a game by Zombie Studios
Platform: PC
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See also: Horror Games, Old School Games

This Is a game about sticking your hands in places where they shouldn't go. Not usual places like down ladies' bras and inside coffee machines while they're dispensing, but rather more sinister containers: commodes filled with used syringes, barrels of corrosive acid, and the chest cavities of living people. It's inside these things that nefarious antagonist Jigsaw has hidden the dozens of keys, cogs and fuses you'll need to move through his retrofitted insane asylum.

There have been, to date, 4,000 SAW films. You need only have seen one of them to understand the appeal: people deemed guilty of some sort of moral infraction by Jigsaw are kidnapped and placed in extraordinarily sadistic situations. The most famous of these is one in which a girl's head has been placed in a reverse bear trap, primed to snap open and split her skull in two unless she can dig a key out of her still-alive boyfriend's stomach. Thus, the torture porn genre was popularised, and we all pretended to be disgusted while we all secretly loved the guts. SAW does a decent job of carrying over the horrific predicaments, but for the most part reduces them to panic-free quick-time events. Third-person melee combat is slow and clunky, the environments are bland and (though it makes sense considering you spend the game trying to escape one building) repetitive, and the same handful of puzzles (like the stick-your-hand-in-something-icky puzzle, and one where you've got to align numbers in mirrors) are wheeled out over and over again.

If you've watched every SAW film while breathing heavily and stroking your underparts, there'll be something here for you. Otherwise, with some ropey PC controls S4LVs something of a gory stinkpot.

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System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

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