There are a lot of horror games that do exactly what they say on the tin. Jump scares… we’ve got you covered. Lights going on and off… check. Ghost screaming and running after you… we can handle that. I’m not saying that these are bad experiences, far from it and these are some of the best games in the horror genre. But occasionally up pops a horror game that asks more questions than it answers and instead of screaming and hiding behind the sofa it just makes you feel uneasy and not quite right.
MOTHERED – A Role-Playing Horror Game is definitely one of those games.
I’ve got to be careful when describing the story of MOTHERED – A Role-Playing Horror Game as I don’t want to give too much away and to spoil things. But even after a couple of playthroughs I am still uncertain of what this game is really about. I say that in a good way.
You play the role of Liana, a teenage girl who has recently had a major operation. At the start of the game, you are driven by your dad to your home in the country to try and get better, with your mum taking care of you. Yet as soon as you arrive, things are a bit off. Mother happens to look like a stop-motion animatronic, and you aren’t allowed in certain rooms in the house. Your brother is there but is always behind a door and you’re not allowed in the room. From there, the world of MOTHERED – A Role-Playing Horror Game takes a bleaker and stranger turn; things aren’t what they seem. Computer messages scoot across the screen and it glitches constantly. Is this a game? Am I real?
The world is strange and weird, so weird that you may never put your finger on what is happening. But my word, it is intriguing and beguiling throughout. The sense of dread and creepiness is always present, especially the way Mom seems to pop up in strange places; suddenly behind you. It’s one that is going to haunt my dreams for many nights to come.
The gameplay takes place in the first person and is quite simple with very little to do. But that said, the control system is the strangest I’ve seen. LB is like a select or highlights button and RB is the action button for picking something up or talking to a person. It never feels right.
The game is set over seven days, separated into morning, afternoon, and evening. You might have several tasks to do that day like eating breakfast or finding mother or picking some apples from the orchard. It all works fine when you get used to the mad control system but there will be times when you rebel against the instructions on offer, attempting to head down a different route.
The visuals on offer are like a very old-school early 2000s game. It’s a design choice and at times it works very well indeed, especially in terms of the Mother and some of the stranger effects and loading screens. The biggest problem though is with the brightness. There is no option in the menu to turn it up or down, so the only section in the game where the lighting feels okay is the afternoon part of the day. The apple collecting section has been a nightmare at times because I couldn’t see well enough in order to work through it.
I have enjoyed the soundtrack though – it is very good with minimal beats and moments that provide an extra level of creepiness throughout.
You may find that MOTHERED – A Role-Playing Horror Game will keep you covered for a few hours, but this is a game that is worth taking in a few times, as you hunt down different endings. To do so you’ll need to get to grips with the weird controls, and somehow stumble your way through the brightness issues, but on the whole it plays okay. The story and atmosphere are the big strengths and heart of MOTHERED – A Role-Playing Horror Game, as it delivers a unique experience that will leave you feeling tense throughout.
If you like your horror a bit out there then you have to give MOTHERED – A Role-Playing Horror Game a go.