thu 24/09/2020

White Night | reviews, news & interviews

White Night

White Night

Beautifully stylish horror adventure shines out

'White Night': The style has substance in gameplay terms

The old house seems empty at first. But in the darkness, a flickering match your only light source, it quickly becomes apparent that something terrible is here…

White Night is a classic haunted house tale and a classic adventure game wrapped up in a beautiful, stylised visual feast. Like the Sin City comics and films, this uses stark black and white with just the occasional flicker of colour, mostly the guttering yellow of a match.

The old house seems empty at first. But in the darkness, a flickering match your only light source, it quickly becomes apparent that something terrible is here…

White Night is a classic haunted house tale and a classic adventure game wrapped up in a beautiful, stylised visual feast. Like the Sin City comics and films, this uses stark black and white with just the occasional flicker of colour, mostly the guttering yellow of a match.

White Night - Sin City meets point and click adventure horrorIn Sin City the stark design is a homage to the chiaroscuro of film noir and hardboiled detective fiction. And perhaps, in homage also, White Night unwisely adopts some noir stylings – the hero of few words, with a deep American accent, in trenchcoat and hat. The hardboiled dialogue sits uneasily in a haunted house setting that is far closer to Ray Bradbury and Stephen King stories or turn-of-the-century Americana.

The design choice however is probably the single misstep for an otherwise superb game. Because while White Night's visual styling may be partly a nod to noir, it's also integrated into gameplay beautifully.

You stumble bleeding from your crashed car, having narrowly avoided ploughing into a girl, an apparition now gone, into a creaky old, empty house. Except, in the dark, it's not empty. It's full of shadows – shadows that creep and even kill. Stay too long in the dark and your footsteps wobble, your heart becomes a pounding, hellish, discordant, industrial sound and then, it's over. Stay in the light.

White Night - Sin City meets point and click adventure horrorThe problem is there's precious little light. Strike a match – one of a dwindling number – to explore. But find a lightswitch soon. Then rest, catch your breath in a tiny pool of light cast by an old lampshade over an armchair. Before long you'll be back in the darkness.

White Night beautifully ratchets up the tension of its find-and-fetch object puzzles by limiting your match supply and forcing you to work from one tiny pool of light to the next – each puzzle solved a step further towards solving the house's mysteries.

Simon Munk on Twitter

Your heart becomes a pounding, hellish, discordant, industrial sound... Stay in the light

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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