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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Ribarro

Cataplexy


horror demons


At a glance:

  • Released on: 1/12/22

  • Reviews: 42, net positive, as of 7/2023

  • English Reviews: 15

  • Localized in: English/Russian

  • Had Publisher: Diada Novels

  • Majority of reviews:

    • Russian ~60%

    • English ~ 32%

    • Portugese ~4%

  • Price: $1.99

  • Review report: Main issues were with the game being short, but even then the overwhelming majority of reviews were positive in this regard, they wanted more



Gameplay

  • No choices appeared in the game besides those at the main menu

  • Fairly static VN

Music

  • Music is disturbing, matches the grungy, dark aspect of the game

  • Sad music plays as shadow MC kills himself

Sounds

  • MC has some form of VA, sounds like garbled words over a radio

    • Horror character also makes some noises when speaking

Art

  • Artstyle was done well albeit a bit dark

  • Reflects the haze and confusion when in a ‘dream state’


Writing

  • Game offers a preferred narration style, very interesting

    • Chose Serious style first

    • Game states the the ‘serious’ version was so creepy it had to be cut, was not expecting that

    • Both options lead to a joke that takes the player back to the main menu

    • Game begins after both options are selected

  • MC and ‘horned dude’ have convo about fears and the MC being a ‘sacrifice candidate’

    • MC wakes up but is paralyzed and begins to hallucinate

    • Ghost women appear and torment the MC, ripping out an organ

      • Also defiles MC corpse with necrophilia

  • MC breaks free of the paralysis with a finger move, then it’s over

    • Fear lingered that it would happen again

    • Immediately turned on all lights and browsed computer for ingo

  • Months later it happens again, and MC is looking for signs of the previous event (Ghost ladies)

    • In between the incidents no details are delved into, no story except for a hospital visit

      • No job, no routine, no home life, no family

  • Renpy default image used, intentionally as a cosmic horror event

    • Introduces itself as a character, trust the cow, something to remember

  • The entity reveals that the ghost women saved MC from inoperable lung cancer when they took out his organ

    • Could’ve just been a subconscious attempt at logically explaining the first incident

  • MC is recruited to be a ‘Watcher’, given a blanket that allows extra vision

    • Tasked with killing his physical self

    • Spiritual blanket self can move around

    • Recruited by a talking brain

  • Happy birthday song plays over a newspaper clipping, MC actually died of asphyxiation

    • Or not, game continues

    • MC is now in limbo with another part of his soul

    • Wants him dead, if he gets majority stake of the ‘souls’ he can leave the place

    • Cow noises while running in the limbo, echoes

    • MC remembered cow so we don’t have to

  • Game ends with a cliffhanger and meeting a girl in the tundra

Scare Factor

  • In a dark limbo with a monster right in front of us, tongue falling out, shoulder covered in trypophobic holes

  • I wouldn’t say anything in the game was truly scary, but it was a very interesting look into something many people have experienced

Extra

  • Made with Renpy, appears to be about sleep paralysis judging from ‘about’ section info

Overall

  • Only half of all players beat the game (according to achievement data ~7/2023)

  • For whatever reason, this horror novel didn’t take off

    • Premise was unique, but perhaps uninteresting to people looking for a scare

    • What audience is there for horror novels? What are they looking for?

    • Game was a nice, short experience (Dev bias, for me the shorter the better)

    • Russian populace still appears more interested in horror in general than anyone else, but possibly to a lesser extent than if the game was a walking sim.

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