Eldervale (Cthonic Orphange of Creepy)

 

Uh oh it's some creepy PS2-era shit look out. I like games that risk their existence with that kind of aesthetic. Or I'm just old fogey and any chance to live in the past I take from all holes. That's great because Eldervale has lots of holes you enter, though it really didn't impress me at first glance. Most of the press art seems primitive even considering its purposeful look but I'll take on almost any free game with some creep in it. Is that a scary asylum on the main title screen? No, actually a home for troubled children, so this is going to go broken child route, which honestly is way scarier than insanity and isn't done enough.

 
 

Or I should say isn't done this well. Eldervale has an old look that works almost at full potential (with occasional glitches just like a PS2). But more importantly for a third-person horror game, it does it with a dense plot that disturbs by not really fully explaining WTF is going on. By the end you've pieced together something of a story, but those gaps keep you thinking. That's a good thing, though, because horror is more effective when it doesn't explain everything. And this is probably the best game layout I've ever seen. Eldervale is seriously laid out perfectly. But it also presents a curious mix of action, third-person creep, and puzzle-solving. The puzzles are but one component and well-integrated. If I had any complaint it would be the simplicity of the final boss, which is quite easy, but for its current build you really can't complain. Indie horror creep at its finest with broken kids. Cool.

 

Eldervale Official Steam

Written by Stanley, Devourer of Souls

Eldervale
Solkitte (developer, publisher)
4 / 5