Knock Knock

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Knock Knock on Steam

MSRP: $9.99 (price may vary by region and platform)

Platforms: Win, Mac, Linux, iOS, PS4

Release: 10/4/13


Before we get into today’s entry about Knock Knock, I want to tell you something.  You see, we are Halloween people in this house.  We are excited about haunted houses, horror movies, and handmade costumes.  We frequently make the pilgrimage to Salem, MA on Halloween night.  And it’s October now, which every true Halloween person knows is the start of a month of spooky shenanigans.

So for the entire month of October, I’m going to be featuring video games that are creepy, scary, weird, or that focus on the supernatural.  You can expect zombies, vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and all manner of blood and gore.  Just for a preview, some of the games I’ve popped into the October Games category of my Steam library. Which doesn’t mean I won’t choose something else at some point, but you’ll likely see blogs about most of these over the next 31 days.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about Knock Knock.


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I feel like, in a lot of ways, Knock Knock is the Blair Witch Project of the video game world. Which makes it more of an interactive fiction project than a game, I suppose.   But that’s not entirely correct either, because it can be punishingly difficult, not in the mechanics but in the comprehension of the mechanics.  Knock Knock is, first and foremost, mentally taxing.

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The goal is simple: survive until morning.  Achieving the goal is anything but.  Don’t expect a tutorial – the game is not here to help you. The game is here to hinder your every shuffling step.  In one level, it shows you how to hide and then scolds you for doing so. This game is not going to be your friend.

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Overall, I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the actual game part of the game.  When I do know is it has atmosphere to spare.  The graphics are creepy.  The protagonist is creepy. Everything in the protagonist’s house is creepy. The sound design ranges from creepy to downright horrifying. You never know what to expect, and the complete and total lack of direction past a certain point means you just might panic and screw up and be sent all the way back to the beginning.

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I really can’t recommend Knock Knock for most gamers – ambiance aside, the game play is a hard sell.  You wander around, turning on lights and exploring and hoping like hell something awful doesn’t happen all the while knowing that something awful is probably going to happen any moment. But if you do play it, play it in the dark, with the sound on, wearing headphones to get the most out of the experience.  Knock Knock is an interesting video game experiment, and fairly short once you get the hang of it. But if you’re expecting a great story and satisfying resolution to go along with its amazing creep-out factor, you’re likely to be very disappointed.

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