Publisher: Infinitap Games
Developer: Infinitap Games
Release Date: 8/21/2015 (Android), 9/26/2014 (PC, MAC, Ouya)
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Horror games that are truly scary are far and few between these days. Neverending Nightmares night actually helps change that idea with some extremely intense atmosphere which is what horror games are all about. Neverending Nightmares has you playing as a boy (or man?) named Thomas who roams the pencil sketched hallways in his checkered pajamas trying to find his sister (or wife?) that had been murdered (or she killed herself?) There’s a lot of open interpretation of the game’s story, but that’s kind of the fun part.
The game’s pace is at a crawl, let me just say that right away. Thomas trods along the hallways with a limited — and I mean limited — sprint button. The slow pace is supposed to add to the tension, but sometimes I wish he moved just a tad faster as the game got repetitive towards the end. The point of the game is to continue moving left (or right) through the hallways opening doors and interacting with anything that’s colored and stands out from the black and white background. These give hints at what may have happened to the girl that Thomas is looking for. While there’s no inventory system or even combat system, there’s really no other goal rather to head downwards. Sure, there are enemies in the game, but your goal is to avoid them or hide from them. The toughest of them all is the big ogre-like monsters that require you to hide in closets, or worse, run from them. I found these segments frustrating as Thomas’ sprint is limited to about three seconds and I had to exploit this to escape from these ogres and make it to the next door. I had to tap rapidly to stretch out the sprint or time when I start perfectly. This isn’t fun and doesn’t add anything but frustration.
The game has three possible endings, but there are no clues as to how to get them. At the end of each level you are approached by this girl in different ways, but it all kind of blurs together. When you die you start off in your bed again leading to the fact that Thomas might be asleep and can’t wake up? Is he insane? Is he a ghost? Who knows, but the endless hallways are probably the worst part of the game. Sometimes I thought the game was glitching because I would go through 5-6 hallways that I swore I went through earlier, but somehow I was progressing.
Thankfully the game is actually scary, use headphones and you will be in for a scary night. The music is haunting and so are the sound effects. I applaud the game for the atmosphere, but the gameplay is really something that’s lacking and needs more polish. I’m fine with just wandering around places, but give me something to do while I’m doing that.
As it stands, Neverending Nightmares is a great horror experience, but as an actual game, it’s lacking mechanics, and the story and progression need work. I shouldn’t be playing a game thinking I’m not going anywhere or giving clues as to how to get a different ending.