Of all the weird and wonderful games out there, there aren’t many genres that are as specific as the horror game genre. It takes a certain kind of person to enjoy games that are built for building tension and scaring the life out of you frequently, but the horror genre exists, and there are quite a few bizarre games out there that sit comfortably in this genre. Among the more unusual terrifying titles is The House 2, a point-and-click puzzle game that is heavy on the horror but light on the apologies about being as scary as it is. Many that have played the series’ debut game, The House, will know that this game is 99% atmosphere and 1% adventure, but this ratio seems to be a successful one because the series has progressed to a second offering in the form of The House 2, and it is now more challenging and more terrifying than ever.
The House 2 isn’t a game to play when you are on your own at night, that is unless you are a fan of being terrified out of your wits at every turn. This game relies heavily on its design and sound effects to build the tension. The whole thing is design in a distinctive black and white style and consists of simply exploring a house by pointing and clicking on various items on the screen, most of which are clues that reveal information about the building’s gruesome history and also point the way to where you should be looking next. You may not think much of the game in its opening few minutes, but the lack of explosive or instantly-rewarding action is a purposeful ploy to convince you to expect very little when in actual fact you are about to be given the fright of your life.
Sinthai Studio’s intention in the game was to build atmosphere and lure you in to the game, with a full-screen option being available in order to really take over your entire field of view so that you can be fully immersed into the whole affair. The seemingly uneventful opening is soon forgotten when you move to other rooms of the house and see objects moving spontaneously, with some moments being equally as jumpy as first-person shooter horror game First Encounter Assault Recon (stylised as F.E.A.R), which is impressive for a game designed entirely in flash.
As mentioned above, a large proportion of the game is focused on creating an unbearably tense atmosphere and an air of expectation as to what is going to happen next. Similar horror games like The Last Door: Prologue may offer an entertaining experience, but no games out there possess the monochrome simplicity and bone-chilling sound effects that make up this game’s atmosphere. The point-and-click format may be a little simple, but the game is by no means a breeze to get through. You still have to use a little bit of logic and common sense to get through the various clues, though some don’t really correlate to each other and require a little bit of trial and error, by which time you have almost forgotten about certain scares that await you at any minute. This is the scary house game that every horror fan must play before they can say they are experienced in flash-based fright, and one can only anticipate the arrival of a third terrifying instalment in the series.