The Survey

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a game by Robert Gammon
Platform: PC (2016)
Editor Rating: 7/10, based on 2 reviews, 1 review is shown
User Rating: 10.0/10 - 3 votes
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See also: Simulator Games, Horror Games, Best Indie Games, Games Like Gone Home
The Survey
The Survey
The Survey
The Survey

Whenever you're presented with bland video game titles like The Survey, you'll almost be sure it's the precursor to some in-depth psychological horror game. The irony of the name always sets the scene for something terrifying to happen or at least attempt to scare the pants off a player. The only question that remains here is, does it do its job?

The Survey is in the haystack of indie titles that follow a similar formula. There's a minimalist level design where players roam around a vacant space looking for answers to some past folly. Past sins are catching up with you in this case, and your puzzle-solving skills will be used to escape the psychological trauma around you. So does it stand out or peter away into the irrelevant?

If We Could Have Five Minutes of Your Time

The Survey relies heavily on its narrative as the fundamentals of gameplay. It follows that typical indie psychological thriller of minimalist game mechanics yet is packed with dialogue and interactions that piece together objectives. Therefore, we won't spoil the storyline, but this one does work the mind and is relatively impressive for the genre.

But how does it translate to gameplay? As it turns out, remarkably average. There are some excellent ideas in The Survey and some noble attempts to mess with you, but the inherent problem is that you don't know what to do half the time or where to go. The game tries to solve that problem by giving hints on the next puzzle piece if you can't figure it out within five minutes. Still, it seems redundant if you have to walk players through such a small play area.

The visuals and lightning set the scene well enough to add to the creepy ambiance The Survey wants to procure. And yes, you'll get the occasional scare and thrill as you put together the storyline. It's a decent game, though the playthrough only lasts about two hours, where players will feel they've experienced a walking simulator more than an actual game.

The primary pitfall of The Survey is that the game also crashes at unexpected points. It hasn't been optimized correctly, which can dampen a player's experience if they're expecting shocking game moments only to have the software abruptly end itself. But otherwise, it's just a standard indie psychological horror game.

Somebody's Watching Me

So is The Survey worth playing, considering there are many similar titles? The price of the title suggests yes, as it is a decent psychological thriller for the minimal cost listed. However, don't expect that same gripping experience as Escape the Backrooms. It's another indie title that does feel rushed only to pull a story to market rather than refine the more intricate details of gameplay.


The crashes, recycled game assets, and minimalism are all typical of the indie psychological horror genre, ensuring that the title won't stand out. But why not if you have a couple of hours to spare? It's not like you're making a massive investment in the game anyway!

Round-Up - Pros & Cons


  • A well-written narrative that holds the game together
  • Well-timed scares
  • Visuals and lightning set the scary scene


  • Players feel lost much of the time
  • Recycled game assets don't bring any uniqueness
  • The game can crush at abrupt moments

Download The Survey


System requirements:

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

Snapshots and Media

PC Screenshots

See Also

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