In Nightmare Reviews
Overall, In Nightmare hits the mark. It fits its self-defined genre, and was an otherwise decent game. Its overabundance of mechanics and reliance on standard horror game features hold the title back from being more unique than it could be. Though In Nightmare should not supplant any of your favorite horror titles, the game’s narrative and attempt to differentiate itself through its visuals might just be enough to garner a curious horror game fan’s attention.
I was pleasantly surprised at In Nightmare, as I said horror is not usually my thing but the subject matter here and the way it’s handled is quite masterful. I mean the whole game is extremely relatable as Bill discovers the thing that some of us have already; and that thing is that more often than not we create our own monsters via our subconscious. The situations or people we monster-fy were never as bad as we thought they were. And hopefully I haven’t said too much, because this game is a wonderful experience, despite the wonky jump button and iffy sonar system I enjoyed my time in this nightmare very much. And while there isn’t much replay value outside of trying to 100% everything; at a value price In Nightmare is more than worth it just on the story alone.
In essence, In Nightmare is a narrative heavy puzzle game where all too often you must engage in more action heavy scenes in order to progress. That, coupled with frequent sections where you must navigate a room of either a single monster or multiple and avoid detection, caused the game to wear out its welcome sooner than it should have. When it’s just puzzles where you have have all the time in the world to reason out is when the game works best, and I found myself wishing for more of that as the game went on.
In Nightmare is a frustrating and dull horror experience that can't live up to the many ideas it tries to set up. This left me not only bored, but disappointed in what it could have been.
In Nightmare, which combines horror and decryption gameplay, is a bold attempt, and playing this game is not only a process of challenging psychological endurance, but also a test of the player's observation, imagination and logical ability.
Review in Chinese | Read full review
In Nightmare is an experience that will leave players more frustrated than frightened. The story is decent enough, if predictable, but it quickly loses steam since you can guess what'll happen and the pantomimed scenes are too vague. The gameplay teeters between fine to unplayable due to technical issues and an overall design that favors trial and error and memorization versus crafting a more dynamic challenge. All of those things rob the game of a scare factor; there's nothing really horrifying about what you're up against. The ideas are sound, but unless you have to play every single horror game out there, you can safely skip In Nightmare and not miss a thing.
In Nightmare could have been great, but the atmosphere and environments aren't enough to make up for the woeful frame rate, frustrating enemy encounters, and overall tedium of the gameplay.
Yes, it's functional and has some decent concepts, however the experience simply can't avoid comparisons with boring indie horror titles. Even its small gameplay nuances wind up detracting from engagement in multifaceted ways.
In Nightmare is a pale competitor to other titles of the horror-adventure genre. Stealth that’s preferable to charge through, puzzles that are the blandest of time-wasters and a narrative of dark themes burdened with typos and poor delivery. Real nightmares threaten your sleep with terror and fear, whereas In Nightmare only threatens to bore or frustrate you to death.
So overall, In Nightmare does a lot of things right and never overcomplicates its mechanics while helping Billy escape this world of nightmares. On the other hand, the puzzles are often simply too complicated and when combined with chapters that can take hours to complete, the flow of the adventure is just not there causing more frustration than enjoyment.
Unless you have the patience of a saint, I would steer clear of In Nightmare. It really is a shame, as there’s an interesting story being told from Bill’s eyes and a really vibrant and vivid world with a unique style to explore, but any semblance of gameplay is horribly hampered by a nightmare of poor gameplay designs. I’ll keep dreaming of how much I’d enjoy this game once it sees some quality of life improvements show up to fix the plethora of lackluster stealth gameplay and frustrating “puzzles”.
Despite the confusing narrative, In Nightmare is still fun. The puzzles are varied and delightful to work through. And while not the scariest game I’ve played, there’s plenty of anxiety to be had sneaking around enemies and solving puzzles under duress.
The overall idea of In Nightmare is solid. The trapped-in-a-child’s-nightmare vibe and slow unveiling of his past traumas feel fresh. But the final delivery in a game was just ‘meh’ and there are better puzzlers out there. A more polished sequel could potentially do very well.
The worst kind of bad game isn’t the one that is a total and complete train wreck. In Nightmare is the worst kind of bad game. It’s just absolutely uninteresting. Not good enough to be worth tackling, not bad enough to be enjoyed as a “so bad it’s good experience”, but also flawed enough not to be considered just downright mediocre. It’s boring and poorly designed.
A quaint art direction and an occasional well-conceived puzzle are not enough to redeem this painful slog through a child's living nightmare. Trial-and-error instakill sections and some of the worst hide and seek stealth since Sanity of Morris ensure the greatest nightmare will be your own.
In Nightmare may provide a decent plot line with enjoyable, heartfelt moments, but outside of that, it really is a hard game to recommend to anyone. The technical issues alone are enough to say wait until an update comes out to address it, but even so, the gameplay, while does offer some enjoyable moments, proves to have more issues that only the most patient of people can really deal with. You might have some fun with it for sure, but this is one nightmare you probably don’t want to jump into, at least right away.
If I'm being honest, I was glad it ate my save file and gave me a legit reason not to play it anymore.