Temple ideas

Temple of Horror – I’m Afraid to Play Again – Big Boss Battle (B3)

temple of horror is scary for all the wrong reasons.

Horror is hard to master in video games because not only do you need scares and atmosphere, but also the ability to keep things spooky even when a player redoes a section after a death. It’s a hard line to follow, the one that this year Oxide: Room 104 understood in a really interesting way. Alternatively, you can lean heavily on environmental and visual horror and remove deaths from the equation like the wonderfully gruesome Martha is dead. temple of horror of EpiXR Games of Paper Flight fame, does very little of these things and has become more of an exercise in confusion and irritation than one that would increase tension.

You wake up in a dungeon with no memory of how you got there. Through mysterious tombstones and bloody messages on the ground, you discover that you are in the titular temple and no one escapes alive. Obviously, you’re intent on proving them wrong, and you’re trying hard to find your way out. Messages along your way – including a nice nod to dark soulstelling you to try to jump as a steep drop approaches – telling you of the futility of your efforts and how the horrors within will consume you, but you still pursue through nine stages of slow walking and door search.

A scary zombie. The cries they let out are loud and adapt well to the environment with appropriate reverberation. They are more annoying than scary though.

The essence of each stage is to wander through a maze and find the exit while trying to survive. Each tries to throw something different at you, like paths hidden by illusory walls or the need to find an item to open a door, but this key point sums up the whole game. Many stages contain threats, such as enemies generics that chase you or traps that will send you instantly, sending you back to the start of the level. These things can be good if done right, but temple of horror just feels tedious to play.

Many levels are laid out like a maze and navigating them can be a bit of a pain. The correct path is rarely clear, and it’s only by luck – and in some cases bugs – that I’ve managed to find a way out of some of them. Enemies blocking your path are mostly irritating, chasing you as soon as you’re in their line of sight, requiring you to run down a few hallways trying to shake them off before retracing your steps to sneak around. them. It wouldn’t be so bad if the monsters were scary, but they’re mostly polygonal zombies that scream, run, then give up whenever you encounter them.

temple of horror
These messages are scattered. You can’t tell from this image, but as you move around you can see the text is floating about six inches above the ground.

It’s disappointing because there are some well-designed mobs later in the game. The ones that emit bright light to lure you in look really cool compared to the others you encounter, but they still work the same way you do them. follow at a safe distance. I loved the idea that the light they give off was the only way to navigate the paths in this stage, but unfortunately temple of horror does nothing with this idea, keeping the floor clear in front of you, regardless of the lighting.

The lack of interesting ideas is one thing, but the bugs present are all the more irritating. The visuals that make environments behave strangely are pretty much forgivable, but falling through the floor to my death right at the end of a stage is much more egregious. More annoying is the fact that sometimes I couldn’t interact with the menu to restart the level, forcing me to go back to the Xbox Dash and completely restart the game. Then there’s the collision detection that happens feels everywhere and enemy sound effects that seem to just suddenly drop. It doesn’t seem to be fully tested, and for such a simple game, these issues should have been spotted and fixed.

temple of horror
When stationary, some environments are quite pleasing to the eye. Once you start moving you can see all sorts of weird visual issues.

There was an effort to make each step appear at least unique. These initial catacombs give way to towers in the sky and precarious walkways. While the gameplay never changes, at least these environments do. They’re not impressive to look at, but at least there’s that variety present. The sound design is much more impressive though, ignoring the annoying screams enemies make when they spot you. There’s great ambient sound in some of the levels you visit, and the main menu voice track is perfect for a horror game in a mysterious temple. If there was a positive point to remember temple of horrorthat would be that element.

temple of horror is available now on PC, PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo Switch.