This one is a strange one I’ve found. While not scary in the classic sense, the game really has found a few ways to be utterly unnerving. Its that under the skin feeling that sticks around. There are no giant demons or that little girl that climbs creepily out of the TV. No, this game is eerie on a more mature level. I never thought pixels could be so creepy.
The game feels as one would expect. While the controls and movement is not exactly smooth and fast, one questions whether that would ever have worked in such an experience. Instead, the protagonist, Price; feels slow and cumbersome. This adds extreme suspense to those scenes where you get chased or have to escape hastily. It makes it difficult and worrisome.
This experience is centered around plot. Its got quite a long play through time and will definitely keep you busy for a long time. The game has you running around evicting people and picking up all manner of strange objects. While there is an essence of puzzle solving thrown into the mix, it definitely isn’t a core feature here. Often times you are just required to do small mundane tasks like switch the power back on, but these scenes make for good horror situations, evidently. The game as is often the case with horror titles, only offers a single player component.
A pixel based game with such a dark theme was never going to look visually stunning , but nevertheless DISTRAINT: Pocket Pixel Horror, manages to keep the visuals crisp and suitable. Darkness is a huge part of this experience and is abundantly found in the pixelized world on display. You might need to tune your phones brightness for this one as it can become a bit difficult to see some of the interface elements at times. While it cant be said that the graphics are amazing , they definitely do suit the theme and work well for it.
The game isn’t exactly difficult , but assessing difficulty in an experience like this can be tricky. The game is more reliant on pace and decision making to further the plot than it is on difficulty spikes. There are tricky moments were some thought is required, as with some of the puzzle elements, but all in all its a simple experience that stumbles here and there but is a solid outing throughout. Thoroughly enjoyable but eerily creepy.
Grab it here for Android: Download
Grab it here for iOS: Download