Don’t Be Afraid – Game Review

Don’t be afraid is a story rich psychological horror indie experience that allows us to personate a boy kidnapped by a psychopath.

Feel free to check out the first part of the game here:

Storyline

We are playing as David, an 11-year-old boy who liked to sneak out of the house. Now, David has to learn an important lesson of listening to his parents as his adventures led to him being captured by a psycho, Franklin, who “wants to play a little game”. We’ll have to solve puzzles, avoid monsters and explore a mansion to learn its secrets and find a way out.

Gameplay

Don’t be afraid has lots of different puzzles, locations, and secrets. But the most intriguing part is that the game has 3 endings which takes some time and wit to unlock. Andy, another boy who “played” in Franklin’s house of jumpscares before us, left a bunch of messages to lead the main character towards the escape. But Andy couldn’t make it… Can we?

Don't Be Afraid - Review

Advantages

1. As it was already mentioned, the game has 3 different endings. Normally, when an indie experience states something like that, we expect that the last decision is going to be the only important one. Well, here this is not the case. There is an obvious fork near the first quarter of the game but after that, the path changes a lot even though takes place in the same locations. There are different dialogues, different lore that’s unraveled, and different solutions to the puzzles. It’s rather intriguing and pleasing to see all the changes as it makes the time replaying the game more rewarding.

2. The game is scary! Well, at least the first time through. It starts rather slow from a couple of jumpscares and the first enemy that poses no danger whatsoever. But then each area becomes more and more intense introducing monsters that work differently, putting you in a small space with them leaving no possibility to outrun them and eventually making you rely on your reflexes and fast thinking as (don’t forget) you still have to solve puzzles!

3. Mannequins. Yeas, I know, it might as well be a disadvantage. But it still deserves a separate point in the “advantages” section as the mannequins are not just a tool to spook the player (as many other games do) but a significant part of the lore. Even Franklin himself notices that “each mannequin tells its own story”.

4. The game is very well balanced. It has just the right amount of chases and puzzles to make it interesting but not annoying. Moreover, the story that’s been told through the environment is very interesting to interpret especially as you reach more endings. It has a way of seeming to be long enough upon playing for the first time and short enough upon replaying.

Don't be afraid gameplay

Disadvantages

1. Even though the number of puzzles is just right, sometimes they seem to be too obvious. Different sections made me question the target audience of the game. But then the experience adds more tension and makes you find solutions under pressure which justifies the difficulty.

2. At first the enemies seem fresh, scary, and different one from another. Then, you understand that they are all very easy to avoid. They lose you after you turn the corner and don’t pose as much danger as you’ve anticipated. Still, it’s an indie horror, not an Outlast 3, so what did you expect?

3. Mannequins. Yes. It IS a disadvantage. Everyone hates mannequins!

4. There’s no option to manually save during the game. Meaning that if you pressed “new game” accidentally, you’ve committed to start a new game. No turning back. If upon replaying you’ve missed an important object at earlier stages, well, you have to start all over. Though, it doesn’t take too much time to replay the game, honestly.

Rating

I enjoyed this title! I have no regrets buying it, playing it (it took about 4 hours to finish), and then replaying it 2 more times (7.3 hours in total)! The story was intriguing and left some questions unanswered which allowed the player to be creative and decide what has happened on their own. This game deserves a rating of 7.1222 angy psychos / 10! And remember… Don’t be afraid!

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