You can go back to your save before opening the door to keep playing.
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A surprisingly difficult and complex resource manage sim! Expect to restart your game when bad planning means that your homes are breaking the branches you've built on, you've wasted all your seeds, and your fairies are all starving.
Cast Light is a very useful spell. You can only build where you can see, but Cast Light allows you to extend the range of Sight Orbs.
You can only build structures on top of trees, so don't chop down trees at your start point or it will be very difficult to continue. If you let them grow, you can harvest more wood from them in the long term.
Evergreen trees grow in winter if they have available sunlight. However, you do not seem to be able to build on them, so they're only good for wood.
Played the Mac version.
When I opened the Options menu from the title screen, then pressed X to get out of it, I got an UnknownError. However, after I started playing the game, everything seemed to be working.
The horror of the setting feels weird. I'm inevitably reminded of Five Nights at Freddy's, but everything here is too fantastical to seem like it could happen in real life.
I was also somewhat confused by the introduction-- there seems to be a lot of subtext and what's-not-said in the Employee Introduction video, but from playing the game it just seems to have been a literal explanation of the game's mechanics? You are a manager and you're not the individual people trying to escape, and when one dies you don't become the next one, you 'hire' them. 'Wrong Turns' are the name for the procedurally generated dungeon, not a loaded threat or euphemism. Which reduces stakes quite a bit.
A lot of mechanics are also meta rather than horror-- you can find Employee Dossier items that give your characters skills, and there's nothing about how this is weird for a random security guard to find, or what the employees about it. There are talking trash cans that you can give trash for money. It's taken for fact as a part of this world, which makes it more like a pizza-flavored magical setting rather than a like-reality horror game. It's much more peculiar than scary. The drive to play comes from wanting to see more of the world, rather than wanting to see how bad it gets, or to uncover the mystery.
While there is scary imagery, the game rewards you for talking to spooky things and knowing the mechanics of what's what, and it becomes an optimization game where you know what you're doing and can plan ahead for the challenges that come up.
Mostly, I thought it was going to be a very different game than the introduction presented.
The coffee making minigame was very enjoyable. It really had a quaint, soothing feel. I liked how the some customers would ask for their usual. There were sometimes graphical glitches on the coffee-making screen, where if I dragged a sauce or the milk pitcher onto something and then clicked too fast, the image would get stuck there.
and navigate the encroaching advances of a predatory corporation bent on buying out your neighborhood shop.
I don't think this is true about the story, though. You don't navigate anything: the someone shows up to add your store to Starducks (Starbucks) and then the next scene your character has accepted it and the coffee-making minigame has been reskinned. I think this is a fault of the story's pacing-- you only have two days of coffee-making before the change, so you don't get too attached, and when the change happens it's not really meaningful to you as a player, even though it clearly has meaning for the NPCs.
Also, the story is about Catarina navigating a shop belonging to her deceased father that she wasn't fond of and finding closure in that he really did care about her, but it's way too short and surface level to make a real emotional impact. The customers are the ones who make the most of the story and show how her father made an impact on them, but Catarina has very little reaction to what they say. She barely reflects on what the customers say or what they mean to her, and there's no other scenes that explore Catarina's emotions or her relationship with her dad, and so the ending where she finds a photo and recipe he left her feels emotionally flat. She says she found closure-- but that closure barely connects to the rest of the game's story, so it's hard to see how the story pieces fit together to get her to that conclusion. She starts off cynical and angry at her father and her situation, and it's not clear why she changes her mind about either by the end.
Overall, I think the story could have been written more tightly, but the minigame was fun. It almost feels like the minigame was supposed to be part of a larger game (since it doesn't seem to matter how well you do at it) and the story we got was incomplete.
On several occassions the triangle dude got stuck behind or between some shapes and I had to restart the game. :(
I had some difficulty figuring out how to control it at first, but I figured out to assume the mouse was the center of a circle and the triangle would jump in an arc around it. (And then I figured out keyboard controls too oops, which probably would have solved my first issue.)
I like the aesthetic of black and white on red, and I think it's pretty cool how you got it all done up in an html file. I don't understand the components of the story. Billy is on one screen and can never be found, and the audio is slightly creepy and says it's an infinite paradox that you'll never escape, which seems to be true for the game, and also something about how Billy was never there in the first place (I thought I heard Billy as god the first time I played through, which I'm not sure about). I got to the point where the audio turned into a constant loud distorted mess and went through a bunch of screens, but I couldn't find anything so I gave up.
Knowing that pressing 's' would restart the level was very useful.
Thought it was a little boring-- every choice leading to death and the restart mechanic made it more of a 'okay, is there any way I don't die' instead of a scary suspenseful tale, but there really is no way to not die. I think it could have been better if there was an escape ending, or one where you're bitten and escape, so there's something other than 'and here's how you die horribly after being chased'. It's not that that's an inherently bad thing, it just felt kind of repetitive since it's how all the endings go.
Ugh, that knife, nope nope nope. Really liked the use of the moving fingers/knife versus the flat background, when the knife lined up in my vision I pressed space as quick as possible because I didn't want to see it moving closer and cutting in.
What was the Resonance Audio Plugin going to be used for?
I really liked the wobbly text and heartbeat meter. It reminded me of a health meter with only one heart left. I didn't get the story though, I thought after the mom came to tell you 'everything will be fine' and you clicked Switch to Mom it was going to be another horror scene about what was happening while your mom was asleep (I didn't get the twist that the person telling you it would be fine was not your mom).
i think the (artificial?) lag was a nice touch, to make it feel like you were tired despite how much you wanted to run. or like running in a nightmare, where your body doesn't respond to what youre feeling or what you want it to do.
not sure how much the silent film styling added... felt less relatable and a little over the top and funny with the 'life, perspective, and perseverance' and the bzzzz chainsaw cult but i can't say much bad about a minute long experience :P
also lmao @ the racing tag
so there's this other game i played once where you move to an old house in a small town you inherited. it was a long day driving there and picking up the key, youre alone till your spouse arrives and the sun is setting. it's a huge house and there's a lot to do, so you leave the packing boxes in the foyer and go upstairs, and get into bed. even though you're exhausted, you still toss and turn until you remember... you've forgotten to lock the door.
i quit the game after that because it stirred some kind of primal fear in me. this game reminded me of that. also, the possibly-real story of some robber in the neighborhood slipped under the garage door as it was closing and threatened the homeowner with a knife, who got scared off when the homeowner pressed the alarm key before they reached... when i was walking from car to front door i would check that the garage doors were closing all the way and nothing was sneaking under them. just a check. also that one time after i had a panic attack about driving somewhere, then went back downstairs and realized i had left the garage door open for about 2 hours.
my takeaway from this is that garage doors are a hotbed for horror.