Top Critic Average
Developer: Gattai Games
In Stifled, the sounds made by your in-game character and yourself through microphone input reveal the otherwise hidden world through ‘echolocation’. However, undue noise will attract the attention of creatures lurking in the darkness. To survive, you will have to tread the line between making sounds to see, and staying quiet to stay hidden. (Put the microphone near your nose for even more challenge!)
Stifled - Narrative Trailer
Stifled - Microphone Demo Trailer
Stifled is a stealth horror game that brings its own flair to the genre by using echolocation to see in the dark. The player has to use their own voice to see, but also must be cautious to avoid attracting the attention of creatures hiding in the void. Stifled has a truly unique core gameplay mechanic that is both interesting and nerve-racking, but it seems underutilized throughout the game. The repetitive design of the levels minimizes the horror impact of the gameplay, and the lack of diversity and AI in the monsters leaves much to be desired. At a $20 price tag, the game felt more like an overpriced proof-of-concept juxtaposed with a completely unrelated story rather than a full-fledged horror experience.
Stifled is absolutely not the best indie horror game on the market, but I have to respect it for what it brings to the table. While the game is short and the frustration can – at times – be palpable, Stifled is a smart and satisfying game (especially for anyone invested in VR setups). Although we are out of Halloween and horror season, any fan of the VR medium and the indie horror scene should take a chance on this game and see… or, not see… what it has in store.