This post was originally posted on my old website Slannxe Gaming. It was posted on May 21, 2017.
I turned on my computer and turned out the lights. I booted up True Fear: Forsaken Souls Part 1 and instantly felt uneasy. I have never been someone to do well with horror games, and with the opening of True Fear having a bunch of dead bodies in an insane asylum really made me feel like some scary shit was about to go down.
True Fear: Forsaken Souls is a psychological puzzle thriller game made by developer Goblinz. It is a point and click horror game, so no first or third person aspects to it. You search through rooms, find hidden objects and solve sometimes easy, sometimes difficult puzzles to continue on with the story.
The story is actually the best thing about this game. You play as Holly and you had just received a letter from you sister that you had not spoken with in 10 years. She is telling you that she needs your help, and to come to her home. When you arrive, you find yourself at a house that looks like it hasn’t been inhabited in years. This is where things get crazy. You are constantly seeing things, a figure, a girl. You think you’re going crazy, but as you progress through this abandoned house with locked basements and broken floors you uncover a much larger secret, that then progresses into an even more interesting and engaging story. You won’t get any spoilers here in this review, but it is actually a great mixture of secrets and twists within Holly’s family that had me constantly wanting to progress further to get to the bottom of things.
The story is told through mostly finding diary pages from family members and other characters. There isn’t a ridiculous amount of reading which is nice. Each note is only a handful of sentences and gets the point across without feeling rushed. There are also cut scenes in the game that are really well done. The character models looks pretty solid. It’s not triple A quality by any means, but for the price tag it definitely feels like a treat. The only issue I had was Holly, your character, never blinks. I think I saw her blink once, but that was it. As soon as you notice it once, and you will with her big wide eyes, you will constantly be watching to see if she blinks at all.
The game play is all point and click puzzles. I have never dived much into games like these and didn’t think I would be all for it, but it’s actually pretty fun. The puzzles are interesting enough, and when you get on a roll of solving one after the other it feels really good. The ‘oh that’s what this is for!’ aspect of the game is incredibly strong and pretty rewarding. I understand the developers had to make a ton of puzzles, but some of them don’t make any sense. There is one where you have to burn an envelope and put it out with water to be able to get a key out of it. Why would I burn it? Why wouldn’t I just tear it open? The extra steps for some of them have no sort of context to them in the real world and it can be alarmingly obvious.
In total I spent about 5 hours with the game. I didn’t find all of the collectibles you could find, but I did get most of them. Completionists could probably finish the game in the same amount of time as I did, since I’m not the fastest when it comes to problem solving in these types of games.
True Fear: Forsaken Souls is a trilogy games, and this review is only for Part 1. I thought the story was very intriguing and I can’t wait to play Part 2 whenever developer Goblinz decides it is ready. If you enjoy suspenseful games with lot’s of puzzle elements, True Fear is for you.
*This review was originally for Brash Games, but since that website has now gone belly up I thought it would be best to keep it on the blog here.