Hello Puppets!
Follow Genre: Stealth horror adventure
Developer: Otherworld Interactive
Publisher: tinyBuild
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Hello Puppets: Midnight Show – Preview

Good: Great visuals, Gameplay stands out among the genre
Bad: Controls will drive you up the wall
User Score
6.0
(1 votes)
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Rating: 6.0/10 (1 vote cast)

A couple of years ago we were introduced to the wondrous world of Mortimer’s Handeemen in Hello Puppets! VR. This game was a comedy-horror adventure that takes us deep into the studio of the disgraced Handeemen puppets, a muppet-type kid’s show that has seen a tragic end and where the hand puppets are out for revenge. With the game having decent reviews, it’s no surprise the Handeemen are back for a sequel, this time in the form of a stealth horror adventure that will test the limits of your patience. Sadly, the encore of this show doesn’t live up to its predecessor.

Hello Puppets!

Once again the plot of the game takes us into the Handeemen studio. This time we play as creator Owen Gubberson, who has used dark magic in an effort to bring his own puppets to life. As this is a horror game, one may expect that the result of his dark magic is not a positive one. His puppets turn out to be rather sadistic and out for blood. You only have limited time to reverse the spell and leave the studio alive. The story clearly takes a backseat to the gameplay here, though it’s actually interesting to see how many layers the devs managed to pack into this game. A lot of optional lore can be uncovered simply by exploring and gathering collectibles, and the story is thus delivered in bite-size pieces you can have fun matching together if that’s the kind of thing that interests you, but the game stays perfectly enjoyable otherwise.

Visually speaking, Hello Puppets: Midnight Show is a pleasant surprise for the indie horror genre. The game looks really good, and the studio you wander through has the spooky atmosphere to make you wonder about the horrors that might lurk in the shadows. As puppets, the different enemies you face tend to straddle the line between creepy and silly – but in that great horror movie way we all adore. The only downside to the game’s visual prowess would be smaller issues such as the ugly font and color they use for the menu and death screens, but also the distracting UI elements like the icon that displays your inventory looking kind of stupid.

The music too faces some minor issues, though overall it’s fine. The voice acting is actually really fun, and while some lines of dialogue tend to get repeated too often, the delivery makes up for that in scare factor. Sadly, the soundtrack itself is on the basic side and the chase music can quickly become annoying.

As mentioned above, the real meat of Hello Puppets: Midnight Show lies in the gameplay. What we have in this department is actually very unique for a stealth horror adventure. Each level drops you into a part of the studio that almost resembles a maze, with the rooms and hallways connected haphazardly. Your goal would be to open the exit and escape, but that’s not going to be easy. You’ll have to solve puzzles along the way to gather keys and other items, find codes to open lockers, and do it all while staying out of the grubby hands of the maniacal puppets that roam the studio. The game works with instadeath: get caught once and you have to start all over from the beginning again.

Staying out of these puppets’ grasp takes a bit of skill. There is the usual sneak mechanic where you need to keep out of sight and try not to make too much noise. You can hide in lockers and cabinets, though you might need to do a quick-time-event to see if you’re able to keep your presence concealed. Nonetheless, the studio is also riddled with traps and items that you can use on your captor to stun them or otherwise delay your death. The unique mechanic in this game is batteries. Almost every device, from traps to the puzzles you need to solve, to the vending machines which sell useful items, needs batteries. You can take batteries out and put them back in devices at your own discretion, though it’s best to be tactical where you put them. This does add an extra layer to the gameplay that is really enjoyable.

 

Sadly, it does not change that overall the controls are a bit too clunky and the game really tests your patience with them – especially since a single mistake means instadeath. You don’t have enough sprint to outrun the puppets for long, so if you get spotted once and can’t get to a trap or locker within three seconds you’re basically screwed. Since there are also currently no options to change certain buttons or alter mouse sensitivity, this is a bigger issue than it seems at first glance.

Conclusion

Maybe with some more work, Hello Puppets: Midnight Show could become one of the more enjoyable stealth horror games on the market. As it stands now, however, the game is a little too grating on the nerves to really enjoy. If you do have a VR headset, you’d want to stick to the original game. Nonetheless, with some options concerning key-binds, mouse sensitivity, some difficulty settings, and a few other minor tweaks, this one could become interesting.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 6.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Hello Puppets: Midnight Show - Preview, 6.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
Jessica


Games are my escape and writing is my passion.

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