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Pineview Drive #GameReview

A one-of-a-kind horror shocker – a game aware of your fear!

Pineview Drive game cover

Title: Pineview Drive | Developer: VIS-Games | Publisher: United Independent Entertainment | Release Date: 2014 | Genre: Adventure Horror | Style: Point & Click | Platform: PC | Rating: Unstarred | Source: Self-Purchased

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Pineview Drive Review

I wanted to like Pineview Drive so much. It had a lot of good things going for it. The house itself was fantastic looking. The story, at first, was reminiscent of Hell House by Richard Matheson.

First, the good. When your character first arrives at the house he tells you that no one has lasted more than thirty days in the house so we’d better hurry. We need to find out what really happened to our wife some odd years ago. Cool! Let’s get going.

The basic pattern is you inspect the grounds and house, find keys and unlock doors. That’s really all. It sounds rather boring and if you’re looking for a fast-paced adventure then this is not your game. Your only equipment (that you’ll use) is a flashlight. You also get candles to light your way but they’re practically useless.

The story was engaging enough to keep me interested. I will give it that. I wanted to see what was going on, what happened to Linda?

The sound design was great. That is one thing that I can enthusiastically praise. It was excellent. There were creepy noises but they were always subtle. It genuinely created a feeling of unease. There were no blatant jumpscares that were overused. There were very few and what few there were didn’t feel off. It definitely relies on the creep factor, rather than the ‘make you jump’ factor, which I’m always a fan of.

For example: While exploring the house you often pass by a clown doll. No big deal. One time they put the key near it. I was a bit leery about fetching it but I did so and nothing happened. Ok, cool. The next time I traversed that corner of the house the clown was gone. And I kept hearing footsteps. I can tell you, that made the paranoia ramp up.

The house itself looked awesome. It was very detailed and felt like a real house. Which was nice because you’ll be walking around it. A lot. Each room was unique and looked great, graphically.

Now, onto the not so good stuff. There’s a lot of backtracking. A lot. You’ll find the key, then go hunting for the door it goes to. Once there, it an either lead to more locked doors and more keys or you’ll find a note giving you a bit more of the story. You pass out then wake up the next evening to start all over again. You’ll get sound cues letting you know where to go next. If you wander for too long our protagonist (David, I think?) gives you a hint. But only for the first spot. If you find another key you’ll have to guess where that one goes.

Pineview Drive is dark. Really, really dark. So much so that I could only play for short intervals because between the dark and the flashlight bob it would give me eyestrain and make me queasy. The flashlight is almost next to useless. They are fairly generous with the batteries but it doesn’t make much of a difference. Once you lose even one bar your flashlight’s beam takes a major nosedive. Some areas I played totally in the dark so I could save on battery and it wasn’t helping all that much. The lighting was very realistic but, sometimes, as a creator you need to know when to make things realistic and when not to.

The only other issue I had was the ending. I played through the whole game and a very surreal part that got me excited for the end only to be pushed into an ending that just…ended. And I mean that literally. So many people were confused by it that the developers had to explain it on their Facebook page. If you have to do that then, story-wise, you’ve screwed up somewhere. I’d warn you about upcoming spoilers but in this case it might help to play the game with some foreknowledge.

According to the developers, David and Linda rented the house and found an evil, cursed doll. The doll’s curse killed David and Linda is still alive. Which, ok. Not very creative but not bad.

The only problem is that this ‘story’ has nothing to do with any of the in-game happenings. A small sampling of events is the clown moving, a little girl in the house, flashes of a scary ghost Linda and a ghost ship. I feel like they had a lot of cool ideas but couldn’t pull them together well enough for a coherent story. The doll itself isn’t brought into the game until a couple of nights from the end. None of the pieces fit together to form a cohesive whole.

Pineview Drive is priced at $5.99 on Steam (as of this writing) and that, to me, is too high. I would wait until it goes on sale. The creators have released other games since but looking at reviews they sound plagued with the same issues in lighting and darkness.

If you can find it on sale and want to try it out I’d say give a go but don’t expect too much out of it. It’s dark and a mess when it comes to the story.

Published inHorror Games
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