Experienced gamers looking for dynamic, intricate, non-linear gameplay will find Gregory Horror Show banal in the extreme. It's simplicity, brevity (5-10 hours on the first play, 2-3 on the second), budget price and cartoon look all indicate a game for kids. However, eschewing the cartoon sensibilities, Gregory Horror Show actually tells a rather clever and funny story for adults with their eyes open.

There's a sinister undercurrent that never allows things to get cutesy, and the game is as edgy as it is ambiguous. From the sensuous moans of a blood-crazed "nurse" to the secret porno stash of hotel owner Gregory, this is a game that consistently refuses to be labeled. That said, the game is never overtly smutty or obscene, and parents can rest assured that the more risqué innuendoes are likely to go unnoticed by anyone except those who are old enough to deal with them. To put it in context, there's nothing here that would shock a regular viewer of The Simpsons.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing gamers should have no trouble enjoying Gregory Horror Show. Any in-game dialogue is written as it is spoken, although there are no optional subtitles for the (admittedly sparse) cut-scenes. The game does rely on audio cues (usually to indicate danger) but they are always supplemented by cartoonish facial expressions, controller vibrations, or other neat signifiers such as exclamation marks or question marks appearing over a character's head. The game's budget pricing (a pleasant trend amongst a small clique of new games) should also be applauded, but with a proviso. This is such a brief adventure that even the knock-down price doesn't guarantee value for money—the sheer personality of the title does that. Short, but very sweet.

Andrew Fletcher
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