Top Critic Average
Simulacra is a very clever game that, despite the simplicity of both its premise and gameplay, immerses you into it and doesn't let you go until you've solved the mystery.
Simulacra is surprisingly engaging for a game that takes place completely on the screen of a found smart phone. With well-drawn characters, a gripping story, and one foot planted firmly in the real world, the suspense of Simulacra entertains quite well. Never truly chilling, Simulacra is nonetheless a unique suspense mystery that is well worth a look.
If you’re looking for a unique take on the ‘found footage/phone’ horror genre, SIMULACRA is perfect for you. The puzzles you need to complete, in order to descramble and reveal messages and photos, are fun to solve and interesting to read/look at. Although I wish there were more FMV sequences and meaningful choices which changed the narrative more dramatically as the story progressed, the quality of the videos and writing were both top-shelf.
The puzzles aren't ridiculously difficult, but aren't always easy either. I would like to return to the big question I've been asking all along: is it reasonable to play found game on a console with a controller? It works well enough, minus my gripes about small icons and the annoyance of typing text.
As Found Phone games go, Simulacra is one of the better ones. The dialogue is well implemented, the puzzles all play on the players in-built knowledge of how mobile phones work and there’s this disconcerting atmosphere to the whole experience.
Simulacra does a good job of delivering suspense, but its horror is limited. Equally so, the way that the game utilizes its phone apps leaves much to be desired in such a brief package, elongating the experience with fumbling around for what to do rather than filling the time with some form of progress. Simulacra has a lot to improve on, but there is still something dramatic and interesting here.
Simulacra 2 is an improvement on its predecessor, but there's further to go. A tighter narrative and better interface design don't quite compensate for sketchy writing and silly horror.
The game pitches itself as FMV horror, and while the experience does incorporate those two elements the more you play, it never amounts to anything more than cheap jump scares and creepy episodes of breaking the fourth wall. It's effective enough the first time, but diminishing returns weaken the tactic dramatically.
Simulacra interweaves a horror mystery with investigative work and puzzle-solving. However, the driving force of this title is simply the narrative and not it's gameplay offering.
If you’ve enjoyed similar games, Simulacra will be right up your street. Its story is creepy and unpredictable, with the variety in gameplay keeping you engaged, even if it drags towards the end.
SIMULACRA on the Nintendo Switch is an FMV adenture based on a story of mystery and horror and if the gameplay experience is not among the most outstanding ever designed, there is definitely something engaging about finding hints and advancing along the plot. The game's different endings add an additional incentive to explore and even though SIMULACRA is no masterpiece, its players will feel involved enough to take the experience to the end.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
Flawed it may be, but Simulacra is an interesting thriller in which you get to play detective. The found phone concept is a smart hook, while the storytelling delivers a yarn that will keep you engaged from beginning to end.
An interesting and in many ways strong FMV adventure title, but one somewhat let down by middling acting (at best) and a lack of attention to streamlining the gameplay for consoles as part of the porting process.
Simulacra is an enjoyable experience, even if it is not the best example of the genre. You’ll find an interesting but ultimately rather shallow story. The concept could have been taken further, with more exploration surrounding what it means to broadcast your identity through a device which fits in the palm of your hand. A device which can be lost or compromised and used against you. In spite of this, I had a good time with Simulacra, and I give it the Thumb Culture silver award.
[...]I cannot recommend playing the Switch port, especially if you have any vision issues that may prevent your ability to read the screen properly. Do yourself a favor and download this mysterious story on your phone instead.