Play with Me – Review
Follow Genre: Puzzle game
Developer: AIREM
Publisher: IQ Publishing
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Play with Me – Review

Site Score
6.7
Good: Atmosphere is well done, great variety in puzzles
Bad: Narration sounds rather unemotional
User Score
8.3
(6 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.3/10 (6 votes cast)

Play with Me is a puzzle game inspired by Saw, where you have to puzzle your way through several rooms in order to escape and save yourself and your wife from a killer. There’s a great amount of different puzzles you’ll encounter, and there are different endings to uncover. The puzzles are different each playthrough, so the game will stay challenging! This game has been developed by AIREM, and published by IQ Publishing.

play-with-me-logo

Story

In Play With Me you’ll take the role of Robert Hawk, an investigative journalist who did a number of stories on a serial killer nick-named ‘The Illusion’. On the night of his birthday he gets into a car accident, together with his wife Sara. As he tries to stay conscious, he hears Sara call for help to someone you can’t see, and then she screams… After that you’ll wake up, cuffed, in a scary room full of strange items and puzzles to solve.

As you try to progress from room to room, you’ll learn more about your captor, what his motivation is to kidnap you, and why he murdered his victims. During your journey you’ll also be able to receive some phone calls, and every now and then a colleague of yours who is also captures calls you. You help him out with the information you find, and he tries to help you in turn. Not only friendly voices call you, though.. the killer has your number too!

play with me - screen 1

Graphics

The graphics are dark and moody, and fit the atmosphere. The graphics look painted. There are a lot of familiar horror tropes, like scary clowns and deadly spiders and flickering lights. Every now and then insects walk onto your screen, looking a bit like there’s an actual insect there!

The graphics are used in interesting ways to solve puzzles. You’ll get an UV-light to reveal messages, you’ll get matches and a torchlight (with limited battery) to light your way, and sometimes you have to scrub at smudges with a piece of cloth to reveal a message.

play with me - screen 4

Sound

The game is fully narrated. The names sound British, but the accent of the narrators sound more like they are from eastern Europe. It takes some getting used to the accent, and the narration is often a bit dry and without emotion. The creepy sounds in the game have been done very well. Every now and then you’ll hear something scurrying, you’ll hear walking around you, knocking, etc.. it’s really creepy and puts you on edge the first times you hear it, but it gets a bit repetitive. You’ll hear creepy ambient sounds almost all of the time, and all actions you do have fitting scary sounds. The sounds are a bit cliche for the genre, but that is to be expected in a game like this.

Gameplay

Play with Me is a puzzle game, with point ‘n click mechanics. You’ll have to escape room after room, and each room contains several different puzzles. Usually you’ll need to uncover a number code, found by combining different codes you’ll find in the room by solving the puzzles. Sometimes you’ll need to backtrack, and sometimes you’ll get a limited time to finish the room.

play with me - screen 2

There is a lot of variety in the puzzles, which is great, because you’ll need to solve a lot of them. Many rooms do have an unique mechanic or problem you’ll need to solve, like a furnace room heating up, a room with a doll you’ll need to keep at one place, a room with a ceiling which slowly lowers, etc. You’ll find several items in the rooms to be able to solve puzzles, like a UV light, a piece of cloth, or a knife. You’ll be able to go back to former rooms to get items you’ve forgotten there. You can’t combine items in your inventory, so all puzzles are solved by interacting with objects on screen. However, every now and then it’s not really clear what you need to do, and those times can be rather frustrating. But after a while you’ll get used to most of the puzzles, and then you’ll be happy each time a new puzzle mechanic is introduced.

There are multiple endings to uncover, and the puzzles in the rooms change with different playthroughs, so there is definitely some replay value. The first time around you’ll probably take a couple of hours to solve all the puzzles for a full playthrough, especially in the beginning it takes some getting used to the type of puzzles and the way you’ll need to combine codes. After one playthrough you’ll be able to solve the puzzles a lot faster and play through the game in an hour or so, which really helps if you want to discover all the endings.

play with me - screen 3

Conclusion

Play With Me is a nice addition to the library of anybody who love puzzles! There are lot of diverse and challenging puzzles you’ll encounter during this game. The story is a bit cliche, but not bad. The graphics fit the mood very well, and the music fits the atmosphere. This game will certainly keep you entertained for several hours on the first playthrough, and some hours more if you want to uncover all different endings!

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.3/10 (6 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
Play with Me - Review, 8.3 out of 10 based on 6 ratings
Anmaja
Anmaja


I'm a LARP writer, freelance teacher and everlasting PhD student, and an avid gamer. Nowadays I game mostly on PC, but I love my retro playstation 1 & 2 as well :) I like watching anime, movies and series, and read books & comics whenever I have time!

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