The Suicide of Rachel Foster is an adventure game published by Daedalic Entertainment (The Pillars of the Earth, State of Mind) and developed by One O One Games. The game manages to tell an enticing and powerful story through simple gameplay mechanics and brilliant dialogue. Throughout our review of The Suicide of Rachel Foster, we were shown how video games have become a powerful storytelling medium. The mystery of a young girl’s apparent suicide comes to light in this short and bittersweet game, taking anywhere between 4 to 8 hours to complete. If you like story-driven games like Gone Home, Tacoma, or Life is Strange, then this is the game for you.
NOTE: This game was reviewed on the Asus TUF Gaming FX504 Laptop.
With a beautifully-crafted and powerful prologue, the story will grab your interest and keep you hooked from beginning to end.
The Suicide of Rachel Foster is about a young woman named Nicole who inherits her family hotel after the death of both her mother and father. Nicole’s parents divorced during her teen years, after her father was accused of impregnating a girl around Nicole’s age. The girl’s name was Rachel Foster. Shortly after that scandal hit, Rachel committed suicide. Needless to say, the hotel is filled with painful memories that Nicole wishes to forget.
With the help of a lawyer, she prepares to sell the hotel. However, when she arrives to do an inspection of the premises, a strong snow storm hits the area and she becomes trapped inside until the storm passes. Akin to The Shining, the hotel comes alive with strange occurrences, eerie phone calls, and most of all, the truth of what really happened to Rachel Foster.
However, I regret to say that there are a few small plot holes that can’t be ignored. I won’t spoil the story by revealing them here, but they are similar to the plot holes in horror films where you ask yourself how characters would not question the weird things happening around them. With that said, they don’t hinder the game at all. Like most adventure games, The Suicide of Rachel Foster is all about the story. If you enjoy a good mystery, then you won’t be disappointed.
The Suicide of Rachel Foster employs simple adventure game mechanics that complement the riveting plot. Throughout the game, you wander through the abandoned Timberline Hotel looking for items and exploring various rooms. After finding the necessary items, discovering secret paths, and unlocking hidden rooms, the mystery of Rachel Foster’s death is slowly and horrifically revealed to you.
It is important to note that there is no save function. The game saves automatically at the end of each “day” or chapter in the game. Luckily, most chapters in the game are very short, some taking upwards of 20 – 30 minutes to complete and others can be as short as 5 – 10 minutes. To help you travel through the hotel, there is an easy-to-follow map and guidance system that will tell you where you need to go and what you need to do.
Similar to Gone Home and Tacoma, people have referred to games like this as “walking simulators”. However, that is a gross simplification. While there is nothing groundbreaking going on here in terms of gameplay, there doesn’t need to be. Sure, you do a lot of walking through the game. But you are not simply walking through a building. You are walking through the past, reliving the horrors that happened at the Timberline Hotel. Like a torch of hope, you are carrying the dark truth of that past into the future, hoping that by unraveling the mystery some closure can come from this terrible thing that happened.
But like most important things in life, justice won’t come so easily.