Sitting down with The Door I reflected that, if stress helped you burn calories, most people playing this game would be super models. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t just like games that challenge the old grey matter. I love them. Back in the days when ‘internet’ was something you got at the hairdressers, I remember hunkering down to play Riven and Myst without the help of YouTube and Google. If you have no idea what a rockstar this makes me, Google Riven and Myst and then join my fan club. But then I was given The Door and suddenly everything changed. To say this game is tough is something of an understatement. How tough is The Door? Think of a grizzly bear armed with a flick knife and you’re half way there.
Created by the wizards at SKonec – the team responsible for the totally excellent Mortal Blitz – The Door is a Korean adventure slash point and click slash escape room slash horror game that casts you in the role of DJ Jacob. Jacob is a doctor who’s trapped in an extremely creepy mansion while he’s researching a cure for his terminally ill daughter Amy. From the get go the moment you boot up The Door you find yourself trapped in a bedroom and you have to find a way of getting out by solving puzzles, finding hidden codes and combining clues and objects. Told with a point and click interface, The Door is a nodding tribute to the glory days of Syberia, Grim Fandango and The Secret of Monkey Island.
However there is one small difference that could either have you cheering and pumping the air with your fist or leave you cold and disaffected. The Door offers no clues or hints. None. Nada. If you’re stuck on a particular puzzle, simply waiting for a hint system to recharge will get you bupkis. On the one hand I can imagine this will help stretch the game out (I spent no less than an hour trying to figure out the code for cupboard in the bedroom) which will justify the games slightly heavy price tag. On the other, it may mean many of you will shake your fist in frustration, shrug your shoulders and abandon the challenge.
Speaking of challenges, there are a total of 13 trophies to collect in The Door and five of them are chapter related. With the chapter select option, you can go back and replay sections to help satisfy your trophy hunting needs. The story is broken up into five chapters and three of the main characters all have unique collectables. The fact that you can go back and forth into previously explored areas means you’ll often be revisiting familiar rooms and finally working out what individual puzzle elements can be used for. Luckily SKonec have made it slightly easier for gamers by disabling items that you can’t use, giving you the opportunity to focus on items that you haven’t yet cracked. There are some jump scares thrown in, but, to be honest, I didn’t find them particularly scary even in VR, which led me to wonder why this game would merit an 18 rating.
Graphically, The Door does a pretty sterling job of recreating a creepy darkened mansion and laboratory. The shadow effects work very well and the character models are detailed and unique. The sound effects were suitably chilling and the voice acting was good. Not great, but convincing. As for the virtual reality part, the VR element of the game helped to immerse you in the environment but didn’t really add much to the offering. I’m told you can play this game in flat mode, which leads me to suspect this may have been the developers original intention.
All in all, it took me just over nine hours to complete The Door. And that was including using YouTube a few times to help me crack a couple of the more challenging puzzles. Yes I said it and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I challenge you to play this game without any help whatsoever. If you manage it, email us and I’ll join your fan club. In the meantime, if you like a brain taxing point and click escape room challenge, then The Door might just be the fix you need.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
User Review( votes)
If you like a brain taxing point and click escape room challenge, then The Door might just be the fix you need.