Tired of watching the same old dumb protagonists in horror films as they choose the wrong door to open or continue to go up the stairs instead of down them and out the front door? Wish you could control them instead of just yelling at your screen as they get themselves killed over and over again? Well, now you can…sort of…
In Hysteria Project you literally are the main character as you attempt to escape and flee a mysterious hooded, axe wielding murderer as he attempts to recapture and kill you. Using actual filmed footage, all shot in first person, you must tap the screen when prompted and make decisions as to what to do and where to go as you progress through the game. Although not without a few issues, this “choose your own adventure” is sure to keep you glued to your device as you either become the victim or the hero.
The game has two basic features involved in the gameplay, tapping the screen when the hand icon appears and the ability to choose your next move when that particular option is available. When you play the game, a hand icon appears for only a few seconds on screen so you have to be quick about it or you will get the dreaded “Game Over” screen.
The other feature acts a lot like those “choose your own adventure” books we all read as kids, or in the case that you didn’t read those (and shame on you if you didn’t), it acts a lot like Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic. You usually get two or three different options to choose from as the story progresses. You simply tap on whatever option you want and the game continues along incorporating the action you’ve just chosen, etc.
This is generally a very cool and creepy game to play. I highly recommend playing this with lights off and headphones on. It will definitely get your heart racing at times for sure. That said, there is a lot to like about this game. The sound design and music work extremely well here. Some of the sounds are exaggerated at times and sound a little unrealistic, but it works in a weird way and keeps the tension of the game and the pace moving very quickly.
Couple the sound with the hand icons that appear at random intervals and for only a few seconds at a time. If you’re not fast enough, they will disappear and then it’s game over for you sir. This also helps the tension and pace and keeps the game moving very fast. I was also a little worried that this was going to be all shot insane handheld style like the Bourne films or something, but they have done a nice job of keeping the screen moving without making you sick or getting so handheld that you can’t make out what you are doing or seeing.
It’s very short. You can get through this entire game in about thirty minutes and although there are some other choices you can make early in the game, they don’t ultimately lead to a very different experience in the end. This makes the replay value on this game almost non-existent and one of those, “play it once and never again,” type of games. Which to say the least is…disappointing. The ending is also pretty lame. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but let’s just say that the way you finally escape the killer is also very disappointing here.
My final issue, and this is just a nitpick at best, is the dirty camera lens. Maybe it was raining when they shot this, maybe not? Either way the lens needed to be cleaned and you can see that in all of the outdoor scenes. It made it look amateur and by the end I was pretty annoyed by it. What’s it take, a second to clean that off? Again, it’s probably just me on this one here but I’m going to point it out anyway.
The bottom line here…this is a fun horror game. I liked how it gave you that “in control” feel throughout the game. It was very intense in certain areas and it has that “creep” factor that any horror fan would be looking for. Is it worth the $1.99 though? Yes and no. Again, it’s fun and I’m glad I played through it, but I’ll never play it again. Once was enough and it is very short. I can’t see how an update could even work on this game so this is it basically. If you want a fun, but short game give this a try. But if you’re looking for a lot out of that $1.99, you might want to pick up something else.