I was NOT prepared for that intro. Honestly I just wasn't prepared in general. I love the visual aesthetic and the hub-based level design. (And the fact that I somehow got a giant stuffed bunny stuck on top of me.) Figuring out things was pretty cool, like the laundry sequence (took me a Hot Minute to figure that out, and the stress of being attacked makes that more effective). The bathroom sequence was honestly stunning. Got stuck a couple times because things wouldn't interact(?), but other than that it was fun af. 💜
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Fun gameplay and a cool concept. Definitely could see it working in other places around the house as well. The use of toys and other majority childhood objects was a simple yet effective level design choice to create a linear shooter. Normally the idea of third person shooter puts me off but the Warframe-esque zoom worked well, other than as EntranceJew pointed out the animation was too strong while zoomed. There are a couple UX things that bothered me, such as the lack of automatically reloading (and with how the audio balancing is, it was a bit hard to tell I needed to reload) and from what I could tell a lack of indication that you were hit (other than health decrease, which isn't immediately apparent), but there are also a couple UX things I really appreciated, such as the blast-radius ring for grenades (which I wish more games would include). 💜
The perspective shift was a surprise and a nice touch, and I liked how all the characters had their own distinct personality. That and how a couple of them were, surprising to say the least. Liked the various environmental touches/easter-eggs and that for some characters their personality came out through the dialogue box itself. 💜 I think my only complaint was that the dialogue box audio shots were sometimes fairly louder than the game.
I'm surprised you prefer the lower floor track; I felt like it was a bit too busy and distant from the [Redacted] vibes and almost cut it (felt the need for variety was more important; I made each song in like an hour tbf lol). But nonetheless, thanks! 💜
One thing I've been thinking recently goes along with that "charm of different conflicting ideas", but instead from a sort of homeowner-versus-HOA perspective if that makes sense? Like, when I look at the house, especially from the outside, I just instantly think of those often-gated "communities" of nearly-identical houses often under an HOA if I'm not mistaken (sorry if I'm not wholly clear, I'm just a student from rural Ohio, so I don't have a whole lotta' knowledge about housing lol). And so, to me at least, the essence feels like that conflict of what "you" as a "homeowner" want in a home and what your idea of home is, versus the idea of what an HOA would impose, and its idea of forcing community through restriction. Part of this comes from how little customization is done in some games, and part of that comes from how much I'm just reminded of those HGTV house-flipping shows. I have some other thoughts about the essense in the back of my mind but they're not as clear at the minute.