It’s October, and the time to play spooky games is upon us. I haven’t really gotten into the spirit too much this year—the rest of the year has been scary enough without adding extra spook on top. But I’d regret it if I never got into the spirit of things, and I start my official October spookiness a little late, and with a little horror game about friends who go camping and end up in supernatural peril.
Re:Turn– One Way Trip is a side-scrolling, pixel art horror adventure game with puzzle elements. In it, you play as Saki, a young woman on a camping trip with her friends, somewhere in the forests of Japan. A strange earthquake knocks out their campfire and things only get weirder from there. A love poem reveals the romantic intentions of one of the campers towards the main protagonist Saki—and causes Saki’s fiancée, who didn’t write the letter, to explode in anger. After the argument, Saki finds herself alone and in search of her friends before coming across a mysterious train—one that seems to be stuck between two time periods.
Side-scrolling horror games that use pixel art are definitely not a new concept. Hell, it’s almost a sub-genre at this point. Re:Turn—One Way Trip doesn’t really do much to shake up the formula, either. You are expected to explore each area to find a way forward—and in this case, there’s only a single item or puzzle that is usually blocking your way. Re:Turn is extremely linear, and surprisingly simple. Its puzzles are really only a matter of process of elimination most of the time. But I don’t really play these games for head-scratching puzzles that keep me stumped–I play these games to feel spooked.
Re:Turn—One Way Trip didn’t really do much to scare me, unfortunately. It definitely sets up some creepy moments. Boarding the creepy train while looking for Saki’s friends is spooky, but after spending so much time on the train, I almost felt too comfortable with it. Most of the game takes place on the train, too, unfortunately. Everything else scary is just a series of jump scares or tried-and-true clichés: spooky girl? Check. Spooky dolls? Check. Anger causing spiritual manifestations? Check. It’s all a little predictable and cliché.
Cliché is expected in horror, unfortunately, so it’s not a deal breaker. In fact, Re:Turn—One Way Trip is competently made—though it’s not groundbreaking in any way. But it’s a fun, somewhat spooky horror experience—though it’s far from the best in its field.
Re:Turn—One Way Trip is available on October 14th on Steam
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