It Sleeps Below the Haar – Two Sides of the Stone

Be prepared to face its wake in It Sleeps Below the Haar.

Have you ever wondered just what goes on in those small, coastal villages you barely hear of? With the speeds of modern life, it might never have crossed your mind until now. But if you ever find yourself wondering, It Sleeps Below the Haar by Arboreta Games is here to provide you with answers — somewhat.

Set in a small village in the North East of Scotland in 1953, It Sleeps Below the Haar is the perfect low-poly, cosmic horror experience I’ve been searching for. Recount your footsteps as a research student, traversing the village and its surrounding area to find out what really lies beneath Kellas Bay’s strange ecological phenomenons.

Whether on land or in sea, it’s a heavily story or quest based style of explorative gameplay led by you. This storyline is guided by the townsfolk, interactive characters who you can take both main and optional quests from. I enjoy this heavily immersive type of game, however I had a slight issue with the UI. A main feature when interacting with the townsfolk, the UI in this game seems to pull you away due to its, in my opinion, unfitting style.

It Sleeps Below The Haar’s UI Design

Another minor inconvenience I encountered was the lack of changeable settings, such as volume. I feel as if it could benefit greatly from the insertion of accessibility features, and I know this element can be off putting for some.

Despite these factors, It Sleeps Below the Haar has some unexpected, but brilliant features. One of which would be the radio; a well-loved addition to games such as Fallout. The music added a more comfortable sense to the explorative atmosphere, whilst staying in line with the initial feeling of the game, successfully retaining immersion. I enjoyed this thoroughly, to the extent that I reached out to the developer via Twitter for a tracklist, which they happily provided to me. 

The Chilling Warnings of the Cosmic Anomalies

Truthfully, It Sleeps Below The Haar is a hidden gem. Considering the single-developer creation, it is a must play for anyone into retro or cosmic horrors. The unique story allows you to dive deeper than mortality to discover the unseen hidden beneath Kellas Bay, with a masterful  It has few flaws, and I would personally recommend it to anyone who is looking for something they haven’t yet seen.

It Sleeps Below the Haar is available now on Windows PC through Steam, or the developer’s page.

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