existence or not.

Story: As the main character struggles to provide himself with answers, they prove to be desperate excuses for what’s going on and serve as delirious justifications being grasped at in order to logically downplay the situation. Unfortunately, the player is unlikely to believe the character as he clearly does not even believe himself. The truth is always stranger than fiction. He mentions at an early point that he doesn’t want to remember the past, stating that it’s better staying in the dark. This is sort of an ironic thing to hear him say since the player is spending so much time turning on lights throughout the house, but he means mentally. Perhaps his mental darkness is part of why this spiritual darkness has began to consume his life nearly entirely.

The story of the game will be revealed slowly and though suspense is a welcome part of the game, it almost becomes agonizing towards the end of the introductory period. Right before that can happen, things really ramp up due to the main character realizing that his diary is not where he left it. Suddenly he starts remembering things and proclaiming them to the player. The majority of Knock-Knock’s story is told through reading scraps from out of the main character’s diary, while later in the game events begin to take place that are both auxiliary to the story as well as major plot twists.

Gameplay / Controls / Difficulty: Players will have to discern the mechanics of the game themselves, as much of them are not coherently explained in any way. Instead they are hinted at, learned through trial and error, and in some cases dumb luck. This gives a great sense of challenge and reward early on. The first couple of stages warm you up, then suddenly you realize that Knock-Knock is not quite as straightforward as its introduction seemed. Because of this, many of the game’s mechanics and the way they work are inherently spoilers of their own – so I won’t go into extreme depth and detail but rather I will evaluate them instead.

Once the player masters the basics of what must be done in order to progress from one stage to the next successfully, it becomes apparent that scanning each room constantly is necessary. This paranoid state eventually becomes in sync with that of the main character, leading the player to sympathize with the haunting (and/or, psychosis depending on your belief system) that he’s going through.

At times choices will be presented that set back the player’s progress, but feel necessary. For some strange reason, darkness is a compelling and gripping thing. The gameplay of Knock-Knock does well to play on this factor and contains elements that are mysterious. The controls are responsive and stay appropriate for the desired psychological effect on the player. The difficulty gradually climbs throughout the stages and is satisfyingly difficulty early on. Overall there is nothing to complain about as Knock-Knock is an entirely unique experience that really does feel like ‘CreepyPasta’ in real life, or at least in a video game.

Graphics / Art Direction: The Art Direction of Knock-Knock is dark and dreary, but is not afraid to include a few vibrant colors here and there. It’s refreshing to see a game use a decent range in their color palette even when adhering to the dark, washed out style of the horror genre. In some ways, the graphics of Knock-Knock make the experience as powerful as it is. It sometimes becomes a question if what you’re seeing is part of the game or if just imagined. The light from your candle swirls around on the walls in the dark, is the way its illumination dances with the shadows some form of communication between you and the devil himself?

Disclaimer: Ice-pick Lodge doesn’t directly indicate that “the devil” or any traditional “Satan” figure has anything to do with Knock-Knock, but trust me I play “high stakes” poker with the guy when I’m not using better judgement and he definitely had something to do with this game. By the way, spell-check requires me to capitalize “Satan”, I smell a conspiracy. According to Ice-pick Lodge, Knock-Knock is not necessarily a game at all but rather the result of their faithful execution of a series of instructions they received from an anonymous source.

Characters / Enemies: Each of the game’s enemies seems to be a part of one central entity which is shrouded in mystery but gives you the feeling that it’s quite powerful. The only way you can defeat it is by attempting to prevent it from overtaking your mind. This isn’t a game where the player is trying to survive at all costs, it’s more like a game where the spiritual and mental health of the main character is being challenged rather than that of his physical attributes. This character also hears a voice that seems to be aiding him, but other times it’s laughing at him or giving him advice that doesn’t pan out. Perhaps the demonic presence he’s up against is capable of hijacking this other “voice”, or perhaps it doesn’t really exist at all and is entirely a construct of his own thoughts, either as an audio hallucination or another form of communication from devilish sources.

Sound Effects / Music: As if the alternative forms of evil communication in Knock-Knock weren’t enough to get you going, perhaps even more directly obvious to many are the many subtle as well as pronounced forms of voice communication which occur as creaks, knocks, bumps, shatters, and sometimes words coming from the dark one’s breath as it enters the player’s life. The music in the game ‘pitter-patters’ its way in and out of certain moments, but the most deafening sound is the eerie silence presented in the game. Ever heard the saying “idle hands are the devil’s playground”? Well, if that’s what idle hands are, then idle ear drums are the devil’s congas. Knock-Knock’s audio quality is crystal clear and most of its perfectly balanced volume levels cause unexpected events to pierce through you, get your blood rushing, and make the player feel as if they’re in the same kind of terror as the main character.

Engine Performance: No glitches were experienced during our play-through of this game.

Replay Ability: Nothing ever happens the same way twice. Some players will want to experience the thrill of this ever-changing horror title over and over again, regardless of already knowing how it ultimately concludes. There are also many ways to play through the game through which you might miss something, so it’s worth doing multiple runs to ensure you’ve seen all there is to be seen.

Ice-pick Lodge has also made some effort to provide other compelling reasons to continue playing for a while in the form of Achievements. Since most of the Achievements are earned by accident while learning how to play the game though, the replay value of Knock-Knock is going to depend partially on how much you are intrigued by peaking your own fear / anxiety and how much you are interested in earning its more time-consuming achievements. The main achievement that will keep you playing is called “Knowing the Flip Side” and involves seeing “all fragments of reality”, which at the time of this Review’s posting 0% of Steam players have managed to do. All things considered, the Replay Ability of this game is pretty good and was accomplished without sacrificing the main vision of the project.

Final Verdict:

Knock-Knock is one of the most, if not the most creative entry in the now booming Horror video game genre. Unlike other genres Knock-Knock takes a fresh approach, extends its lore beyond the gameworld by luring us in to a CreepyPasta situation in which players are unsure exactly how real it all is. Ice-pick Lodge has successfully brought many elements of mysticism to the table and represented them well. Some of the elements in this game that are fed to the player’s subconscious are just as powerful as those that are seen with the plain eye. The gameplay is fun and the anxiety felt even long after the initial shock of what’s happening are maintained by great sound direction and what appears to be a heavily thought out system of randomization. Knock-Knock is highly recommended to all gamers and receives a Perfect 10 out of 10 making it an RGN Diamond Game.

Official Trailer:

Overall Score: 10/10

RGN Rating: Diamond Game

Developer / Publisher: Ice-pick Lodge

Available On: Windows PC / Mac OS X / Linux (via Steam)

Review Copy Info- A digital copy of this game was provided to RealGamerNewz by the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Jon Ireson on 20131006 and was last modified on 20131024 .

Mountain Crime: Requital Review

Mountain Crime: Requital is a game from the headquarters of game publisher, Alawar, located in Russia, Novosibirsk, and developed by Alawar Stargaze studio, located in Russia, Barnaul. Alawar Entertainment has brought the point-and-click adventure genre to a new level of entertainment. The Action-based atmosphere of this game allows you to go at your own pace, for impatient gamers who may have previously never wanted to play a point-and-click adventure game this is your game. Mountain Crime: Requital allows players to quickly blast through their favorite parts of the game with adrenaline pumping moments that will make you feel fully immersed in the game’s story and even gameplay as your eyes are scanning every new scene you run into for clues.

Story- In Mountain Crime: Requital you play as a doctor who has been summoned to mountain resort under false pretenses. Just as you are getting your wits about you, expecting to find a patient who needs your help, you discover that an unexpected weather event has trapped you here and all around you people seem to be mysteriously dying. It’s your job to stay alive, examine the evidence, and of course try to identify and stop the killer.

Gameplay- The gameplay in Mountain Crime: Requital is the most optimized version of point-and-click adventure seen thus far. Similar to other titles that have been recently causing a revival to this beautiful genre of exploration and using your intelligence to enhance the experience, Mountain Crime: Requital keeps you on the edge most and rewards fast and smart players. You will have hard-to-find objects that you are seeking, but you can also use hints. There is a higher difficulty setting as well as one that is designed to allow players to play quickly through the game with less patience. In addition to traditional puzzles and object hunting, the game also features interactive scenes which add to the depth of gameplay significantly.

Characters- Each character you get to know intimately by the time the game is over. You are sometimes laughing with them, other times at them, but it’s all a very fun experience. You never really can tell exactly who you are after until the plot begins to thicken and survival instincts begin to thump your heart out of your chest.

Graphics / Art Direction- The game’s set pieces and characters are all amazingly drawn and animated and look like the high quality you’d expect on a high definition gaming console or PC. The art direction in the game is terrific in telling the story of the dark and dismal situation players are thrust into.

Soundtrack, Audio, Voice- The greatest part of this game’s audio is the narrator which actually feels like logically thought out comments from yourself to keep you motivated on the right tasks. The player also gets to choose some of the decisions you make as a character. You’ll learn to hear some of the sound effects very distinctly and know that you’ve found something important to the game. There is a decent soundtrack that also helps tell the current urgency of whichever scene you are playing through in the story.

Replay Ability- The features a challenging set of trophies as well as a new difficulty mode that keep its Replay-ability fairly high, but even if you aren’t into that this game is just plain fun and may have you coming back for more once you feel the Mountain Crime itch again.

Engine Performance- There were no glitches or bugs observed in our play-through experience, the game engine ran flawlessly.

Final Verdict- While there may be a stigma to rating games perfectly, we feel that this game in its current shape and form is completely flawless and although improvements are always possible we don’t find any immediately broken elements in this game that would deduct from our experience. Mountain Crime: Requital receives a 10 out of 10 from RealGamerNewz, even if you know nothing of the genre this is a game you have to experience.

Overall Score: 10/10

Available On: PS3 / PC / Mac

Mobile Version Available On: iOS / Android

Played On: PlayStation 3

Developer: Alawar Entertainment

Review Copy Info: A digital voucher for this game was provided to RealGamerNewz by the developer for purposes of this review.

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Jon Ireson on 20130607 and was last modified on 20130610 .