True Fear: Forsaken Souls takes the best of the psychological thriller, blending in fun and intuitive gameplay mechanics. Episode 1, the first in a trilogy, will long be remembered.
Title: True Fear – Forsaken Souls, Part 1 | Developer: Goblinz Studio | Publisher: The Digital Lounge | Release Date: October 19th, 2016 | Genre: Adventure Horror | Style: Point and Click | Platform: Steam | Source: Self-Purchased | Starred Review
True Fear: Forsaken Souls – Part 1 Review
I like Hidden Object puzzle games but I rarely find ones that I like. Most, even if they seem to have a horror theme and ghosts, they are typically more fantasy-based. True Fear: Forsaken Souls is planted pretty firmly in the horror realm.
You play the game as Holly, summoned from her bed in the middle of the night by a mysterious knock on the door and a letter from her estranged sister. Holly goes to Heather’s house to investigate but finds the house abandoned. Well, not entirely abandoned, someone has been there. Lighting candles and leaving clues for Holly to follow.
For being a point and click (and thus there being no real danger) the game does a good job of making the atmosphere creepy. The ‘antagonist’ appears here and there to keep you on your toes. There are very few ‘startle’ jump scares which is nice, it keeps the atmosphere tense.
For technically being a Hidden Object style of game there are actually very few Hidden Object puzzles and you can choose whether you want those areas to be hidden object puzzles or adventure style puzzles which is nice. Since I don’t play them too much I’m not sure if this is a standard feature or not. I really liked the puzzles, in general. They were challenging enough but also not to the point where you want to tear your hair out. The items are used in logical manners and there is actually very little backtracking. At least, when there is, there’s a fast travel map that you can use. I really didn’t feel the need to use it much, however. The areas felt close enough to just click through to there.
I love the story to it. It’s mysterious, creepy, and makes you want to get to the end of the trilogy to find out what’s going on. Speaking of which, the games are a trilogy but True Fear: Forsaken Souls feels like a full game and gives you enough story to not feel cheated. It ends on an intriguing cliffhanger and includes a Bonus Level that gives you a taste of the next game.
The cutscenes look very nice and Holly’s character model looks really good. The art, in general, is very nice looking and the animations are smooth. The creepy girl is sufficiently creepy. It uses some tropes that will be familiar to horror fans such as the jerky movements of the creepy girl and her general appearance. There are also some tongue-in-cheek references to other movies, such as Shaun of the Dead.
My only real complaint is that the puzzles on Expert aren’t that much harder than those on Advanced so if you’re familiar with this type of game I’d recommend playing it on Expert from the start. The game is very good at providing you with enough clues to move forward if you do get stuck and, even if that fails, it’s fairly easy to figure it out by trying different things on your own. Like trying objects on interactive areas or looking around for a note you possibly missed.
I would recommend True Fear: Forsaken Souls. The puzzles are fun and interesting, the areas to explore are well done and atmospheric enough to give you chills up your spine and the story is one of the better that I’ve seen in a Hidden Object style of game.
GracieKat was the first co-host of Sci-Fi & Scary, Lilyn’s partner-in-crime, and sub-head of the Kali Krew. She reviews horror books, movies, and games for the site. She also does a weekly Focus on the Frightful feature, and is the site list-maker. She is also in control of the Sci-Fi & Scary podcast which will relaunch soon.