THE CROOKED MAN
Produced by: Uri
Platform: PC (Windows)
Genre: Horror Adventure / Survival Horror
David, during an harsh and difficult period of his life, follows the suggestion of his friend Paul and moves into a new flat, to find some peace and a new direction in his existence. However, strange things occur in the place, and the course of the events push David to investigate and search the former tenent of the flat. Where does this search will lead David?
Created in 2013 by Japanese game-maker Uri, using the Wolf RPG Editor (an evolution of the RPG Maker program), and later translated into English by vgperson, the Crooked Man is an interesting horror adventure.
For start, it has the most important feature in a good horror, which is, for me, a good use of the symbolic and, linked to this, a strong focus on introspection and the inner dimension.
The game is, narrative-wise, a very good and immersive introspective journey, filled with mistery, tension an a costant psychological build up. For some aspects, both graphical and substantial, it is similar to Uzumaki by Junji Ito, one of the best horror mangas in the last twenty years.
It’s written with both sensibility and ferocity, even if there are some naivetes here and there and, in the late part of the game, it isn’t difficult to guess where the story will lead to. Even if simple, the final result is accurate and very well crafted, with all the elements (story, music and sound, used really well here, gameplay) combined to create a strong and fascinating atmosphere.
Gameplay-wise, the game is mostly puzzle-based with some brief action moments. The structure is pretty linear, the game is divided in chapters and all of them have, more or less, the same basic skeleton of exploration, puzzle solving and, then, climax. However, this doesn’t hinder the tension and the immersiveness in the story, which is the most important feature of this game.
While not very long (2-3 hours), the game is replayable to obtain a new ending after the first playthrough.
The game is part of a serie, the Strange Men: the first game is “Paranoiac”, after it there is “The Crooked Man” and it’s followed by “The Sandman”.
If you like horror adventure games and are seeking for an immersive experience, give the Crooked Man a try. You’ll like it.