Horror games are fun, intriguing and filled with mysteries for the most part. Knock-Knock lets you explore some of the darkest secrets of a curious character who wakes up in a strange cabin. The title is based on a survival structure that will put you in different situations to completely investigate your surroundings while avoiding terrible threats until finally uncovering the main mystery. One of the best things about Knock-Knock is the fact that it has a unique storyline with a good twist. On the other hand, while spending time exploring the cabin, you may get caught in a few not-so-great details based on presentation and overall game progression.
Knock Knock was developed by Ice-Pick Lodge and is available for Xbox One for $6.99.
Knock-Knock brings nice visual elements incorporated in the story to develop a scary plot. The main character is never properly introduced and seems to have serious mental issues and lack of sleep. His appearance is terrible from head to toes. It is perfect physical blend that contributes to the main logic of playing with an unusual protagonist with questionable actions.
The story begins after you wake up in a strange cabin that is later revealed to have a few curious details that make your experience even more interesting. Although alone, the man is constantly surrounded by ghostly voices that creep around every time you try to investigate the cabin a little further. As you walk around and explore different areas of the cabin, new memories begin to arise, leading the character to start a new dialogue. Also, it is curious to note that players can’t really tell if the protagonist is facing a real nightmare in life or simply stuck in a bad dream. The fact that he is mentally unstable also made me question if all supernatural elements around rooms were a reaction to a psychological breakdown or not. Some people might see this detail as something confusing and complicated, but for me, these questions added an extra spice to the mystery component of the game.
In general, there is not a full explanation of what is going on as the game does not have a traditional story structure. Basically, you may locate pieces of information as you find your way in the cabin while hiding from ghosts that can take the protagonist’s insanity to unwanted levels.There is also the possibility to go outside of the cabin, which is just as scary by the way. My main takeaway from this structure is that you need to spend a lot of time revisiting the same areas until being able to see what happens next. The story is there at all times, but it is up to you to uncover mysteries based on your own perspectives.
Knock-Knock’s gameplay structure is will definitely give you chills for the most part of the experience. Controls are quite simple and respond really well during the cabin exploration.
The main critic here is concerning the gameplay engagement in terms of not only functionality but also guidance. The reason why is say that is because, for the most part, there is not a clear idea on what needs to be done in order to overcome threats and make it through the night. As I walked around the protagonist’s cabin, I found myself building up a certain level of frustration and getting stuck into repetitive motions instead of really planning how to stay on track. In addition to that, you need to be patient enough and constantly wonder where to go next without hitting the same dead-ends over and over again.
Other important things to highlight in the gameplay structure include all the things that you can do to uncover mysteries and avoid the frightful spirits in the game.Keep in mind that environments are very dark, so it is important to use your lamp at all times in order to better see what is around you. Other actions include opening doors and hiding behind objects for protection. With basic controls, you can move from left to right on your current cabin floor, with slow but precise gestures. You may also move up and down in rooms that have ladders available, which will let you explore different levels of the cabin. With that in mind, you must do your best to avoid threats while searching for clocks that allow bringing the dawn closer in time. Ultimately, you must prevent the protagonist from remaining trapped in this strange nightmare.
In my opinion, the main negative point in this gameplay is the dullness around the title’s design, which can easily make you bored and uninterested. However, if you don’t mind a repetitive structure and enjoy re-analyzing your surroundings, then this might not be the main issue for you.
Ultimately, I can truly see the potential for the game. Scary themes have always caught my attention not only in movies but also in the gaming scene. However, I must say that Knock-Knock's gameplay would have been more interesting to me had it been presented in a different way, with clear objectives.
GRAPHICS AND AUDIO
Visually speaking, Knock-Knock is very pleasing and does a good job capturing the creepiness of a scary title without making it too disturbing to look. One of the best and worst details of the game involve the main layout of the cabin. Although it is really curious to see big changes in each level, there is a certain element of confusion because of the lack of guidance for the gameplay itself. For example, it is always exciting to finally reach a different area to explore and locate useful clues. However, this visual feature can also make you extra tense for not really knowing what to do next.
On the positive side, one of the best visual characteristics of the title includes the protagonist’s design. Not only he has a truly spooky look, with red-rimmed eyes and pale skin color, but he also tends to make direct eye contact to you while completing dialogues. Because of that, revealing a new piece of the puzzle will make you feel engaged in the story.
When it comes to audio, Knock-Knock has definitely nailed it. I love the main character’s speeches and how he complains about being exhausted and disturbed while talking in a unique tone. There is a great combination of a creepy background element, ghostly voices and overall sounds from both inside and outside environments. Because of that, the game has created an effective design to really touch the attention of the player in a scary, but also enjoyable way.
In general, Knock-Knock brings an interesting concept to the table but definitely needs a few improvements to make the player’s experience even better. The good news is that the title does a great job with the scary design, especially because of visual and audio elements. On the other hand, these fantastic game features could have been better implemented with improved mechanics to prevent moments of frustration.
The lack of a clear set of guidance does not work really well for a title like this one. As mentioned in this review, one of the main issues of the game revolves into not knowing how to take fully advantage of the story simply because you are unsure of what your character is supposed to do to. I understand that the dark environment fits the purpose of the gameplay and is intended to let the player take control of the protagonist actions at all times. However, even with that being said, there are multiple moments this particular aspect prevents you from moving on. This leads players to find themselves stuck in repetitive situations, instead of achieving goals.
It is important to mention that at first look, Knock-Knock is very appealing and introduces a game concept that I really like, despite of the negative points of the presentation itself. In general, the title lacks a better system to efficiently direct the player in the process of unveiling mysteries. Although I would classify Knock-Knock as average, the game delivers a nice level of other elements for a particular audience that enjoys a creepier experience.
|+ Well-developed graphics||– Lacks better guidance|
|+ Audio contributes to a scarier experience||– Gameplay easily becomes confusing|
|+ Great concept for main character||– Does not bring the best story presentation|