Game Review: The Conjuring House
‘Tis the season to enjoy some horror games, and The Conjuring House should definitely be on your list (If you’re into feeling panic and terror). Described as a psychological horror game that puts players in a constant state of anxiety, The Conjuring House takes place in an abandoned house, known as Atkinson House. The house is consumed with demonic activity and you must investigate the unusual happenings surrounding the deaths that are constantly occurring within the house. You WILL be stalked by an incessant demonic woman with MURDEROUS INTENT, and the only way to stop her is to find and destroy demonic artifacts within the house before she catches you.
I had the “pleasure” of playing The Conjuring House, and although I still have yet to complete the game, here is my honest review after playing it for few hours.
The game starts off with a cutscene giving a full backstory on the Atkinson House. It definitely felt chilling, included stories of the various deaths happening in the house, occult occurrences and newspaper clippings documenting these events. Although it was a lengthy introduction, it helped set the mood for the game. However, the narrator (main character) pulled me out of that feeling on many occasions. His dialogue seemed inaccurate to what I believe someone would be feeling in that situation and almost came across as comical.
The game is an open non-linear experience which I typically enjoy in games. It let’s me play the game at my own pace and I enjoy focusing on the things I want to do most. But it’s very open to the point where sometimes it gets difficult to figure out what to do next. You MUST search each room thoroughly and remember where you are in the house, it can be very easy to get lost. There were moments in the game where I just couldn’t find the next step, which can get frustrating at times. But this did add challenge to the game. The player must balance their focus among looking in each dark corner and dusty nook for a clue while staying alert for demonic presences trying to kill them and planning an escape route.
The graphics style felt appropriate for the game. There were lots of shadows and blurry corners that added to the suspense of the game, where you think you see a figure but turning to look at it reveals that it’s just a chair. It’s appropriate for setting the mood. But there was a slight awkwardness to the movement of the characters. Granted, they’re specters and ghosts and demonic creatures but it still felt like they were slipping along the top of the floor. But I enjoyed the fact that the demonic witch had a unique look and was not just another cookie cutter horror character.
The audio is where this game truly succeeds. I think most of the panic I was experiencing from this game came from the sound effects. The creaking chandeliers, sounds of footsteps around me and the shrilling shrieks of the demonic witch are what caused me to lock myself in the safe room and not want to come out. The sound effects are also helpful in letting the player know if they’re on the right path or not. They also let you know when the demonic witch is on the hunt, so trust your ears.
The first time I started up the game, I did experience a gameplay bug. After being brutally killed by the demonic witch and forgetting to save my game often, I was set back quite a bit and got stuck in a purgatory zone. One of the keys I found previously wasn’t reset so I was prevented from advancing in the game and found myself wandering the house for 20 minutes with not much happening (no demonic attacks or clues in sight). Of course this is a new game, so I figured I might run into a bug but it definitely affected the horror aspect.
Overall, I enjoyed The Conjuring House and found it thrilling. But there were just a few minor things that prevented it from being MY perfect game. However, I would still recommend it to any friends that enjoy horror games.
The Conjuring House is available on Steam (launched September 25, 2018) and is currently 20% off at $19.99 (Normally $24.99).