Captive – Review
Follow Genre: RPG Maker horror game
Developer: Dead Inside Studio
Publisher: Dead Inside Studio
Platforms: PC
Tested on: PC

Captive – Review

Site Score
9.0
Good: Fun gameplay, Good soundtrack, Short but enjoyable
Bad: Slow walking, No scary parts
User Score
8.8
(4 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.8/10 (4 votes cast)

Over a year ago, Dead Inside Studio brought us Captive, a short horror game that brings up feelings of popular escape room games. With features like permadeath and a countdown clock, this game puts players in an uncomfortable position and challenges them big time. Captive is supposed to be the first game in a series of short horror games by Dead Inside Studio. We thought we’d check out what is supposed to be the prologue to a much bigger story that is coming to us in the future!

Story

In Captive a woman wakes up, badly hurt, in a cell without any memories of herself or what happened. Both she and the room seem to be covered in blood but she has no recollection of the events leading to this situation. While her condition is getting worse by the minute, she has to break free from a building she doesn’t remember.

You learn more about the girl, the story and the mysterious events that happened throughout the game. By uncovering various clues, you’ll get a sense of what happened to the girl. And without giving anything away; the ending is open for interpretation so that is also kind of nice.

Graphics

Some beautiful pixelated art is used here. There isn’t really a lot to see in the game since you’re in a building the whole time. You will see a lot of blood though, and a lot of doors. The girl you’re supposed to guide out of the building looks terrified, which makes sense, but her eyes man, she looks like she’s dead already. However, once you get over her creepy, widespread eyes, you’ll mostly encounter a lot of bricks but since the game doesn’t focus that much on the graphics but more on the puzzles and the tension, the graphics suffice. In games like this, the soundtrack contributes to the making or breaking of a game, rather than the visual aspect.

Sound

The soundtrack fits the horror theme of the game perfectly. From the moment you launch the game, you’ll get a mysterious feeling to get you in the right mood immediately. The soundtrack manages to keep itself steady in the background, creating a little bit of extra tension, without getting in the way of the gameplay. This definitely is a success.

Gameplay

Captive is an RPG Maker horror game where you have to escape a building of which you have no memory. The game immediately starts, and not getting any instructions feels kind of confusing at first. The only two options are ‘escape’ or ‘give up’, a.k.a. play or exit. However, the game is very basic and simple so you’ll get the hang of it real fast.

On top of your screen, you’ll see a timer. This countdown also isn’t explained, which is kind of frustrating when you’re playing. You’ll be like okay I have 30 minutes until something happens? The only feeling you’ll probably get is ‘shit, I have to get out of here or something bad is going to happen.’ Let us make things clear for you: you have exactly 30 minutes before you bleed to death. Since the game features permadeath, you do not want time to run out.

Throughout the game, you’ll have to gather clues in order to open doors, turn on lights, and of course escape the building! As the developers themselves said, the game gives off an escape room feeling since you’re gathering clues to escape a room, or in this case, a building.

What is quite annoying about the game, is how slow the character moves. She can run a little if she uses some of her stamina, but it still feels very slow. If you take into account that you only have 30 times, this may just annoy you. It’s not that big of an issue but it is something that got in the way of fully enjoying the game. We do understand that this may be done on purpose by the developers since this does tend to give you a more ‘imprisoned’ kind of feeling.

The puzzles and problem solving aren’t really hard and you’ll likely figure out things right away. According to the puzzles you’ll solve, there are two endings; the regular one and the hidden one. It won’t take you long to play the game and finish both endings. You won’t get more than a few hours out of this game, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The developers themselves are honest about the playtime of the game since they’re calling this game ‘a short playthrough to help you take a break from longer experiences’. They are totally right with said statement, as Captive it is a nice break from games that last longer. With the price being fair, the few hours (likely not more than two) you get out of Captive are money well spent. Don’t prepare yourself for any replay value though, because there is none.

The game is meant to be a horror game. You do get some chilly feelings and tension does tend to build, but it feels as if more scary parts are missing. Sure, there’s blood almost everywhere and the different rooms make you embark on something mysterious and new every time, but it’s not like you’ll be playing and feeling scared. It would have been nice if the developers added some more creepy parts. We do feel like a little bit of this lack of creepiness is made up for by the ending, which is simply amazing.

Discussion

If you need a break from a game that doesn’t seem to have an end, Captive is your go-to game. A simple, yet fun horror game you have to finish in under half an hour accompanied by a fitting and mysterious soundtrack. You can focus on solving puzzles while also discovering a weird story. The few minor demerits that you can spot, like the very slow walking and the missing scary parts, are easily overlooked because of the enjoyment this game offers!

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Rating: 8.8/10 (4 votes cast)
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Captive - Review, 8.8 out of 10 based on 4 ratings
Maui Vindevogel


23 year old based in Belgium with a passion for writing

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