Strobophagia | Rave Horror – Review
Follow Genre: First-person / Horror
Developer: Green Tile Digital
Publisher: Green Tile Digital
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Strobophagia | Rave Horror – Review

Site Score
3.5
Good: Strong audio-visuals with story potential.
Bad: Glitches, this includes player and NPC.
User Score
1.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 1.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Strobophagia is a first-person/psychedelic horror game that is situated in a forest rave which later on turns out to be a ploy for a massive sacrifice for ancient creatures spoken only of in tales. Combining strange rituals with both enigmatic visuals and sound will most definitely raise the hairs of any player. Sadly having the combo of sound and visuals is not always enough to cover up the otherwise bland experience this game has to offer.

Story

The story of the game starts with a forest rave festival called “the Headless”. In the beginning, everything seems all well and fine, yet it soon becomes apparent that something is not quite right. It is later discovered that the festival is a way for a cult to perform “The Rites”, a ritual that will find a host for an ancient evil. The goal of this evil is to be released from its realm and then in turn unleashed upon our mortal plane.

In that same dimension where the ancient evil resides, there is another creature called ‘The Beast’, a ferocious horned undead that seeks only to devour and destroy. This creature, that sounds even worse, is actually keeping the other one caged and away from our dimension.

The story is presented all through online threads, where participants and NPCs alike communicate with the player. Every single step through the storyline is presented live and is explained via the threads before or after an interaction with the surroundings. There are no cutscenes and no voiced dialogues between player and NPCs. The storyline felt slow-paced although being short, which is never a good feeling when you blast through the game as if it’s nothing.

Graphics

The game uses high-quality textures for the flora, yet all participants have the same patterns and glow effects, except the main questline NPCs. This makes the game look repetitive but it is also easier for the player to spot the important NPCs from the crowd. The game was made with ‘Unity’, which is a pretty popular game engine that provides good visuals.

The mental pressure of the game was indeed pushed higher when the psychedelic interactions were enforced with the visuals. The combination of light and shadow effects stimulated that small childhood fear of the dark that we once had (or probably still have). Seeing something far away moving crookedly really accelerates one’s heart rate to a point that thinking about riddles is the last thing you want to do.

Objects such as beer and wine bottles had somewhat realistic reflecting effects, although these could definitely be fine-tuned. All other objects such as skulls, candles, and stones had very fiery lighting enhanced by a glow effect of the surrounding light sources which only enforced the look and feel of the game and its experience. While traversing through the game’s storyline, there was a spot that was game-breaking. The character simply went through the ground and was unable to move forward only to the edge of the lower level which would mean immediate death. The game would then reset the player on the same spot making this an infinite loop until the start of a new game. This made the experience less joyful as starting from scratch is something not everyone is willing to do.

Sound

The soundtrack from the rave festival is originally made by the artist ‘DOX NARA’. The songs really feel as if you are at a festival. Wearing headphones will definitely enhance the experience. The overall sounds of footsteps, winded breathing and the breaking glass are pretty standard but good enough. What really made an impression were the twisted sound-effects when interacting with enemies. When the player is nearing death, the visuals twist and turn in combination with screeching sounds, making the experience truly as if being part of a psychological horror movie.

Gameplay

Strobophagia | Rave Horror is a horror game that relies heavily on its theme, being a festival where you will see strange visions. The goal of the game is to unravel the secrets behind what looks like a normal forest rave, where strange rituals are being performed in the background. The concept is simple and the game will make you solve puzzles to progress through the game.

Using a smartphone and the many online threads as tools for finding the different clues hiding around the festival, you basically have all that you need for the job at hand. The idea of having to use an online thread for finding clues is definitely not a bad idea. Sadly, the pacing of the threads feel off and can actually become somewhat ‘spammy’, making things feel tedious and like a chore, rather than interesting to explore. This eventually translates itself to making the game dull and unpleasant to actually make your way to the end.

Connecting to these threads one simply has to keep scanning the various QR-code boxes, which are spread around the festival. These QR-code boxes give access to the threads, but also serve as saving points. The system is simple, but it sometimes serves as the only incentive to actually walk around.

The game didn’t feel like a horror experience, but more like a mystery-solving game. For it to be considered horror, then there should be a lurking threat or a timetable added where the player has to be constantly on the move. NPCs felt static, as they would only interact with the player when approached via the thread or with physical interaction. There’s only one fearsome opponent, and that is the actual end ‘boss’, which feels as if it’s too little too late. For a horror game, one would expect more suspense than this game is currently offering.

Conclusion

With being advertised as a psychedelic horror experience, the game somewhat falls short in every department. While the visuals and the sound design feel decent, the entire theme of the game doesn’t really feel suspenseful if there is no real consequence to what you’re doing, even if you’re dawdling, rather than fleeing for your life, not becoming the next sacrifice. We felt the game’s puzzles were okayish, but never truly tapped into what this game could have been. With some much-needed tweaks in its story presentation, the feeling of an actual impending doom and decently fleshed-out gameplay this game could be interesting. As it stands now, its current asking price is too much.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 1.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Strobophagia | Rave Horror - Review, 1.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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