Follow Genre: Adventure, Point and Click
Developer: Yakov Butuzov
Publisher: Yakov Butuzov
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC


Site Score
Good: Overall high quality game
Bad: Short, Not really a challenge
User Score
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.3/10 (3 votes cast)

Post-Soviet Russia; for some a dark and boring place, but is it really? In DOM RUSALOK we get to experience one summer where the lives of a bunch of teens drastically change when they stumble upon some possessed relic in an abandoned building. It is a question of how their childish minds will perceive the horrors that the DOM RUSALOK shows? Get ready to play outside in the slums of a provincial town.


DOM RUSALOK is a game that is very heavy in terms of story content but is light enough to swiftly move through. It all starts with a young kid that spends his summer vacation at his grandparents’ house. After he is forced to go outside, you will hang around the block, meeting new faces and making friends along the way. It doesn’t take long before the story takes a dark turn when the group finds an abandoned building called ‘the mermaid house’. Here they hear strange voices, find mysterious objects and alter their lives forever. The next day it first seems that nothing has happened, but when one of the kids checks out an item that he found in the house, shit will hit the fan and the group gets sucked into the hell that now lingers above the town. You will have to find your friends and solve the case of the DOM RUSALOK before it consumes the world as we know it.

The story flow is incredibly good and the game manages to keep you hooked. With some casual play-time thrown in the mix, you will be able to complete it in only a few hours. The game has enough information for you to press on, but upon completion, you will find out some deeper things about the stuff that was going on and you will surely be astonished by the intensity of the story.


The game uses unique visualizations that are best described as a mix between 2D pixelated graphics and realistic imaginary. Items that you pick up or examine all look like real objects, while the backgrounds are reminiscent of older days. DOM RUSALOK takes place in a Post-Soviet era where the slums are dark and the overall feel is gloomy. This is perfectly captured by the many different states of the city. You will encounter worn buildings, warm summers and dark alleyways. The game perfectly captures the feel of a 90s era Russia and the problems that arose after the fall of the communist regime. The animations are really simple but we were not bothered by this design choice. While this may sound somewhat vague, the design team also managed to capture quite well how people – children in this scenario – would act in such a depressing era.


What you wouldn’t directly expect from an Indie game is that the sound is of immensely high quality. You will hear random Soviet music being played through old and cracking speakers, people talking in the background, the random sounds of nature, and much more. When things turn dark, you will hear creepy ghostly voices and an ominous presence is felt with the music changing to a darker tone. The game is best played with a good headset because the small, hard to hear, creepy sound cues are great and will get you on edge, making you wonder if it came from the game or your room.


DOM RUSALOK is a horror adventure game that utilizes point and clicks mechanics in a puzzle heavy environment. The game starts with our main protagonist getting kicked out of his room to play outside and make some new friends. When you go outside, you are immediately met with the degenerative state of the place. You’ll be dead in the center of some slums where there is a lot of trash and wrecked cars. Here you must pick up items, combine them, or find stuff for others. The gameplay is pretty simple; either find an item, combine it and use it. Most puzzles in the game are very straightforward, with only a few that require some real thinking. This makes the game accessible for all people that like to follow the story. If you are stuck, then there are already walkthroughs available. If you really like solving difficult puzzles, then you will be a bit disappointed as to how simple the gameplay portion of the game is. The game is basically all about exploring, and solving puzzles to reach the ‘exit’.

Controlling the game is really easy as you can only move left or right and click to interact with a door or items. You are never in real danger, but the game will keep you on edge most of the time. As mentioned earlier, it is possible to solve the mystery of DOM RUSALOK in only a few hours. Sometimes it feels like the game has replayability, yet some interactions don’t really have alternative consequences when you go for them. This could have had a major impact on the story as you control four characters and each has their own views upon this world.

The puzzles are always done in short sections, so you don’t need to backtrack over large places, which is great because the character you’re playing with moves pretty slowly. During your adventure, you will find yourself in abandoned places, such as a haunted house, a meat processing plant with a dark past and an underground laboratory. To keep the spoilers to a minimum we’ll only share that you can be pretty sure that all these places are linked together and when you take the time to read the lore, you will be rewarded for your efforts.


DOM RUSALOK takes us back to Post-Soviet Russia in the 1990s. The dark and gloomy setting of the country combined with the traditional music makes for a really immersive experience. The graphics and sound design are very high quality and so is the story. The gameplay is relatively simple, with some puzzles to get you out of tight spots. You are never in danger but you won’t feel safe either. The game is great if you love a good story with some mind-blowing plot twists and delve deeper on what the hell is happening in the game.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.3/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: -1 (from 1 vote)
DOM RUSALOK – Review, 9.3 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

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