True Fear: Forsaken Souls30th September 2019
Horror-lite, for those who can’t handle horror games, but would like to be into horror games.
I’m generally not a fan of hidden object games, whether their quality is great with bespoke art, or not so great with tonnes of free generic assets shoe-horned in. The puzzles tend to be contrived, and quite often quite bizarre. That being said, I don’t see many hidden object games in the horror genre, so I thought I’d give it a go.
I really enjoyed it. I wasn’t expecting to like it. But I did. I genuinely wanted to see how the story unfolds, and I have episode two sitting in my Steam wishlist, which I actually added before I’d even finished the game.
My first thoughts were about horror itself; this game definitely belongs in the horror genre: it’s a horror story, the art is beautifully creepy, there’s spooky atmosphere. It’s not a scary game, to me anyway, as you’re quite removed from the events themselves. You can’t immerse yourself in the environment the way you can in really scary games, it’s just a limitation of the genre. But it got me thinking – this would be a very good starting point for people who aren’t very good with horror.
I’m at the …advanced-intermediate level, I think. I never have any problems with horror films, and I can handle immersive scary games and love a good jump scare. However, I’m not so good when you have a jump scare and then have to run or make a decision quickly – so I stop short of games like Outlast, though I’ll happily watch others play it with no problems. I just can’t make quick decisions under duress. I have friends who are complete beginner level – they struggle watching Stranger Things, and aren’t too happy that they struggle with it.
True Fear looks like a great starting point when trying to ease into horror. It’s got the horror vibe, but you’re not immersed in the creepy. There are obvious transitions into cutscenes, so no unexpected jump scares.
The story itself was interesting, I was invested in wanting to find out how it all turns out. I even read all the ‘optional’ story items.
The art is good. It was obviously all made for the game, no random assets shoe-horned in. Most of the hidden object scenes generally made sense, even if my girl kept abandoning useful gear after using them, only to have to find another in a new location. A few of the puzzles got a bit silly, but to be honest, they get away with it, because, ya know, paranormal stuff.
The collectables in the game also made sense. First, there’s story items – newspaper clippings, leaflets, letters, etc., things that help you learn more, or hint at nefarious things. Then there are little statuettes that you can collect, and while I’m pretty sure most of us don’t have random figurines of ourselves, our family members, and people who visit our houses, just scattered about, however, it’s still a nice touch. They help visualise the people involved in the story. I also really love collectables.
I’ve never been a fan of hidden object games, partially due to the days when Macs had barely any games available, and most of the games you could play on a Mac were hidden object ones, and mostly of questionable quality. But after True Fear, I might be a bit more open to the genre as a whole. And I can honestly say that I will jump in on any hidden object game GoblinZ come out with, regardless of genre; they clearly know what they’re doing.
If you’re not good with horror, try this one.
If you’ve played it, or decide to give it a go, let me know what you think!
If you’d like to be into horror games, but are a bit iffy about it, True Fear: Forsaken Souls inspired me to create a list of horror games aimed at easing you into the horror genre. It’s here if you want to give it a go 🙂