Designed around jump scares, Otherworldly is a low-cost Switch eShop horror title that provides a creepy atmosphere but little else. Playing like a classic tile-based first-person dungeon explorer, the goal is to find treasure in very dark but very claustrophobic hallways, corridors, and rooms. Fast-burning matches are your own source of light so it is nearly impossible to see anything unless you are right on top of it. This mechanic creates a horror-filled atmosphere but causes gameplay to become annoying since you can’t see anything.
What makes this title scary is the lack of music. Your only companion throughout each short-lived attempt at venturing further in the dungeon is the sound of your own footsteps. If you hear anything else, it is most likely the rattle of the giant spider that will instantly kill you a few seconds after hearing that frightful “oh man, its coming” sound. Since there is no combat, the only option is to try and run but that never works. Death sends the player back to the beginning to try again in a new randomly generated space.
The goal is to collect enough treasure before finding the exit. The problem are the touchy controls. If you are lucky enough to find treasure, the player needs to hover the cursor exactly over the piece in order to add it to the inventory. Thanks to very sensitive controls, the pitch black environment, and the small size of each item, finding anything other than the death dealing spiders is like finding a needle in a haystack. Along the way, when the game is usually at its darkest, a single frame of a horror monster will randomly appear in the middle of the screen complete with a sudden “dun!” sound effect. It is enough to make you jump but becomes corny and annoying after a few attempts.
The map tracking is also flawed as it works against the player. The mini map does keep track of where you have been but nothing else. It does not keep track of where doors are, the location of the exit, branching paths, treasure, or monster positioning. I guess this adds to the helplessness of the horror setting but not having a quality mapping system in a close quarters environment, with hallways that all look the same especially in the pitch black, makes exploration tedious. Each run usually only lasts a couple minutes before a spider finds and kills you so perhaps there really isn’t a need for a super detailed map after all since you are not alive long enough to really use it.
Otherworldly is a cheap horror title that has plenty of flaws. These flaws, however, tie into the jump scares this game is going for so perhaps horror fans might find some enjoyment when played in short bursts.
Not As Good As: your 4th favorite horror game
Also Try: Shadows 2: Perfidia (Switch)
Wait For It: Dementium 3