Kholat – Review
Follow Genre: Adventure, Horror, Indie
Developer: IMGN.PRO
Publisher: IMGN.PRO
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Kholat – Review

Site Score
Good: great music and graphics, interesting story
Bad: gameplay might get boring or repetitive, enemies don't feel intimidating
User Score
(1 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Lately, the gaming market has been flooded with a lot of developers that try to make “scary” by just filling them with jump scares. Kholat tries to stand out of that crowd, it features a very scary atmosphere, beautiful graphics powered by Unreal Engine 4 and it’s narrated by the one and only Sean Bean. Another thing that’s quite surprising is that the story is inspired by a true event. Let’s see if we can find out more!



Kholat’s story is strongly inspired by a real life event that happened in 1959. The “Dyatlov Pass incident” still remains a mystery to this day, but we’ll give you a short synopsis of what happened there.

Nine hitchhikers had set out on an expedition in the northern part of the Ural Mountains (Kholat Syakhl) in Russia, their goal was to reach the mountain “Otorten”, which was 10 kilometers away of the place where the incident happened. However, after receiving no news of the hitchhikers for quite some time, search parties started a search and rescue mission. On February 26th 1959, search parties had found the group’s abandoned tent, but it was nothing like they expected. The tent was cut open from the inside and all of the group’s belongings were left inside the tent, even their shoes. A bit further from the camp the rescue party found the remains of a fire together with 2 bodies, both people were shoeless and dressed in their underwear. Branches from the nearby tree were snapped off, suggesting one of them tried to climb a tree, maybe to escape from something or to look further into the distance. Three more bodies were found between the tree and the base camp, and 2 months later they found the rest of the group buried in 4 meters of snow inside a ravine.

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To this day, nobody knows what really happened in Kholat Syakhl and government officials try to steer away from the subject whenever brought up. There have been a lot of theories like an avalanche, infrasound that affects humans, a military accident, a killer yeti and even an encounter with extraterrestrial life.

This is pretty much the story of the game and it also provides a good setting for a scary atmosphere. While playing you’ll accumulate some notes which can help explain the story further, but besides that there isn’t really anything else.


The graphics in this game are simply amazing. Everything is extremely dark, but from time to time you’ll get a beautiful view of the environment. It will be snowing most of the times, and this is one of the little games that has extremely convincing snow. Also, when sprinting too much you’ll slowly start to black out, limiting your view even more, this is where the flashlight comes in handy! On top of all that, the enemy you’ll be facing is a dark shade, which can be pretty hard to spot in a dark valley, making it even more surprising when it suddenly stands in front of you. All this darkness really contributes to the “horror” atmosphere of the game and also to the realism, since it’s based on a true story after all.

Kholat is also made in Unreal Engine 4, playing a huge role in the great graphics. It will run okay on most setups, but good graphics come at a cost! With a medium setup you’ll get about 30 fps on medium/high settings, which is still playable and the game still looks amazing on medium.

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Kholat’s sound is pretty much flawless. The music is amazing and provides a lot of depth to the game and its environment, it’s one of those scary games that get the music just right. It’s also narrated by one of Britain’s most popular actors, Sean Bean. It’s really soothing to listen to him talk and it really does the game justice. Sometimes, notes are also narrated for you when you pick them up, which is quite pleasant.


Last but not least, the gameplay! Kholat is an adventure horror game in which you’ll be relying on your map reading skills in order to find points of interest on the mountain you’re on. It’s quite basic and simple, you have your basic movement keys, sprint, a flashlight and your map and compass.

When starting off, it’s kind of uncertain as to where you have to go. The game relies on you to explore, it doesn’t really tell you what to do besides pinpointing some points of interest on your map. It’s up to you where you want to go and how to get there, but it might be harder than you think because the map is extremely hard to read and doesn’t fully reflect the level design, which can be quite frustrating. You can also use a flashlight but most of the time it doesn’t really help because it’s usually snowing, limiting your vision anyway.

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Kholat goes quite easy on you most of the time. It builds tension but doesn’t really try to scare you whenever there’s an opportunity. Sometimes you won’t experience anything for 30 minutes and then suddenly run into a part of a map that triggers something, which can be quite surprising. The game also tries to introduce an enemy, which doesn’t really look all that intimidating but it’s something at least. You’ll see a black shade walking around from time to time, once you get too close it will start burning and run after you, but it can easily be outrun and it only starts to detect you when you’re almost standing on top of it with your flashlight, making it almost no threat.

Besides the occasional black shade, you’ll be running around most of the time trying to uncover what happened to the group of hitchhikers. You can find more information in the form of notes, which are trivial most of the time and just give you some backstory. Each time you pick up a note or a big event triggers, you’ll hit a save point. It’s kind of frustrating that this is the way how save points work because you can walk around for 30 minutes not triggering anything, close the game and then continue again where you left off, only to find out you lost the 30 minutes of progress and are now completely disoriented and lost.


Kholat is a very welcomed addition to “scary game” genre and it’s a nice change from all of the crappy games out there. It has great graphics, music and voice acting, it also has a great atmosphere and builds up tension really quickly, but it feels like the developers didn’t really know what to do after that. Most of the time you’ll be surrounded with very loud noises, waiting for something to happen, only to not have it happen after all. All in all, it’s a great game, if you don’t mind running around, a lot.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Kholat - Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

1 Comment

  1. […] The project has already entered the development stages and the project is said to be: ‘completely different than “Kholat”. To know what “Kholat” was all about, you can find the link to the review here. […]

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