The lights are off. The house is silent. The clock is ticking, eleven past eleven, the street-lights creep through the crack in the curtain. Keyboard, mouse, and my face are illuminated by the monitor. My eyelids heavy but held open with fear, the darkness in reality does not exist at this moment in time; because my current reality is in game.
Pineview Drive is a horror game that doesn’t focus on having a monster chase after you to induce terror, instead it brings the haunted house atmosphere by using ambience and jump scares to send you launching for that ESC key.
You play as a character who has once before visited the very mansion you’re about to explore, he visited it with his wife, Linda, then she suddenly vanished. You are simply trying to uncover the reason why. The game takes place over thirty days, each day progressing the story, alongside the progressions are events that occur; A phone that was on the table may have suddenly vanished, a knock on a door may sound, or even a toy clown head may follow you when you’re not looking. I hate that clown.
The controls for the game are pretty much the M+K defaults, your general set up really, while the graphics are basically a mix of what looks like a Penumbra system, and a Half Life 2 mod system. The sounds, meanwhile, are absolutely fantastic and trigger at just the right moments.
The beauty about Pineview Drive, though, is that where movies and TV build up tension until a situation arises, Pineview will just build up tension and then leave you alone to stir without creating a situation. This is apparently because the game “watches your every move.” So, if you linger too long in a room some form of horror will unfold. Whether that’s a sudden noise to your left, or a scream from the hallway. It’s entirely based on scaring the player, and the player full well knows that they can’t progress unless they proceed to the source of whatever has scared them, and you know you’re in for a shock… just never know when.
The annoying thing about the game is that every day, only a certain number of doors are unlocked, and you need to find keys to get through the locked ones. When you do find a key, there’s about twenty-nine different doors around the mansion to try, and after a while it does test your patience when you can’t quickly find the right door. That said, after some time has passed, sometimes your character will speak their mind, which will give a slight clue as to the room you need to head towards.
The game is good fun, it’s a unique scare experience, but can grow very tedious when there isn’t much to guide you. I find it best played with the lights off, and I even have some video footage (as I used to do let’s plays of it on my YouTube channel), you can find the playlist [HERE]. So go forth, if you’re looking for a jump scare game without any monsters chasing you, this is a perfect ghostly game.