Top Critic Average
Developer: Cael O'Sullivan
Publisher: Hidden Track
Genres: Adventure, Horror
Shut In is a short experience with a price to match and it's one that I mostly enjoyed. That said, I do have a particularly dark sense of humour and was able to separate the game from my own mental health struggles. The tone here is so mocking that it won't be for everyone and I'm still in two minds as to whether it is hoping to raise awareness or simply using mental suffering for entertainment. I'm inclined to give it the benefit of the doubt, but your mileage may vary. Unlike our current situation, this is one period of isolation that isn't mandatory.
Shut In captures these unprecedented times in a small but unique package. With depth far beyond the initial on-the-surface horror story, this experience taps into the evocativeness of a mental health crisis, and the commentary it makes on the dread suffered by those with mental illnesses is powerful. It isn't all deep, though. The narrator successfully plays on the Undertale vibe and the comedic elements within such a tonally dark tale come across very well.
Shut In had to grow on me. I spent an awful lot of time frustrated with it before I considered its original angle of conveying the emotions (or lack thereof) felt during quarantine, and that new perspective allowed me to look past the otherwise annoying issues. If you’re looking for a commentary on the effects of the pandemic on an already fragile psyche, Shut In just might be up your alley.
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