Come Play with Me! Don’t be Afraid!
By Brett Wolfe
Reviewed on Xbox One
Released on September 9th, 2016 on Xbox One (Also Availible on PS4, PC, and Mobile)
Developer: Shawn Hitchcock Publisher: SKH Apps
Sweet…The last house on the list. Then I can finally go home and get some rest. I am exhausted!! Pulls up to house. That’s strange, doesn’t seem like there is anyone home. Whatever, the faster I deliver this pizza, the faster I can get out of here. Approaches door. Hello, anyone here? Did someone order a pizza? Door slams shut and laughter of a small child rings throughout the house. “Come play with me! Don’t be afraid!” Well great! This is going to be a long night!
Emily Wants to Play is a survival horror adventure game developed by Shawn Hitchcock. The game follows the protagonist, a pizza delivery man on his last stop for the night. You are informed to just walk in for the delivery, but the house seems to be empty. Once you enter the house, the door shuts behind you and the fun begins. You meet Emily, a deranged little girl, and her three friends. While this game is nothing new to the survival horror genre, I believe that it does hold on its own. While it is a shorter experience, it is a complete one and that’s better than some games that come out nowadays. The story seems short at the beginning, but there are a multitude of various audio recordings and pictures that can be found around the house to add to the overall experience.
The gameplay of this title is similar to various other games in the survival horror genre. Your main objective, of course, is to survive. And you will need to do so from midnight until six in the morning with various different obstacles that change every hour. While Emily is technically a hostile NPC, she will not attack you unless you perform one of the games various easter eggs. That leaves her three friends for you to worry about. Just to be clear, Emily’s ‘friends’ are puppets that seem to be possessed by some demonic creature and are possessing Emily in the process. Each character’s spawn is denoted by their own specific laugh. The first puppet that you encounter is Kiki. She is a young girl in a black dress and her special obstacle requires you to keep her in eyesight until she goes away. She will usually spawn behind you, but has the potential to spawn in front of you after opening the door way. She is the only one that spawns during the first hour making it one of the easiest levels and she will spawn again during different hours of the night. The second ‘friend’ that you run into is Mr. Tatters. He is a clown that believes that you are a statue. This requires you to stand still when he is around and in my opinion this makes him the easiest puppet to deal with. The third and final puppet that you are introduced to would be Charles. He is a Chucky style doll that looks like a butler. He chases after you when he finds you, so avoiding him is a necessity. Charles will always spawn behind the player and it is wise to stand near a door way as he is rather fast. The best room for dealing with the hour where Charles spawns is the living room that you start in, as the big opening between the living room and dining room count as different rooms without needing to open the doors. One of the aspects that I find intriguing about Emily Wants to Play is the fact that each puppet has the ability to turn off the lights and your flashlight. However, Charles will turn off the lights every time that he spawns. When you finally encounter Emily, you are tasked with playing hide and seek. You have 90 seconds to find her and run into her.
The visuals in this game are pretty decent. The game looks really good and the environment is quite compelling. The house that this title takes place in is reminiscent of the home from Gone Home. The rooms have enough variety and enough spooky appeal to make the house feel real and help immerse you within the game. The soundtrack is one in the same. While there is not a lot of music in the game, the other sounds really help suck you in. The laughter from the puppets make it sound like they are right behind you as well as the noises of the door opening and closing. This really makes it feel like they are scouring through the house to attack you.
The replayability in Emily Wants to Play is one of the higher aspects of this game. The game being on the shorter end lends to additional playthroughs. The one downside with the multiple playthroughs would be the fact that the game will not change. However, all spawns are random making each hour different every time you play it.
This title is worth picking up. It is affordable and it is a quicker title if you are into shorter, fun experiences. The achievements are really easy as well as you receive all of them from playing through the games and finding a couple of the Easter Eggs. The game is a cool title with a spooky atmosphere that will be great for the Halloween season. So order that pizza, grab a flashlight and watch out for the puppets…it is going to be a long night!
Final Score: 7.5/10
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