Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Soul - Horror Videogame Review (X-Box Indie)

Soul is a short puzzle type game that sees you guiding a soul around various mazes without touching the walls.

The game starts with a patient in a Hospital bed dying.  Out of the patients body comes a glowing blue orb; this is what you control in the game.  Your aim is to escape the confines of the Hospital so that you can ascend to Heaven, avoiding Demons on the way who want to take you to Hell.

The whole premise of the game is like one of those metal maze things where you cant touch the metal bar with the metal hoop.  Touching the sides of the various maze type rooms you are in results in the soul vanishing, and having to start again from the start of the maze room.  There is lots of variation in this though. Starting off in the Hospital you travel into the Sewers before escaping into the outside world for your final challenge. The mazes all look logical; eg: corridors and stairwells, various pipes, the intestines of a large animal, and offer enough variation that things never get boring.

The art for this game is fantastic.  Fantastic hand drawn, and painted backgrounds which look straight out of a book.  They are packed with detail which along with the fantastic sound effects create real atmosphere.  There is no music in the game, so the sound effects are used to create a feeling of being in a real place, weather it be dripping pipes, the sound of a thunderstorm, or the scurry of rats and squeaking of bats in the background.

The game world feels like a bad place, everything is dank and depressing, it's only really at the games end where there is a sense of beauty in the surroundings.  The Demons make a awful roaring noise, and the only human seen in the game nearly made me fall off my seat in shock!

The game only took me about 20 minutes to complete, but it's all about perfecting your time, and it is very well self contained and doesn't feel rushed.  At 80 Microsoft points this is well worth buying.


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