The Painscreek Killings

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a game by EQ Studios
Platform: PC (2017)
Editor Rating: 10/10, based on 1 review
User Rating: 8.7/10 - 3 votes
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See also: Puzzle Games, Psychological Horror Games, Mystery Games
The Painscreek Killings
The Painscreek Killings
The Painscreek Killings
The Painscreek Killings

In this challenging first-person murder mystery, you play Janet Kelly, a journalist tasked with finding out what happened to the town of Painscreek. A 2017 3D adventure brought to you by EQ Studios. This adventure is unlike most murder mysteries in several ways—there’s no quest markers, no hints, and no hand-holding through the mystery.

It’s as close to a real murder mystery as you will ever get, unless you work in criminal justice. Although the Painscreek Killings are unique among murder mysteries, it is similar in style to games such as What Remains of Edith Finch and Kona.

A puzzling mystery

When you arrive at Painscreek, a town that was abandoned after the murder of Vivian Roberts, your task is to go through each scene and carefully look for clues. The only assistance you get in the game is a brief tutorial that helps you get the keys to the town gates, and the rest is up to you.

Look through drawers, under tables, and in cupboards for clues you’ll need to put together what happened. You’ll need to take careful notes while you are playing if you want to be successful in unraveling the mystery. Much of the evidence that you find, such as keys to locked cupboards, belong clear across town. Nothing is obvious in the game, and as the game promises, there is no help to solve the mystery. You have to do it on your own.

An immersive game

The Painscreek Killings is not a game for casual play. In order to enjoy it, or ever hope to win it, you will need to invest time in the game. The developer has helped with this by working to make a backdrop, story line, and music that gives you a creepy vibe and makes you feel like you’re solving a real murder.

Just like in a real mystery, many of the clues you find are dead ends. Success can come quickly and often, or it can take a while as you tease out which clues are useful and which aren’t.

Smooth navigation

The navigation is relatively straight forward. You’re allowed to roam freely around Painscreek, and you can pick up and rotate items of interest. Looking closely at and rotating items is important, because sometimes important clues aren’t obvious without doing so.

You can pop open your map at any time, take snaps of important information with your camera, and review diary notes from the people who used to live in the town all with the click of a button or a keystroke. A problem with the game however, is that saving ability is limited. It autosaves when ever you change to a new area, and you have an option to save when you exit the game.


This game has it all. It has a great story line, respectable graphics, good navigation and music, and an immersive setting that will give you hours of entertaining game play. If you like murder mysteries or solving puzzles, the Painscreek Killings will keep you enthralled till the very end.


  • Very realistic gameplay
  • Easy navigation
  • An excellent plotline


  • Limited saving ability

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System requirements:

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

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PC Screenshots

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