Game Review: "DISTRAINT"
- by Ninja Ross, 23 October 2015
Last year, Jesse Makkonen released a 2-D horror platform game by the name of Silence of the Sleep. It was a fantastic game full of creepy vibes, thoughtful puzzles and terrifying enemies. This year, Makkonen follows that up with a brand new game: DISTRAINT.
DISTRAINT follows a man by the name of Price as he tries to climb the corporate ladder and become a partner of a huge company by repossessing people's properties.
Price begins to see some pretty creepy things as he goes about his business ruining people's lives. His guilt manifests itself in some impressively disturbing ways that get more insane as you progress through the game, trying to please the bosses with ruthlessness. You'll see everything from static on the TV to small furry animals ripping apart other small furry animals.
This isn't a very action oriented game. Silence of the Sleep had you hiding and running away from enemies in order to survive, but DISTRAINT is more story focused with gameplay revolving around puzzle solving. But that's not to say the game ever gets boring or feels slow.
The puzzles are complex enough to make you think and take a second look at everything you pass, but they're simple enough so you won't find yourself bashing your head against your keyboard trying to move on. As a result, the puzzles never feel like they're slowing anything down, so you get everything at a nice even pace.
The puzzles are also key to many of the game's creepiest elements. There's on particular part where you have to find meat for a chef at a hospital. It's a ghoulish task, but that's the beauty of it.
According to the website, DISTRAINT is a speed project. It's taken just over 80 days and 155 cups of coffee to make this game. It took one guy just 80 days to make this game.
The speed at which such a well-made game has been made is nothing short of impressive, but if you've played Silence of the Sleep, you'll spot a few familiar locations here and there. But the majority of the aesthetics are very different.
Along with the quirky story, we also get quirky characters in terms of both looks and personality. Everyone is a big headed pixelated cartoon and it works incredibly well. The slightly bizarre nature of everyone really fits with the darker, bloodier elements of the story. The horrific manifestations of guilt somehow seem worse when it's happening to a cartoon.
The horror in DISTRAINT isn't based on Jump scares, although there are times when things will give you a bit of a fright. Most of the horror comes from the weirdness and the loss of sanity as things go on. It's made scary through atmosphere, rather than cheap thrills.
Makkonen has created something both visually impressive and fun to play in a very short amount of time. It's also worth noting that this is a side project before the release of The Human Gallery, which you can have a look at over at the website and Steam Page.
DISTRAINT is NOW available on PC through Steam. If you want to play a little pixelated guy who loses his shit while trying to get promoted, this is the game you need. If you're just looking for a seriously cool horror game, this is still the one you need.
Have you played DISTRAINT yet? Or just planning to get it? Let us know in the comments!