Every now and then, a game enters into your cross-hairs that well and truly boggles the mind into a fit of rage. Something that makes you so tense, the only options are to scream or prolapse. And so, Today I Broke My Keyboard was born. Today’s victim is School of Horror, one of the latest games by developer and publisher OnBlind.
What drew my attention to this was… well, it was cheap and had a Corpse Party vibe to it; I thought why not! What can I lose? As it turns out, I lost some motor function in my hand, a millimeter of teeth from all the grinding and, my keyboard won’t even look at me now.
I have no problem with half the indie games that cross my way; what I do have a problem with is laziness. Namely, games that have had a few stock parts thrown in, a couple of zombies, some half-assed idea of a plot and a nice cheap price tag thrown on and away onto Steam it goes.
Now let’s start the autopsy….
…with something interesting. There isn’t even a generic name given to the school. Perhaps we’ll throw up a generic adjective onto it, even a name? Anything other than “School #1”. Is this in an area where the districts just weren’t arsed giving names to buildings and, just numbered them?
Maybe I’ve gotten it all wrong and it’s a futuristic setting, where rather than throw nonsensical names onto things we’ve numbered them instead. Actually, the more I think about it, the more efficient it may be!
“There were many rumors and stories about how many people could have been lost, but no one believed in what had really happened.”
Like what? Police reports, mass searches, or was School #1 just a write off and everyone just attended School #2 instead from then on, no questions asked?
“Horror stories, which previously told before going to sleep, became a reality.”
This I really don’t get. My horror stories consisted of velociraptors coming up the stairs and scaring the shit out of me.
“You, a pupil of the School #1, one of those who was found after 10 years will have to figure out and recreate the picture, what happened here in fact on that very day.
God bless you.”
So not everyone disappeared? The kids showed up after 10 years with no recollection of what happened and decided to return to the building where possibly the biggest trauma of your childhood took place, alone?
Let me correct this:
Generic School was once a place of joyous laughter and learning. Until one day the children and their teachers mysteriously vanished.
The parents of the children pondered what happened but were happy they could send their other children to the more prestigious, Slightly Less Generic School.
You are a detective who has decided that 10 years after the incident, you have nothing better to do than return to Generic School and find out what happened.
God help you.
The “Game” Itself
Alone, the premise of School of Horror has me peeling keys from my forehead. You might be thinking: what about the game? The story may be drivel but, perhaps, the game looks good and plays nicely? It get’s no better, my friends, that doesn’t mean I won’t dissect it.
Oh, and the game didn’t really work, so this shouldn’t take too long.
School of Horror is the “story” – I use that word loosely – of a pupil returning to their old school to solve a 10-year-old mystery. For a place with a mass vanishing that was never solved, the place looks pretty immaculate. I’m assuming that the game starts in the present and not the day of the actual disappearance because it is never explained.
The first thing we’re told to do in School of Horror is find a place to hide. So we wander corridors that are so bright they’ll burn out your neighbor’s corneas to find a room filled with gym mats and hide among them. Don’t forget the massive frame drop when you enter the room.
Next thing you know, you’re in an upstairs toilet being told by a red stain on the wall to “run”. That’s when things get weird, because no horror game would be complete without; you guessed it: ZOMBIES!
If A Poor “Story” Isn’t Enough, Lets Throw In Broken Controls
Long story short: you avoid the zombies as they glide along, like a buttered-up snake on a marble floor. Follow the red arrows to the exit and press Y to get to the next part. Oh wait! Y doesn’t work (well it didn’t for me)!
Maybe it was an artistic choice: being chased to the exit, only to find that there is no exit and you’re forced to die, maybe will progress you to the next level? Nope, I just died and had the same “PRESS Y” message glaring at me. Well OnBlind; my Y key now feels like a reused condom: abused, slimy and on the verge of breaking!
The game suffers from some massive clipping issues, although I made use of them to run a few zombie trains. Other than some of the scrawlings, there is no real information as to what is happening. I came across none of the weapons that were mentioned in the description.
This is lazy developing and writing. If anything, if you can’t be bothered with including proper hints, at least add a few notes that the player has to collect to complete the level. That worked back in 2012, which is where this game belongs!
The best thing that has come from School of Horror, though, is its inspiration for TIBMK. To all developers out there: stop making these cheap games that do nothing! They just feel like a quick cash grab and show nothing of talent. Take your time and make something half decent.
Also, OnBlind… you owe me a Y key!