Allow me to give you a brief insight into how things typically work here at TheXboxHub for us writer folks; there is a big long list of review codes where anyone can put their name down if they wish to review. We also have a section where we can express advance interest if there is an upcoming game that really catches our eye. And after seeing the Xbox Store page for Death Park, I simply had to put it down as a game I had advance interest in, in a ‘looks so bad it’s good’ kind of way. And what I got was exactly what I hoped for, plus a whole lot more.
Death Park is a real janky horror experience, but there is fast becoming a market for these titles.
Not much is known about Death Park when you first load into the game, and it is up to you to piece the story together. You awake in your bedroom and your first task is to simply hide under your bed. You can’t see their face but a strange figure appears through your bedroom door, wearing some very oversized shoes, searching around your room looking for something or someone. Probably you.
After they disappear you are free to explore your room and look for a key to get out. Once you open your door, it isn’t to the rest of your house as you would expect. Instead, it opens up to the titular Death Park; a foggy and creepy looking theme park where you are the only visitor.
The theme park aspect of Death Park is just a smaller part of this first-person horror game. To escape you will need to find various objects and solve the puzzles, all whilst avoiding the creepy clown that is hunting you down. Get caught and you’ll know about it; the clown will scream down the screen at you in true jank horror style and you’ll reawaken in your bedroom to begin your nightmare again. If you’ve ever played the likes of Monstrum, Five Nights at Freddy’s or Lunch Lady then you’ll know exactly what sort of jump scares to anticipate.
The haunted theme park is just one aspect to Death Park. As you progress by solving the puzzles and finding the items you require, you will unlock new areas such as a creepy abandoned building and a weird and very disorientating blood-spattered maze.
These areas present their own challenges too. The clown may still be hunting you down, but each area has its own unique atmosphere to unsettle you. The park purposefully has a bad draw distance so you cannot see too far in front of you, the building has tight corridors and the maze requires you to think outside the box as it presents a series of lateral thinking puzzles. Death Park almost does itself a disservice by selling itself as a jump scare simulator from the store page – though these are still in abundance – but it is actually a fair amount more than just this.
Death Park is short however. A first runthrough should take no longer than an hour and once you learn object placements and optimum paths you can easily cut this time down in half. Which is just as well then that it encourages replayability. Collectible jack-in-the-boxes can unlock a secret ending at the higher difficulties, and the difficulties themselves can bring fundamental differences between playthroughs.
Then there is the shop. Throughout your escape attempts you will earn coins for completing objectives and through finding them on the floor. These can be spent in between attempts on items to stop the clown in its tracks as well as debuffing the clown’s abilities to see, hear and more.
Death Park is jank horror, but it’s a decent experience; a fun little experience that has arrived just in time for spooky season. For the price of a pumpkin to carve, Death Park is a great way to spend a Halloween evening with the lights off, and one that can be enjoyed further down the line again too.
Survive the night in Death Park for £4.99 on Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One