Released: March 1, 2016
Publisher: Bigzur Games
Developer: Bigzur Games
MSRP: $11.99, Steam
OS: Windows XP SP2+, Windows 7,8, Mac OS X
Processor: Core with SSE2
Memory: 2 GB RAM
Graphics: Videocard with Shader model 2.0
DirectX: Version 9.0c
Storage: 3 GB available space
Sound Card: Stereo Audiocard
UnderDread is a promising train ride of a video game filled with jump scares and entertaining puzzles that take the player through a dungeon beset with skeletons, wraiths, and oh, there’s a dead guy over there. Oh, don’t mind him. How did that blood splatter get there? Where did the main character’s missing daughter go?
The sound design has been very tastefully completed, the voice acting is fairly spot on, however it does waver a little and at some points the Patrician nature becomes a little transparent. Solid voice acting and sound effects are a must if you want to attain successful suspension of someone’s disbelief.
The dark atmosphere is reminiscent of Amnesia and other survival-horror greats we have all come to know and love, and the controls reflect this too. I don’t think controller capability is available for this game, one must simply have to cope with Mouse and Keyboard, classic WASD for now. You can invert the camera control, which is very helpful for some.
Expect the gameplay to be somewhat brief, I have seen some Steam reviewers boast their own completion of the content provided in a matter of a few hours. However, this reviewer lacks the patience required to complete the ride and has ejected herself from this experience. I know when something is just not for me any more.
I tried very hard to like this game. What’s not to like?!
Have I matured past the point of jump scares? While they are masterfully placed, and I did react to them as they occurred, the thought of “maybe this genre isn’t for me anymore” popped up a few times. Like when I opened a cabinet door to find another corpse hunched over, I issued forth an audible groan.
Tom: “Are you okay?”
Have I become so jaded to riding the same ride multiple times despite its different skin?
I applaud Bigzur for their work on developing this game. I do look forward to seeing what additional titles may emerge from the lake of Steam releases bearing their name.
Doots dooted by Señor Esqueleto:
May strong bones and good calcium come to you.
Keep going! I want to see what else you can do, Bigzur!
I cannot stress the importance of good voice acting enough. For many, it’s the beginning ascent for the roller coaster that is, for now, the video game. Strap me in, boss! But if the tone being set falters some? The veil thins, through which the machinations are seen all too easily, and any flaws become magnified to a much greater degree.
Speaking of, should any of you lovely lot find yourself in need of male voice acting/voiceover skills, Leeman Kessler of Ask Lovecraft is quite suitable for a variety of roles, and may be contacted at: asklovecraft at gmail dot com.
Many of you may also be familiar with the work of Wayne June (Darkest Dungeon), who may also be contacted via the usual social media outlets including:
wayne at waynejune dot com.