Indie Review: Masked
Masked is a point and click adventure game from Lewis Denby. It's a little horror game baring a few similarities to the movie Saw, except it has a unique twist. Created in the AGS engine, and entirely free, Masked tries to offer you a creepy experience that you'll remember. Does it succeed?
- Worth The Time?Yes, of course.
- Things LovedThe creepy premise of the game, its compelling nature, you can't draw yourself away from it, the short length doesn't take anything away from the game, the music is very good, the atmosphere is well-created.
- Things HatedNothing.
- RecommendationYou definitely need to play this. It's free and extremely interesting. Don't shy away from it thinking it will be scary. You'll be missing out.
- Name: Masked
- Genre: Horror, Point & Click Adventure
- Players: 1
- Multiplayer: N/A
- Platforms: PC
- Developer: Lewis Denby
- Publisher: Lewis Denby
- Price: Free
- Reviewed On: PC
You can download the game for free here.
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Masked is a point and click adventure game from Lewis Denby, created using the AGS engine and released as a free download. It’s a horror game baring a few similarities to the original Saw film, but with a unique twist. However, just like that first film, and not its gory sequels, the emphasis here is far more on delivering a compelling and deeply interesting experience than giving you lots of gross moments to make your stomach churn. This game is subtle, immersive, and focuses on being thought-provoking, and I have to say that at this the game succeeds exceptionally well despite its limitations.
I don’t want to give anything away because it’s a short game and you’ll want to experience it all for yourself. That said, it’s a pleasant surprise that the short length doesn’t take anything away from the experience at all. It feels just right, and it lingers on your mind for quite a bit after it ends. The idea of the game is that you’re trapped in this small room, and you need to escape. Through the entire time you’re there, this creepy lady in a mask is talking to you, and that’s as far as I’ll go in telling you what to expect. The game is tiny in size, barely 10MB, so there isn’t any voice acting, but there is good use of music in the game. I’m a bit mixed about the voice acting part. Sometimes I felt like the game could have done with it, but other times the dialogue was so interesting, and reading forced me to concentrate, that the experience as a whole became compelling enough that I forgot there wasn’t any voice acting.
That’s what Masked is great at. It’s got atmosphere, and it knows how to use it well. The game keeps you guessing, it keeps you thinking and it makes sure you’re deeply invested. Yes, in the beginning like all point and click adventure games it may get a little irritating to find what you need, especially here when the environment is so small and you know the answers are right in front of you, but what I appreciated about Masked is that everything connected quite well. Once you get the first few items, the rest pretty much flows logically, and all it takes from you is some careful inspection and awareness. The only thing you might find yourself wishing for is more story detail and dialogue, but that’s only because it’s so interesting. I guess the developer wanted to leave a bit up to interpretation, and it does the job.
I must say I was pretty impressed by the visuals and audio work in Masked. For a game of such simplicity and limitation, it does surprisingly well. The design of the room is dingy and grim, the masked woman is fittingly creepy, all of the things you will see subtly peak your interest which inspires you to explore, and the use of shadow is really good. The music is also used quite well, as it creates a mysterious and unsettling atmosphere, and picks up heavily towards the end, perfectly creating tension and suspense in the game’s great finale. I’m not quite sure about the ending though, because while I have no problem with what happened, I was hoping to see a bit more by means of an aftermath, but in this context the note that the game ends on is more than enough to leave a lasting impression.
Masked is a great little game that doesn’t let its simplicity take anything away from it. It’s thought provoking, compelling and interesting enough that you’ll want to see it through to the end. Despite your tastes in games, you should definitely play this, as it’s free and well worth the time.