Game Review: Layers of Fear
“A horror game where the scares come from the setting rather than another rotten, faceless zombie that wants to eat your brain, and a game that stays with you long after you’ve played it.” – Game developer of, ‘Layers of Fear’. Our writer Jenny Edwards, reviews the horror indie game…
Exhaustingly tense and sometimes overwhelming – it seems that simple jump scares just won’t cut it in the horror game industry anymore. Indie game, ‘Layers of Fear’ is such a visually fascinating masterpiece that you may find yourself simply admiring the labyrinthine Victorian interior architecture rather than roaming the house for plot-revealing clues. However, the brilliantly fashioned house does not allow for you to admire any one part of it for long, as rooms and stretching hallways appear before your eyes at a turn of a head. It’s fascinating how the house moves and evolves around you; the sheer mechanics of how this could be done baffles you at first, but towards the end may become somewhat repetitive for hard-to-please gamers. So although it is arguably quite short (roughly four hours of gameplay), it is clear to see why – it would perhaps become tiresome if it were any longer. In my opinion, I never grew accustomed to the searing tension within the game, however if you’re someone who has played a variety of horror games, the haunting paintings and appearing rooms could grow tedious for you eventually.
Another positive is that the game quickly delves into the intriguing plot, and you soon realise that you are playing as a troubled painter who is slowly growing insane the more you delve deeper into the house – it seems that you are desperate to try and create the perfect painting, and would do anything to be able to achieve this so-called perfection. There is so much detail incorporated into ‘Layers of Fear’ that if you were not so frightened by the tense atmosphere, you could probably spend hours rifling through drawers, cupboards and reading eerie notes.
In terms of the forever-changing house setting, and searching for plot-revealing clues, the essence of the game undeniably resembles the first person horror Playable Teaser game designed for the Silent Hill series (however scarier, and a lot less difficult).
Layers of Fear is a highly recommended game even for people who don’t get a thrill from horror genres, as the plot and visual effects are just about worth playing the whole thing for.