Platforms: Win, Mac, Linux, Ouya
Neverending Nightmares is one of the least game-like games I’ve ever played, and when you pare a game down to minimum mechanics, everything else has to be perfect. When you make a game that has less than two hours worth of content, every minute must be captivating. For me, Neverending Nightmares just didn’t work – the game asked for too much and gave too little.
Which is not to say it’s not creepy, because it is. The jump scares tend to the milder end of the spectrum, but they’re still effective. The minimalist, hand drawn art style is exquisite, and the sound is very well done. But the pacing feels very very off.
Game play is simple – use the arrow keys or WASD to move, and the space bar to interact with doors and other objects. Mostly, you’ll be opening doors and wandering around a house. Occasionally you’ll come upon something creepy, and even rarely, you’ll find something truly upsetting. When you do, you wake in your bed and start wandering all over again.
I loved the idea of a game that was inspired by the creator’s real life struggles with mental illness, but Neverending Nightmares couldn’t hold my attention. Either there just weren’t enough interactables, or accessing them required an odd level of pixel-hunting for a game that doesn’t use a mouse. You will pass a lot of paintings, furniture with drawers, and even some handwritten notes that I couldn’t figure out how to take a closer look at. Mostly, I opened doors and cursed the lack of a map.
Although I might just not be the target audience for the game (it is, after all, well reviewed), I cannot recommend a $15 game with a 90 – 120 minute play time, especially considering I wasn’t interested enough to make it past the 30 minute mark. If you’re really curious, you can watch the linked Let’s Play below – it covers the entire game and comes in at just over one hour.