Beta Test #13: Knock Knock
January, *knock knock* sick and tired you’ve been hanging on me *knock knock* you make me sad with your eyes, you’re telling me lies *knock knock* Don’t go, Don’t GOOOOO.
I’m not on summer Vacay and I think I’m going insane.
Hello my ‘delirious from all the resolutions’ lovelies, I’m a Bethany Griffiths, and this is Beta Test. A game review platform where I – a spectre fuelled by nothing but coffee, vengeance, weird 3m dreams, smashed Avocado, and the need for a big summer holiday – choose one game a month to go ham on until either I get better or get wrecked. All in the hopes that I can provide you with a completely unbiased review.
First off, a bit of housekeeping. I want to tell you, this New Year has been interesting, and I need another month of January to get all of the things I had planned done. It’s been 16 days, and I’ve signed up to roller derby, had a fake tan, gone to three big parties, re-enrolled in circus training, and started getting a diagnosis on a 14 year old problem I have.
Let me tell you, that last point has been a struggle. I’m getting tests done as we speak to see what the heck is going on with my body brain. (as opposed to my head brain, and my metaphysical brain). So far it could be a giant array of things both benign and heckin’ scary, and that makes me nervous.
But I’m also relieved.
I want nothing more than to find out what’s going on, so I can finally say ‘I have ____. And I can monitor it, and work on fixing it, and I am not my illness’. This new year, I believe it’s the new year of getting things sorted, of getting that second opinion, and of seeing through the treatments you have to, in order to get you on the right track again. I care about all of you who read this, so I want you to take the time and look at the things you’ve been avoiding because they’re scary. I want you to help yourself by getting help, and I want you all to fall in love with the act of living. Because fuck, it took me way too long to do this, and sometimes you need a bitch to say ‘get your act together’.
*wipes eyes* Now that that’s over, let’s talk about a game.
I was stunned by the artistry I saw this month. Let me say that I’m a sucker for a good indie game with sexy graphics, and you all know it.
Knock Knock is an original soft horror game that that poses convincingly as a creepypasta. Developed and Published by Ice Pick Lodge (“Айспик-Лодж, ООО” in it’s native tongue, because we’re representing the whole world here on Beta Test), Knock Knock is the chilling saga of one lodger’s pull from dreams to reality, fighting his way through a maze of rooms and woods to find the truth that he has long since forgotten.
Now, I’m a horror wuss, we know this. Which is why I was horrified that this was a full screen game. With nowhere to hide, and no tabs to open I was immersed so heavily in the world of the game. I closed the blinds, sat in darkness, and played. To my creeped out delight, Knock Knock was just as good as I had hoped it would be. There was so much I needed to learn and the game let me play over and over to get it all right.
Having short chapters really worked in favour here, as when you die you replay the level. BUT having to replay the level is advantageous because the layout of the map changes every time you play, and with randomisation, there’s the possibility of a better field. I found myself stuck in corners, and on ladders for long periods, only to get a break next round with a straight run through. I’m glad for the variety too, because it means the game is geared to all levels. This gives everyone a chance to play, and isn’t that just what the spirit of gaming is about.
In terms of style, it reminded me so much of Status:Insane. We know I covered that game in my Second Review, which is why I loved that it felt like I was coming back to an old friend. Running around with our little oil burner i felt like Igor avoiding traps, and harmful whispers from the people who want to hurt me. The art is different, granted. This felt much more like a storybook gone wrong, like Tony DiTerlizzi was going to jump out from behind a gnarled tree and shout “It was meeee”. Like Tim Burton had talent. What I’m saying is the way the characters are drawn, the mood boarding, the sound and display, everything was so good, I loved just watching the little character run about and fix lights.
Knock Knock gave me nightmares in the best possible way. Everything I hate about creepypasta games was gone here. No jump scares, adequate lighting, reasonably soft pace. It was a giant relief for me, seeing as I’ve chickened out of many a horror game over the course of this year (FNAF haunts me to this day). Yes things appear from nowhere, yes there are morbid themes, yes there’s a character that looks like Ben-10’s Ghost Freak but nothing really hurts you the whole time. It really was a great way of playing through a horror game without freaking out and triggering, which I know for a lot of players is a big deciding factor.
Because of the killer graphics, and my inability to sleep at night I give this game
5/5 Russian insomniacs for style
3/5 Russian insomniacs for plot
1/5 Russian insomniacs for easiness
20/5 Russian insomniacs for the hack where monsters can’t get you if you stay on a ladder (you’re welcome)
So, I’ve been a Bethany Griffiths, and this has been a way to personally involved (sorry mum) Beta Test. A game review platform where I either got better or got wrecked. All in the hopes that I can provide you with a completely unbiased review.
Until next time,
*after credit bit*
I really want to do a big shout out to the YouTube community for helping me through the game this month. I highly recommend watching Aliulo’s play through of Knock Knock if you’re too creeped out to do the whole game (or get stuck and rage quit). Sometimes it just helps to have someone else on the same journey as you.