As much as I feel like this series is stuck in the shadow of Until Dawn for a large part of the audience, collectively, The Dark Pictures Anthology is becoming something memorable in its own right. I’ll keep enjoying these games as long as I can, House of Ashes included.
I don’t have many complaints if I’m being honest. I feel like this is a rare case of a strange game that really goes for it while still, first and foremost, being enjoyable to play. I could see some people potentially wanting more traversal abilities, or more shakeups in the explore-survive-escape format, but I like that things never get too complicated, and most of the “cycles” introduce something new, even if it’s a small surprise or change-up.
Despite some disappointing and frustrating moments, there’s enough compelling stuff that I can still recommend In Sound Mind to fans of adventure-leaning indie horror games. Overall, I dug this team’s ambition, and I was excited to see where it was headed. I just wish the game ran better and streamlined some of its level and puzzle design.
Even if I have complaints here and there, all told, KeyWe is a delightfully panic-inducing co-op puzzle game. The level objectives are fun, the hazards are varied, the scattered story scenes are super cute, the cosmetic unlocks are worthy rewards, and the mini-games are meaningful enough to keep coming back to. If you’re feeling lucky, make it a date.
Aside from a couple of noticeable dips with less fleshed-out areas in the final act, Zoink held my attention for my entire 11-hour playthrough. That counts for a lot. If given the chance, I’d love to return to the world of Random in a possible sequel to Lost in Random that smooths over some of these first-game-in-a-new-series pitfalls.
The snappy pacing, not-overly-comedic tone, and engaging run-and-duck shootouts are all high points. I also have to commend the readable art direction, which looks surprisingly crisp for a PlayStation VR game (at least on a PS4 Pro), and the soundtrack, which kept me on my toes and subconsciously nudged me along until I finished Fracked in one sitting.
Above all, I like the way that Boomerang X sprinkles in combat abilities and just-fussy-enough enemy types. It’s all layered on without needlessly complicating the whole thing. This game starts fun, and it ends fun. There’s no time for your mind to wander, or get twisted up trying to remember the controls, or feel too stressed out. It’s a great flow.