The Truth Will Set You Free
HIGH Beautiful sprite work and music.
LOW Unexpectedly being able to die late in the game.
WTF How is this skeleton pregnant?
Five college teens go on a camping trip to the woods for one last fling before everyone goes off into the real world. It’s all well and good until things start to get spooky…
Saki wakes up in the middle of the night to find all of her friends are gone, and goes to search for them before stumbling across a ruined train that definitely wasn’t there when they made camp. She steps in, and hears the door slam behind her.
Re:Turn – One Way Trip is a side-scrolling horror game where Saki will roam the train, picking up items and solving puzzles to progress. Along the way, players will find notes and diaries that tell the tale of what happened. As Saki delves deeper, the lines between the present and the past start to blur and dark creatures appear.
Compared to other horror titles on the market, everything here is a bit more restrained — blood and death is used sparingly, and it’s much closer to something like The Grudge than Saw. It’s more unsettling than gory or violent, and the jump scares are few and far between.
The atmosphere is great. The train creaks just a little when going from car to car and everything feels realistic enough, with just a hint of supernatural at the fringes that makes everything seem a bit fuzzy. Having a minimal UI helps — occasionally there are prompts so players know when to pick up an item, but otherwise there’s little to clutter up the screen.
The pacing in Re: Turn is strong, and kept me curious about what the next story beat had to offer while it kept things moving. To that end, it was weird playing a horror title where there’s not a lot of player death, but it also meant that I was able to focus on the story instead of replaying sections and being pulled out of the experience.
On the other hand, Re: Turn does stumble a few times — one puzzle in particular had me going between three different cars, and if I missed one part of the solution, I had to do the entire thing over from the start. The beginning also feels a bit slow since Saki moves like a snail and it’s a fairly big train. Players will be revisiting the same rooms, and it’s a bit of a chore until running is unlocked.
Those things aside, Re:Turn is a great little gem that easily slots into any horror fan’s collection. The art and atmosphere alone are enough to warrant a look, and the story plays with some interesting themes of love, jealousy, and privilege. As someone who doesn’t normally go for horror games, this one’s hard to pass up.
Disclosures: This game is developed by Red Ego Games, and published by Green Man Gaming Publishing. It is currently available on PC and XBO. This copy of the game was obtained via publisher and reviewed on the XBO. Approximately 3 hours of play were devoted to the single-player mode, and the game was completed. There are no multiplayer modes.
Parents: According to the ESRB, this game is rated M and contains Blood, Strong Language, and Violence. While it’s not Western-style horror featuring horrific on-screen deaths, there are still death and suicide references. There’s also a lot of cursing from side characters as well. Don’t let kids play this one.
Colorblind Modes: There are no colorblind modes.
Deaf & Hard of Hearing Gamers: All information is provided via text, but there is no option for resizing or altering text. There are no necessary audio cues. This game is fully accessible.
Remappable controls: This game has no remappable controls.
While Sonic and Street Fighter were great places to start, his first love was Final Fantasy X when his dad bought a PS2. Ever since, that love for gaming has evolved -- there are a number of game worlds out there, and he intends to explore them all. RPG to horror, platformers to casual and everything in between -- if it’s available, he’ll play it.
While his time is short between writing reviews, tabletop gaming, and attempting to start a cheesecake business, he has caught all 806 pokemon and can speedrun Star Fox 64 in less than 40 minutes. He’s always looking for new things to try and new challenges to conquer. You can find him on Twitter -- @eugene_sax.