Don´t Knock Twice (Switch) Review – Playable B-Movie
Platforms: Nintendo Switch (reviewed), Xbox One, PS4 (VR), PC (VR)
Developer: Wales Interactive
Publisher: Wales Interactive
Release: 17th October 2017 (Switch)
Price: 12.49 (Switch)
Based on the 2016 british horror film Don´t Knock Twice, which wasn´t too well recieved, Wales Interactive brought their little horror game to consoles, PC and VR, the port to Nintendo´s Switch wasn´t too surprising. Unfortunately, there was a reason for the unimpressed reception of both movie and game, there are enough B-horror flicks out there.
There isn´t much story in Don´t Knock Twice, centering about Jess who gets weird, frightened text messages of her daughter Chloe. At the same time weird things are happening in the house and it quickly becomes evident that they´re not alone in this house. Doesn´t only sound like one hell of a cliché, it actually is. During the ~1-2 hours long game Jess stumbles from weird paper to weird message in a plot so foreseeable and boring, it´s the incarnation of B-movie.
A theme observable throughout the gameplay as well. Being a heavily scripted and guided walkign simulator, Don´t Knock Twice plays like any other indie horror game before it. From creepy noises to earthquakes, screams or falling objects, every horror cliché can be found here, placed in a house trying to fool you it´s actually explorable and not a corridor. From self locking doors, to sequences that require a search for the right position, there´s nothing surprising about this scripted walking simulator, gameplay-wise nor effect-wise. Everything feels like a mix of the most known horror clichés thrown into an absolutely unsurprising environment.
Even though it´s a very linear experience without many branching paths, the design is still somehow misleading at certain points. In general the goal is to find five objects cattered in the house. Especially later on Don´t Knock Twice tries to open up little by little, offering the option to open any doors and a more unrestricted area. Unfortunately, due to the basic fetch quest design, the search for the sometimes pretty confusingly hidden objects becomes a bigger pain than the search for the next script. At the end I even missed one, forcing me to backtrack all the way in order to find it.
In combination with the truly strange Switch port, wandering around in Don´t Knock Twice isn´t a good experience either. Even though I was pleasantly surprised to see things like a FoV slider in the options menu, my initial scepticism of the port proofed to be right. As soon as Jess begins to hold her candle or I selected a FoV above 70 the game´s fps took a hit to 20-25 fps. Despite it being only a feeling, since I have no way of proofing it, the game just feels so damn laggy in bigger areas and doesn´t look even near to the PS4 counterpart. The fact it begins to stutter quite a lot when changing the floors, probably because it has to load them first, isn´t improving the impression of one of the worst Switch ports I´ve seen so far.
Don´t Knock Twice is basically a playable B-horror movie, filled with the biggest clichés I could imagine. Balls dropping from doors, blood in bathtubs, everything´s here and it just doesn´t cut it for longtime horror fans like me. I wasn´t frigthened of the monster or the house and the fetch quest design gives way too much time to think about it´s flaws. Along the choppy framerate and mediocre graphics, Wales Interactive´s first Switch game is definetly not the best thing you could buy for 12.50. Still, the other versions could maybe be worth a consideration if you´re into such B-games. I don´t get though why they chose this game over actually good things like The Bunker or Late Shift.
[A Review Code was provided by Wales Interactive]