Welcome to This Is Not A Review. In these articles we discuss general impressions, ideas and thoughts on any given game, but as the title implies, it’s not a review. Instead, it’s an exercise in offering a quick recommendation (or dismissal) after spending enough time to grasp the ideas and gameplay of a thing without necessarily playing it from A to Z.

The subject of this installment: Injection (pi) 23, developed and published by Factoria Cultural Gestio, S.L..

Blinded by the light

This is not a game — it’s a trap. I don’t know why a developer would craft an experience that seems intentionally designed to make people photosensitive, but I can’t see any alternate explanation.

Let me start out by saying that I am not photosensitive to any noticeable degree. I frequently play games with flickering lights and suffer no ill effects.

To its credit, Injection (pi) 23 opens with a photosensitivity warning — nice of them, but that’s immediately followed by encouragement to play the game in a dark room with headphones on. Luckily, I did not follow the first half of their advice.

For the first hour the game plays like a standard survival horror experience. Run around a decrepit town, gasp at the corpses, solve puzzles, avoid just a single genuinely-creepy enemy. Then the player is asked to use a crank to open a box inside a nursery, and all hell breaks loose.

The screeen begins strobing between a dark room and blinding flashes of white, and the soundtrack blares with grating noise as a doll flies around the room in a loop. In case players were hoping for a reprieve by muting the TV or taking their headphones off, it’s no good — the same horrific sound blasts from the PS4 controller’s rarely-used speaker as well.

As if this assault on the senses wasn’t bad enough, the game seemingly breaks down at the same time. I couldn’t find an exit to the room or anything to interact with. After two full minutes of stumbling around with no luck, I began to develop a headache, and had to turn the thing off.

Afterwards, I began to wonder if Injection (pi) 23 was even a game at all. Is there really anything after that nursery? The trophy list and a promotional video I watched suggest that a whole game’s worth of monsters and mysteries lies beyond that room, but I can’t imagine anyone lasting long enough in the nursery to see it.

If you’re photosensitive, stay the hell away from this game. If you’re not photosensitive, be warned in advance that Injection (pi) 23 will do its level best to make you that way.

Daniel Weissenberger
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Richard S
Richard S
9 months ago

Stumbled upon this not-a-review while playing ‘No Name, No Number.’ I’m currently playing the second installment, ‘Ars Regia.’ Disappointed, but not surprised, that no one here made it past the first level, or even finished it. They are not easy games. Thankfully, they are also not yet another AAA sequel or expansion or whatever cash grab you can name. If you pick them up to play again, you’ll find a thoughtful, intense interaction with mental illness and what it’s like to be on the spectrum, with a critique of religion and the harmful effects of what can be a barbaric… Read more »

Elder Milky
Elder Milky
5 months ago
Reply to  Richard S

In the pin-drop void of this series’ online footprint, yours is the first comment that’s actually warmed my heart a bit. It may sound cheap to the average newcomer, but truly — once a player has dug into the meat of this game, it’s difficult not to be endeared to nearly every element. In a vastly different sense aesthetically, I’m reminded of titles like Deadly Premonition. The singular vision, combined with such a beautifully heartfelt (if mechanically flawed) execution, results in an atmospheric pallet you’ll never find elsewhere. Sure, relying on the excuse of a limited budget/dev crew is never… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by Elder Milky
Richie H
3 years ago

I’m reviewing this for PlayStation Country and am stuck where you are. I fluked the 5 8 3 thing by brute forcing it but did everything else including the terrible lift puzzle bit. But yeah here I am being freaked out by the nursery with no way out. And here’s the thing, I just caught the new patch for the game (PS4).

This is the second worst game on PSN after Mastercube right now.

Richie H
3 years ago

Nope, it’s still pretty much Pro Epilepsy Simulator 19. Not sure if you’ve seen the Twitter discussion that we’ve been having (based on GC’s tweet of the review). After a snippy comment about how the puzzle is easy and “harmless”, the devs sent a video showing how to get out of the nursery and it’s quite something. You have to shine your torch at a symbol. Apparently for less than 3 seconds. On the video it takes the player 40 seconds to get it just right. Certainly when I was trying to escape the room I definitely pointed my torch… Read more »

3 years ago
Reply to  Richie H

Hi, I’m just playing the game and I had a bad moment in nursery too lol
Actually, we just need to use flashlight on the snake (Uroboros) for a few seconds, when baby’s flying. I’m at chapter 3 now, I’d like to prepare a guide for that really WEIRD game xD