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MADiSON Review: A Ritual Worthy Of Completing (PC)

Created by just two developers, MADiSON surprises and excels as a psychological horror videogame. MADiSON has a lot working for it making it a contender for the best horror game of 2022 and one to put on your radar if a fan of the genre. Let's find out why that is in this spoiler-free MADiSON review.

MADiSON Review: A Ritual Worthy of Completing

MADiSON is a psychological horror videogame that has been in the works since 2017. It’s incredible to see the finished result of this title created by just two developers. Apart from a few images and the comparisons P.T, I didn’t know much going into MADiSON

I was pleasantly surprised by how engrossed I was the longer the game went on. Puzzles are a huge part of MADiSON but it’s still a title I’d recommend to those that don’t like puzzles. I’d recommend MADiSON to any fan of the horror genre. It’s an excellent horror title and my favorite of the year so far. This spoiler-free MADiSON review will go over why this game is a must-play.

MADiSON is available on Steam, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One,  and Xbox Series X|S for 34.99.

MADiSON - Official Announcement Trailer

Story – Blue Knees Is Real

MADiSON’s story starts with many question marks right off the bat. Players control Luca, a boy who wakes up in a room covered in blood. His father aggressively bangs on the door attempting to break in. Unaware of what is going on and scared, Luca tries to escape. Unfortunately, there appears to be something else in the house forcing him to stay. The start of MADiSON’s story, although ambiguous in what exactly was happening, didn’t appear to be too dissimilar to other psychological indie horror titles. 

See Also: Martha Is Dead Review: A Disturbing Psychological Folktale

As I progressed though, I found myself more and more engrossed in the narrative that this game carved out in its roughly 10-hour playtime. MADiSON uses a variety of ways to unfold that story. Some of these ways include notes found throughout the house, audio recordings, and even some well-directed flashbacks. It’s not an incredibly complex story at the end of the day but was one I found myself engaged with throughout the entire runtime. This is in part due to the excellent writing and voice acting. Each audio recording was ominous in its implications. Notes found were desperate in their discoveries and meanwhile, Luca was terrified of what was happening. It all worked together in a way that made me feel more connected to the world and its characters.

Luca is as confused as us

Luca is as confused as us

Gameplay: Puzzle-Ridden House Of Horror

The game primarily takes place in Luca’s house. Players will become very familiar with this house as they’ll likely traverse through it dozens of times trying to find a solution to the game’s many puzzles. Most of the house is locked behind these puzzles and solving them unlocks new areas to explore. While running around to solve these puzzles, it’s likely you’ll be visited by an entity that will make the entire ordeal that much more stressful. Luca’s primary tool in these puzzles is a camera. With it, he can see and interact with things that he normally wouldn’t be able to.

Puzzles here are mostly great and really challenged me. I enjoyed just about all of them and found it incredibly fun when rewarded for solving them. I also really enjoyed the fact that everything felt as though it fed into something else. It was ultimately a large puzzle divided into many smaller ones. That being said, there were some solutions that felt rather odd, but this is usually due to how I looked at the puzzle. The puzzle in the attic for example took me the longest to solve. That was because I was thinking the puzzle was related to another section of the house. I found this to be unclear. 

This was a fun puzzle to solve

This was a fun puzzle to solve

Something else that stumped me towards the beginning of the game was related to a safe. Players can store items there since Luca can only carry 8 (a recent update increased it to 10). I stored items and left. Later, I realized that there is an item already waiting in the safe. It’s not something I thought to check though since I didn’t put anything in there. Taking the item out progressed the story which I thought was odd.

A Safe And a Camera

There are various other tools that Luca will use as well. Luca can’t hold everything, however. At the time of playing, I was only able to hold 8 items so I had to make frequent visits to the safe. I didn’t really understand the purpose of this. The use of storage for some horror games makes sense such as survival horror games. Here it does not. I never had to wrestle with the idea of what items might better serve me. Instead, I had to think about what I’d likely use. And if I got it wrong and took out a hammer instead of bolt cutters? Well, I’d have to revisit the safe. I’d have to return to the safe and waste more time. It really didn’t add anything to the game.

The camera is more powerful than you think

The camera is more powerful than you think

Outside those other items though, I used the camera the most. I loved the use of the camera in MADiSON. Even outside puzzle areas, I often found myself using the camera. Some areas of the house are dimly lit or just completely dark so I used the camera’s flash to reveal where I was going. I sometimes saw things I didn’t want to see in areas where I wasn’t forced to use the camera. The only thing I would have wanted more was maybe being able to zoom in on pictures you take. I sometimes took pictures and wanted to take a closer look at what the picture revealed, but couldn’t.

Graphics and Audio –  A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

The house in which Luca traverses looks and sounds wonderful. The house is a decent size but still had meticulously filled rooms that gave more information on who lived there or what the room was used for. It’s a house that evolves as the game progresses. More items show up, or rooms become larger. Furniture can sometimes change locations just to mess with the player. I thought the creature design worked incredibly well too. It’s typically only seen in flashes but the lighting of the house made it look all the more menacing. 

MADiSON has many beautiful and interesting environments

MADiSON has many beautiful and interesting environments

The audio mostly works well in MADiSON too. The sound of creaking floors or doors opening are regularly heard. The effects of these sounds fade with time spent in the game. By the time they fade though, new ones are introduced. A frantic musical score is played when something is chasing you, or a whisper is heard just outside Luca’s view. MADiSON offers plenty of atmospheric sound effects here to keep the dread going. 


As I played through the game, I found myself wanting more options in the settings menu. One I wanted to see was sound. There is only one option for sound and it didn’t work well when I interacted with it. It’s just an overall sound bar, but I would have liked being able to change specific sounds. Some audio is repeated later on in the game and I ended up muting MADiSON entirely because I wasn’t satisfied with the settings. 

What will this image reveal?

What will this image reveal?

There were a few other settings I would have wished were included at the time I played. One of which is to reduce head bobbing. Luca aggressively moves his head back and forth when he walks. It’s something I ultimately ended up getting used to but was bothersome throughout most of my playthrough. As of writing this MADiSON review, there is a quality of life update that gives this option though. 

Have you played MADiSON? If not, does this MADiSON review peak your interest in the horror title? Let us know in the comments!

MADiSON was reviewed on PC with a review code provided by BLOODIUS GAMES.

MADiSON is an excellent psychological horror title bolstered by clever puzzles and a constant atmosphere of dread. It's well-paced giving players just enough of a breath to then take on the next challenge. Some quality of life updates, such as increasing the number of options in the settings and removing the safe could benefit the game. Ultimately however, those are only small issues in an otherwise fantastic game.
  • Engrossing Story
  • Fun Use Of Camera
  • Challenging Puzzles
  • Terrifying setting
  • Odd puzzle progression
  • Few setting options
  • Use of storage

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