Don't Play With Dolls Review
Lets Have A Look
You Start out in the roof attic, where you are given a short simple text to steal valuables and escape the house.
And that's it for the so-called expected tutorial, though everything sounds easy enough as you start your journey to rob a random house at night that is abandoned (Why not rob it during the day? Why try and rob it at all? its abandoned after all)
Unfortunately, that's all I can tell you about this game, as it lacks any more story and directive after that.
That's OK, it means we can start reviewing it for what its good much faster, besides what indie developer wants a game story nowadays anyways?
What Makes This a Good Game
Things might look bad for "Don't Play With Dolls" So far but truth be told there is a lot more to this game that is actually good, despite the fact that it lacks a story.
For starters, the atmosphere setting is great, if I can say anything, its creepy as hell and downright scary when you start the game and before the dolls start chasing you.
The very few puzzles that you need to solve is interesting but, nothing hard, though it keeps the pace as you will need to solve them while avoiding creepy dolls, by this time you will be pretty much over the creepiness of the atmosphere setting, now the nerve wrecking will be set in the darkness and in sound alone, the fear of getting caught by a game enemy has never been so intense since Alien Isolation (that's me over exaggerating things, but, its damn close).
To top it all of the visuals of the game is also rather well done simply adding to the creepy experience as you wander around the house, with a wide, open, but, very keen eye looking for valuables.
Don't Play With Dolls: Everything That is Done Well
What makes this a good game? If we had to take all of the qualities it offers then you will get the following.
- Creepy atmosphere, being in an abandoned house sure sounds creepy, but it's the clean visuals and sound that makes this atmosphere of this game work.
- It looks good for an indie game, at such a low price you would expect garbage, but not this game, Don't Play With Dolls.
- It sounds good, there isn't really any music except for a combination of sounds and the dolls looking for you, this adds a whole new depth of creepiness.
- Easy puzzles, yet challenging.
- Intense, yes the game can get intense especially when you have both dolls looking for you while you are trying to mix pieces, solve puzzles, get keys and escape with as many valuables as possible, combine this with permadeath and intense is exactly what you get.
Are you still reading? Good, let's go to the dark side.
Don't Play With Dolls Gameplay
Where we think this game could have been improved.
This game becomes very repetitive in doing the same thing over and over, its not the puzzles, or anything like that.
Its the fact that it's extremely difficult, especially if both dolls are playing on the field, one doll is extremely fast while the other one (The Clown) is slow and mostly in the way as you try and escape the fast one.
Let us make it darker, to make things worse the action button seems unresponsive with a delay, that means you need to be right up and close to open a door or to pick up an item.
That also means that you barely have time to hide, since it takes forever to open the closet doors, if you are too far away, it won't open even though you seem to be in distance to open it and if you are up in that doors face it takes for ages to open and close it.
I am unsure if that's intentional or if they miscalculated something either way that I would say is the downfall of this game and this is why its repetitive in doing the same thing over and over, that's because once a doll catch you or pin you in a corner, or you didn't have enough time to open and close the closet doors, will spell game over with permadeath, there is no continues.
Starting a game over and over because of this is annoying and takes out a lot of the excitement sure I like permadeaths, it leaves the gamer to be aware of what he or she is doing, its fun, but to end up dying due to a slow response or broken function is not fun and that is downright frustrating.
What is keeping this game back? A few things to consider before buying it.
- Gameplay, this might be fine for some, other than running and hiding from dolls, solving puzzles, grabbing valuables there isn't anything more than this on offer.
- Very difficult or buggy, there aren't many places to hide and when you have mapped out good hiding spots you will have to be fast and accurate because if any of the dolls pin you down, there are pretty much no escape, it also feels like they can see you from the other side of the house and when one is fast and the other one in the way, then yes its difficult to escape and hide.
- Buggy, not sure if this is a mistake or not, but opening doors to hide and closing them, can feel like a real pain, where it feels and seems like you are in distance of opening or closing a door, there will be no action, if there is and you do open and close doors, then this feels extremely slow and sometimes is slow to respond to an input command, this is one big problem, this is what decides how fast you reach that game over screen.
- The story, yes it plays fine without one, but even having a few texts here and there would have been appreciated, it can be short, I just wish there were at least something.
- While the game is hard to finish once you get into it and eventually finish it there is no replay value.
Are You Ready For The Conclusion?
The game looks great, plays terrible, but somehow even will all that frustration, I still kind of want to go back and try again and again, and again.
Maybe it's just me, maybe I am a fool to try and beat a game that is possibly broken, or maybe its the fact that I just want the valuables and escape the house out of pure fun.
Anyways, if you enjoy a goodish looking game, that contains puzzles, stress and some creepiness while risking a heart attack due to anger and frustrations then I recommend you give it a try, after all, it only cost around $2 on steam right now.
Yup only $2, for that amount of cash I can easily overlook all the wrongs of this game and thus I can recommend it with 2 out of 5 stars, that means at least try it you might be in for a surprise.