Will you overcome what you fear or be caught in the nightmare?
Closing his heart to reality, our protagonist falls into a deep slumber and awakens in a nightmarish dreamworld. In Nightmare is a narrative-driven horror adventure game combining sneak action with diverse puzzles. It follows a young boy in search for the last hope of love who is working out his own salvation by navigating through his fear. Experiencing effects of a broken family, and the heartache it brings, a young child will escape reality into a dark, whimsical world created from his own memories.
This sets him on his journey to uncover what truly lies within. Having suffered in reality, his past trauma turns into terrifying monsters that want to keep him in an eternal nightmare. With the help of his dream spirit, the boy will find ways to sneak past enemies, overcome intricate puzzles, embrace his fear, and uncover the truth so that he may be able to purify the monsters he has created, and finally wake up.
In Nightmare is a game that will divide players due to its subject matter, but also because of having to be stealthy while solving tough puzzles. It’s a clever idea that isn’t pushed into many horror games, but if done well then it can work well. With In Nightmare, it works but the puzzles themselves aren’t particularly innovative and having to avoid monsters while solving becomes more of a memory pattern than an actual horror experience. The story also becomes somewhat predictable, essentially cutting the tension out of the narrative.
The game itself has a few technical issues that also impact moments and there seems to be a random nature to it, so you never know if the next section of the game will have some tech hurdle for you to jump over to proceed. I have to say that there have been patches since the game launched that have fixed a few of these, but some still remain.
The visuals have a nice art direction to them and while it’s not triple A quality graphics, In Nightmare has some charm to it. The load times aren’t too bad if you get caught, though the instakills you get from being found are fairly harsh at times and ultimately become more frustrating as the game goes on.
In Nightmare has a decent idea but it’s poorly executed with average puzzles and harsh instakills for being found can frustrate the player to a large scale. The technical issues can also become a hindrance but these should hopefully be fixed with future updates.