This will the last indie horror title that I will be reviewing. This is also from Indie Statik’s 50 horror game list. On a completely unrelated note, I just realized today is Friday the 13th. What a coincidence.
Sepulchre is an adventure short with subtle elements by Owl Cave. The story of the revolves around Dr. Lang who is on a train, whom struggles to remember who he is and where he is going. As his memory returns to him, he notices strange things about the train. The focus of the game is to create a horror game without using the mechanics that games of the genre rely on. Sepulchre has no monsters or jump-scares. This game aims to create the horror in a subtle manner.
The result? A game that manages to unnerve you and create discomfort with little effort. Especially towards the ending of the game, it blew my mind due to the many theories that began popping into my mind after the game ended. So many questions, little answers.
The game is relatively short, taking around 30 minutes (more or less) to complete the game. The game-play is extremely well executed, presenting an interesting tale and straight-forward being a point and click game. However, I admit to getting stuck in the beginning of the game because I did not realize you had an inventory that you had to use to open the door, you had to move the mouse cursor near the top (in the middle of the screen) to bring the inventory down. Once I figured that out, proceeded to play the game to its conclusion.
The voice-acting was very good, at first I thought it was odd how “airy” the voices sounded but when the game reached its conclusion, it made more sense. The dialogue felt natural and not from someone reading off a script.
I felt there were some holes in the game. There seemed to be a lot of implied importance surrounding the main painting, although it seems to be resolved when your character has an epiphany. For a while, I thought the game was going to give you an epiphany relating to the dogs; the reason for this was the dog origami, the dog-like painting you couldn’t interact with and how the bartender refers to you as a “good little puppy”. The biggest element of the game that felt vague was the ending itself. I didn’t understand the important of the name he utters in the end.
As for the little issues I had with the game; since the game was short there was a lot of back-tracking. You ended up going to the same places quite a lot, as well the sound the inventory bar made when it dropped down. It was extremely loud and startled me quite a bit when I first heard it. I also found that the character did a little too much coughing in the beginning of the game, it felt excessive and just ended up annoying me.
The game is for free obviously (it’s like stealing but legal – owlcave.net), however you can get the special edition of the game for $3 as well. An excellent game, that is definitely worth the bizarre and puzzling trip. You can get this game on Owl Cave’s official sepulchre site.