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Knock Knock  (PC) artwork

Knock Knock (PC) review


"Knock Knock is Dark Souls meets The Stanley Parable which plays hide and seek with Amensia: The Dark Descent. According to the game one should play at night in the dark, alone (and most likely with headphones on). "


Knock Knock is Dark Souls meets The Stanley Parable which plays hide and seek with Amensia: The Dark Descent. According to the game one should play at night in the dark, alone (and most likely with headphones on).

The biggest Steam complaints I found in the reviews was this game was repetitive and frustrating. What RPG game, for example, Dark Souls, is not repetitive and frustrating, and just because Knock Knock has no blood splatter and gut spillage that does not mean one does not die. Which happens more often then one is lead to believe. (When one dies, it is done without fanfare.) This of course leads to the entire campaign having to be redone from the beginning which is both frustrating and repetitive just like in Dark Souls (and screaming at the computer scene in utter frustration can occur). Another comparison to be noted between the two is where as the player collects souls in Dark Souls, in Knock Knock the player collects time. Each campaign though not timed until the much later levels is timed based. The player must collect time to reach the dawn of the day either by surviving the night hours by watching the slow moving clock or finding a "clock" which speds up time (found only by turning on lights and remembering). Running into the monsterous "guests" (some of whom will hunt the player down), let into the house through breaches of the dimensional fabric (which need to be closed or can be walked through) will lose the player time or their life. This whole game is one way, no level can be repeated, only the entire game once an ending is reached.

Like The Stanley Parable this game gives the player no real clue as to the "rules" of play, what the game is about, the purpose of the character and his task or why the player should even be playing. The narrative and storyline are told through the main character, known as The Lodger (though this is not mentioned in game) and later through diary pages. The Lodger's actual job is world-ology and logging the changes around him. Unfortunately, he is being kept awake at night, and part of his "job" is simply to keep the house. To do this he turns on the lights during early hours of the morning and remembers the room contents. This is not an easy task since the guests break lights and dimensional breaches occur.

The atmosphere of the game is like Amensia: The Dark Descent, yet another game where the player has no clue about what is going on or even how to play. As the player discovers each piece of the storyline this only ramps up the psychological anxiety and terror levels. Also the physical horror found of Amensia: The Dark Descent is just as mystifying and just as terrifying as those monsterous 'guests' found in Knock Knock. Though the nightmares of Knock Knock move slowly they are just as relentless in their pursuit and they talk to the player as they play hide and seek. Fortunately they are easier to keep track of. Running and hiding are always the preferred options, and playing hide and seek with them is an intrical part of the game.

Gameplay: In Knock Knock there are three distinct play areas: the house, the forest, and the "eye" house levels. I also suggest playing with a controller over a keyboard but the choice of course is yours. RT I do believe gives an overview of the house and its lay out. The house randomly changes size and layout and gets bigger the further into the game one progresses. This is a great way to find and keep track of certain "guests" since one can see them, almost. Also like Amnesia: The Dark Descent there is a "sanity" meter which comes into play during the timed levels. Once this meter shows up as a lightening bolt across the top of the screen, the player only has until it runs out to finish the rest of the game levels or the player get the super bad ending "GAME OVER" with no resolution and the character becoming quite insane.

During the house play area the goal is to find the clock and start it. This starts time which has stopped and the player needs time to move so the dawn will come. Once the clock starts the house door opens letting in "guests" and allowing the player to leave. The entire point of this level is to start the clock and leave the house. (Turning on lights is optional, I discovered. Lights on makes the character move faster but takes up much needed time during the later timed levels.) In the beginning I suggest taking the time to turn on the lights and remember the rooms contents. Remembering the room contents means one has a place to hide when one needs to. In the later timed levels start the clock and leave the house as quickly as possible. (I suggest not even turning on the lights just leave. Do not wait for the clock or dawn. Just leave and move on.)

The forest: There are four horizontal paths is the forest which can be stepped between vertically. Making it through the forest as fast as possible comes in handy during the late game time levels. Only during these particular timed levels will stationary "guests" show up. Do not touch them for they steal much needed time. Also in the forest the player will find the girl, who possesses reality fragments. (Ignore during the timed levels.) Approaching the girl is tricky business, the player needs to be directly opposite her and have the character facing her. Even then it is still tricky business. Reality fragments are needed for the "Good" ending, the more the better. There are a total of 8. Each forest level yields only 1 reality fragment from the girl.

The "eye" house: Utter frustration, especially during the timed levels and will make or break getting the "Bad" ending. The eye on the map is the house where one encounters breaches and monsterous "guests". Late in the game one also encounters the "weeping one" which gives diary pages and/or steals time. When playing the timed levels for the "Bad" ending I suggest ignoring the "weeping one". The house on this level gets bigger and bigger with more rooms and a harder path to follow to the front door. This is the place where the game of hide and seek is played in earnest so turning on lights and remembering gives the player places to hide as the clock ticks toward dawn. One can not leave this house until dawn when the clock is full of time.

In this "eye" house is where the dimensional breaches occur letting in the "guests". Try to get to a breach before it opens if possible. Closing a breach costs time, but does not allow even more "guests" in. There are moving guests who hunt the player down, and stationary guests who steal time and throw one out of the room if one turns the light on if they are in the room. Running into one also steals time. The player can also go through a breach into endless halls (I found three different ones). According to one guide 2 reality fragments can be found in these breaches per "eye" house level.

Basically this game must be played twice, once for the "Good" ending which I suggest doing first since it will take all the player's skill and understanding of how the game works to make it through the timed levels to get to the "Bad" ending.

I recommend this game to those that want a challenging "horror" game (I would call this Horror-Lite) that has no blood, guts, torture or screaming. Hope one can play Hide and Seek well.

4/5

joan4003's avatar
Community review by joan4003 (May 06, 2016)

Joan would much rather give up her day to write but that requires a substantial income and in-coming paychecks for said writing ability.

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