|a game by||Ice-Pick Lodge Ltd.|
|Platforms:||XBox One, PS Vita, PC, Playstation 4|
|Editor Rating:||8.5/10, based on 2 reviews, 1 review is shown|
|User Rating:||9.3/10 - 3 votes|
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|See also:||Horror Games, Download Point-and-Click Quests, Psychological Horror Games, Fast-Paced Games|
With a new twist on the survival horror genre, Knock-Knock offers compelling gameplay and serves as a near frantic reminder to always turn the light on. With an amazing art design reminiscent of an, almost, more realistic rendition of Don’t Starve—Knock-Knock exudes stylized graphics and its design, though simple, offers a ton of replay value.
Knock-Knock has players follow an insomniac from a local research lab working to stay awake, stay sane, and fight off horrific paranormal entities. That being said, there’s no combat in this game, but rather puzzle solving mechanics to bar those paranormal horrors from entering and taking hold.
Despite the simple controls moving through a 2D landscape, there is a great degree of complexity with a constant tension as audio and some visual cues lead you from one room to the next of a randomly generated environment. With that in mind, the story of Knock-Knock expresses itself through notes found around the house but more than anything it focuses on atmospheric storytelling to get you through each night, and in effect, the campaign as a whole.
One of the scariest features of Knock-Knock comes from its sound design. Whether ambient wind, dripping water, a loud banging on a door or wall, shrill laughs and screeches—it does everything it can to ensure you never feel safe as you walk through the house turning lights on to keep the horrors at bay. While simple in theory, the basic fact that with each ‘failure’ in Knock-Knock you restart the night in an entirely new, randomly generated level makes the entire endeavor never feel like a slog.
Surviving Survival Horror
The problem with Knock-Knock is once you understand the basics of what will cause you to lose or succeed, barring your frequent sanity checks, there isn’t much to keep the game engaging for the long term. Once you beat the story, in one of two endings, it’s a game you’re not likely to return to until long after you’ve forgotten its tricks. That being said, survival-horror as a genre isn’t always meant for the long haul. Often, the games like Outlast or Little Nightmares are meant to scare, excite, and then move away from. The most engaging thing about the genre is their innovation—no one game feels the same and Knock-Knock truly feels like nothing else.
A 2D Fear-Fest
Knock-Knock is definitely a game worth checking out. With amazing atmospheric storytelling, boxed out 2D level design that feels like Fallout Shelter or This War of Mine. That being said, the gameplay is limited and turning on lights to dissuade phantoms begins to lose its luster after a while.
Though the art style of the game, and indeed the lighting are extremely top-notch—expressing exactly what it wants to—it doesn’t make up for the lack of variety.
- Amazing art direction
- Terrifying sound design
- Fun concept and engaging story
- Randomly generated levels (variety in overall design)
- Overly simplistic
- Randomly generated levels (same rooms repeated)
- Lack of gameplay variety to keep engaging