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IN NIGHTMARE Review for PlayStation 5

Published by Maximum Games and developed by Beijing Magic Fish Technology Co. (What a name!) A new horror puzzle game, very reminiscent of the likes of Bandai Namco’s “Little Nightmares.” This game titled “In Nightmare” doesn’t quite leave as memorable of an experience for me, but it certainly isn’t one that completely misses the mark either and fans of the genre may still get some enjoyment out of it.

IN NIGHTMARE Review for PlayStation 5

Like many nightmares, they stem from past trauma, and our lead protagonist Billy seems to be chock full of them. There are absolutely elements of abuse here, so if that sort of thing triggers you, just be aware of that. To be more vague for this review though, our boy Billy goes into a deep slumber, where his reality is manifesting into scary incarnations in several nightmares. With the aid of his butterfly looking dream spirit, Billy is on a quest to find any last shred of hope to overcome his fears in life. Pretty heavy stuff for a whimsical little game like this, but that’s probably one of my favorite aspects about “In Nightmare,” it’s not afraid to “go there” and touch on very sensitive mental health topics.

This type of horror game does not play like “Little Nightmares,” which is a bit more of a side scroller, in this case the camera has an isometric viewpoint, which makes it stand out a bit more with its competition, but at the same time not the most ideal way I wish they went about developing this game. I often kept wanting to move the camera myself, where it unfortunately is stationary in one position for the most part. For a horror game looking downward at your protagonist and enemies it just doesn’t have that sense of dread that makes horror games effective. The controls themselves are fairly simple, you have your general crouch and interacting with objects buttons, there’s not a lot to it, which is a good thing, some games don’t need to get overly complicated. As far as the actual gameplay, you will most of the time be trying to solve puzzles, which are hit and miss in my personal opinion, I did not have that great of time trying to solve them. The parts that were more enjoyable to me were when the game turns into a stealth game. The suspense of needing to hide or just not to be seen from creepy entities is where the game is the most fun.

I have a bit of a collector mentality so I can be very judgmental on when a game gives me the option to scour around to search for items. Some games, they’re completely useless and you’re collecting for the sake of collecting. Other times, in this case specifically you will be collecting items such as psychologist reports on Billy as well as personal journal entries which often can juxtapose one another in a very real and eye-opening way which I think adds a lot more depth to the story. The voice acting is very minimal, you will primarily be reading things mostly, but the sound design does a great job at upping the creepy factor. Playing with headphones really helped me get a sense of which direction I may be encountering something scary waiting for me.

It may take you just a bit over eight hours to complete “In Nightmare” and it’s always great when these little games know to not outstay their welcome. This is an emotionally charged experience if you allow it to be, but the overall fun factor in playing it I think will heavily vary depending on the gamer. For a twenty-dollar title, it may not be the biggest risk to give this one a shot, at the very least if you happen to see it on sale and you’re a fan of these types of horror games, you could do a lot worse.


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Related: Nick Navarro Reviews

Gaming since I was given an original Nintendo as a kid. I love great storytelling and unique ingenuity. When both collide in a single game, I'm a happy gamer. Twitter/IG @NickNavarro87