Albino Lullaby (PC) Review
Notes are not scary or good at telling story
Enemies are waaaay to slow.
One Thumb Monster Down –
This new horror experience tries a new way but doesn’t go far enough.
Albino Lullaby tried to do away with the clichéd horror game by focusing more on atmosphere and visuals, rather than just the dime a dozen slasher and gore filled games that are so prevalent in the current gaming spectrum. You play an outsider suddenly stuck in a huge mansion, complete with moving rooms, contorting walls, and huge ugly creatures called “the grandchildren”.
Like many before, this story is told by the user of lost letters and papers that give everyone’s point of view which slowly builds the story brick by brick. I actually like this kind of storytelling, because it makes the gamer work for it, and rewards those explorers out there who need to know exactly what happened. The only problem is that the notes are pretty annoying to read, since many don’t make any sense, nor do they increase the tension of the moment. Very few give any real details, and the ones that do are clearly there to drive the story all in one very expositional note. Even the font of these notes are annoying because the only “spooky” thing about them is that no one apparently when to capitalize the letter “O”. Even without blood there are so many ways to scare people like scrawling a message about someone coming to get you that it just seems like a missed opportunity.
But with the obvious notes gathered, it does paint a good image of the terrible experiments done to the children of this terrible house, which does set the creepiness for whats to come. It’s a slow start to the unease, but once you see your first monster, it does help. The creepy monsters with huge garish faces do start to multiply quickly but because they look like giant thumbs somehow makes it less scary as a group. Their speed also detracts from the horror as they are so slow that you can literally run circles around them. Only a modicum of common sense and normal reflexes are needed to never actually die in this horror adventure.
Finger monsters notwithstanding, the setting and house itself are actually well thought-out. With rotating rooms, and buttons that cause traps, and the warning “MAKE SURE BUCK IS CONTAINED” make the house itself the best character in the game. The sad part of this is that even with a decent laptop, your rig will be pushed right to the brink to play this game at full resolution. This isn’t a multi-million dollar game with real time weather effects or perfect motion capture during a fight, so I don’t see why it be so troublesome.
Having a game that doesn’t rely on gore and jump scares is definitely a good idea, especially when trying to cater to the largely desensitized youth of today. The tragic flaw in this plan is that it shows you the monster right out in the open so its speed and intelligence deficiencies are apparent and that takes all the scare out of the game. There are creepy parts to be sure, like the appearance of BUCK, but that works because it’s a legend that keep hinting at without showing the monster, and letting you imagine the scariest thing in existence. But, if you think giant heads and colorful lighting with a Halloween feel is scary, and have $10 for episode 1, and like being creeped out, then definitely put this one on your list.