|Pardon the dust!
This page includes some jargon that hasn't been added to the site's glossary yet. I'll be around to fix this later, but sorry for the inconvenience in the meantime.
At a Glance
|ESRB Rating:||NR - Not Rated|
|My Rating:||Ages 10 and up|
|Genre:||Stealth / Room Escape|
|Review Published On:||July 8th, 2021|
There is no way to save your progress. You either escape, quit the game, or die. Depending on your skills, this can take up to an hour per game.
Scary images and bloody decor are the primary problems here, with violent actions being a distant second.
This time, you have five days to make your escape. These "days" aren't a time limit per se, as they function more like a lives system. So, each day lasts as long as you need it to, only coming to an end when you get seriously injured or caught by the crazy old lady (aka, "Granny"). Note though that these failures are cumulative: each day, the player's character grows weaker and more banged up. They'll start limping on the second day, and by the end, your own blood will slightly obscure your vision. The five day limit comes from you being so beaten up that you literally won't survive another blow.
Which also brings me to the game's other core mechanic, namely, Granny herself. She's always tracking you down, trying to catch you as you move about. Whenever you make a sound, she'll hurry over to investigate, and there are plenty of things that make noise. Several of the floorboards creak, you can accidentally knock over furniture, and some areas even have bells rigged to tripwires. Worse, since you can only carry one item at a time, you'll often need to set something down in order to pick something else up, and that can make a lot of noise if you're not careful.
There's also an important point about this mechanic that needs addressed. Most stealth games tilt things in favor of the player. For example, if you alert the guards, you can quickly hide in a closet or something, and after a moment, the guards will just lose interest and wander away again. There are places to hide in this game, but Granny doesn't fall for this trick, and may even check the closet or under the bed before she moves on. This can frustrate new players, as other games have taught them to expect a more forgiving style of play.
Fortunately, you do have several ways get around this constant threat, though they might not be obvious at first. The main trick is to cause a distraction to lead Granny away from where you want to work. You won't have long, but if you can keep it up long enough you'll eventually find one of the weapons she has stashed away. None of them can actually stop her rampage, but they do knock her out for a short while, which may just give you the time you need to escape.
On a different note, it's fairly easy to tell that Granny began as a mobile game. The graphics are simple, the controls moreso, and the entire game feels rough and unpolished compared to most other games in the Steam library. But what's here works, and it really doesn't need anything more to provide a scary experience. In fact, the limited graphics might just work in the game's favor, as it keeps things from feeling too real.
Now, I'm a little hesitant to recommend this game. This isn't because it's a bad game -- it's actually pretty good -- it just that you can't easily pickup and expect to win. Unlike most of the stuff I've reviewed, players need to be willing to learn how to play this game. Otherwise, you're not going to have much fun. But, if you're willing to git gud, grab your headphones, turn off the lights, and start running.
Points of Interest
Then there's "Nightmare" mode. This setting makes the entire house appear bloody, and rats will be scurrying about. Stepping on a rat causes them to bite you with a loud squeak, alerting Granny to your location and temporarily inhibiting your movement!
Concerns and Issues
If you fail to escape, Granny simply kills you at the end of the last day. These short cutscenes feature a number of nasty ways to die, such as being thrown face first onto a bear trap or getting placed into her guillotine (why does she even have a guillotine?!), but whatever method she chooses, the screen goes black right as the final blow hits.
The next bundle of joy is found in the sewers. It's the skeletal remains of another guest (probably the one that left the notes you can find). It's not too bad, but you might dislodge its skull when you go by, and seeing it slowly roll away is creepy.
Lastly, there are two hidden surprises that can be discovered if you place specific items in particular locations. One of them is a body suspended by chains like some sort of sacrifice, and the other is the ghost of a young girl (Granny?) who appears to cry over a crib. Finding either of these has no effect on the game, though if Granny gets very, very angry if she notices you carrying the teddy bear. From what I've read, one or both of these surprises are unique to the Steam edition of the game.