Viscera Cleanup Detail: House of Horror DLC

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Viscera Cleanup Detail on Steam

MSRP: $12.99 (base game) / $2.99 (House of Horror DLC)

Platform: Windows (Mac release currently in beta)

Release: 10/23/15


Viscera Cleanup Detail is an odd beast of a game.  It puts you in the role of a janitor, cleaning up all kinds of ridiculously gory messes.  The House of Horror DLC gives you the opportunity to clean up after one hell of a Halloween massacre. Oddest of all, it somehow manages to make cleaning fun – although I hear it’s much more enjoyable in multiplayer with friends.

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In the base game, objects need to be placed into an incinerator to dispose of them.  House of Horrors instead gives you a woodchipper. It’s a single mission which is expected to take about 4 hours to complete; if you’re still figuring out the game, it could take twice that easily, since you’re likely to make just as much of a mess as you’re cleaning up at any given point in the game.

After giving the place a quick once over, and finding the super-necessary bucket of water dispenser, I decided to start in the garage.  Thankfully, that’s a paint job on the car, not just blood. It probably took me about 20 minutes to (almost) fully clean the garage – there were two bodies to dispose of in the woodchipper, and I elected to mop the floors first to cut down on how much extra bonus blood I was tracking around.  Of course, as you carry bodies and inevitably bang them against the walls and floor, more blood comes out, so a second mopping was required.

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This wasn’t the first time I goofed around with Viscera Cleanup Detail, and I found that the same annoyances persisted from my earlier play, back when the game was still in early access. The “realistic physics” are both the coolest and the most incredibly irritating part of the game, something you’ll likely agree with the first time you manage to haul a water bucket to the place where you’re working and then immediately walk into it, knocking it over. Plus, you’re pretty much left to learning the basics of the game on your own, so be sure to read through a beginners guide or bring a whole lot of patience to the party.

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Although Viscera Cleanup Detail: House of Horror is not a true horror game, but rather a post-disaster cleanup simulation, it is gory. Ridiculously gory. If you can’t picture yourself ever tossing a severed head into a woodchipper, well, you might want to give this one a pass. There’s some story, but if you require that in order to enjoy the game, there’s probably not enough here to satisfy. However, this does open the door for a massive amount of replayability, and there are quite a few free maps available for download in the Steam workshop once you manage to burn through the base game and DLC content.

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Viscera Cleanup Detail really is excellent on the entertainment hour per dollar value scale, however, at its core, it’s a game about doing chores. There are a lot of people who just won’t be able to get into it, and for reasons I don’t fully understand, it’s a hell of a resource hog on my machine.  Sound isn’t essential to the game play, so it might be a good choice for someone looking for something low-stress to play while watching Netflix or listening to podcasts.

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