I guess I should be grateful really. I’m a secret fan of those seemingly silly ‘haunted’ video game creepypasta stories you find on the Internet so the fact that Knock Knock is marketed as one of those titles which has been unceremoniously dumped on a publisher with a dire warning should be right up my street. But here I sit, playing the preview build of the game, cursing my stupid fat fingers for not working quick enough and damning my brain for not being able to ‘get’ this game.
If you want a game that will hold your hand and introduce you to each and every aspect of it’s gameplay before setting the nightmares on you – then Knock Knock isn’t for you. You play as an unnamed protagonist who suffers from night terrors and always seems to walk just before dawn. Now it’s important to understand at this point that because the character closely resembled Winston from Don’t Starve I affectionately called him it through my entire playthrough.
So ‘Winston’ wakes up just before dawn with a sense of dread, he must make sure his house is secure and everything is as it was before he fell asleep. You move through the 2D house with your arrow keys, fixing lights by holding the spacebar. After each room has light you need to wait a few seconds for ‘Winston’s’ eyes to adjust to the light and some furniture will appear. This can be used (sometimes) to hide behind. Hide from what? The Visitors…
The visitors are your primary enemy in Knock Knock, upon starting you don’t know what they are or how they got here but they want to find you and that’s not going to end well. As you progress through the game more information is offered about The Visitors which will offer some explanation as to where they came from.
The game is broken up into two types of stages, I called them “Survival” and “Search”. In Survival you had to survive until sunrise when all of the Visitors and their hauntings would disappear – you could do this by simply outmaneuvering them and occasionally using a helpful pickup which would move time along that bit faster. In the Search stages you essentially had an empty house to search for clues and snippets of dialogue from ‘Winston’ to try and make sense of the whole scenario. After this your home’s front door would swing open and you would find yourself in the surrounding forest trying to make your way back to your own house.
There isn’t anything inherently frightening about the actual creatures that chase you in Knock Knock but the audio work is great. Granted for a game of such small size you’re going to expect some overlap with the amount of times you hear one of the croaky voiced visitors say “Peek-a-boo, I see you” but with those croaky voices, the bump-in-the-night sounds and the strangely helpful female voice who tries to aid you from time to time (could she be another visitor? the voice of the house?) it makes a great little game that, whilst not being specifically scary is enjoyable and has a few good jumpy moments.
Knock Knock is due for release any day now so we’ll be bringing you a full review once it’s out!