I love a good horror game. You’re constantly on the edge of your seat, wondering what’s gonna get you around the next corner. Even if there’s nothing there the chilling atmosphere and creepy soundtrack should be enough to set your nerves on fire and wondering if you’re losing it while playing. Unfortunately, the first episode of Albino Lullaby falls quite short in making me shiver with anticipation.
The game actually starts out pretty well. You end up in an accident and wake up in some weird cell. Finding a way to escape, you run around pushing buttons to make walls rotate or floors move. That’s probably the sole thing about Albino Lullaby that I really enjoyed, though. And even then I had a hell of a time figuring out that this demented fun house even allowed you to do certain things.
That takes me to the most frustrating part of the game. You don’t know what you’re supposed to do or even how you’re supposed to go about doing it. All you know is that you need to get out of the weird and creepy house. While I’m certainly not asking for a tutorial at least let us know how things work so that we don’t pull our hair out from frustration. We should be doing that from fright. In fact, several times throughout Albino Lullaby I was ready to give up because I…kept…failing. A game is no fun when even the littlest thing will kill you.
Unfortunately, the gameplay isn’t the only thing that had me not wanting to continue. The story is practically nonexistent and what lore you do get is in cryptic messages littered about the place. Even then I had little idea what was going on. Which also made me less invested in the inhabitants and their tale. And these “grandchildren” are about as scary as a wet paper bag. The first time I saw them I wasn’t even startled. They’re basically just demented Moai heads with a bad temper. My only thought was “what the hell are these things?!” And even then I stopped caring very quickly.
Here’s another thing about Albino Lullaby‘s gameplay. Nowhere is it hinted that these “grandchildren” are half blind and that if you’re careful you can sneak past them even if you’re right behind them. I had to look this up on the Steam forums just to get this information. Which would have made my initial encounter with them a bit more bearable. Seriously, my first thought of giving up was like a half hour into the game. That’s never a good sign.
And the ending itself is so predictable that I figured it out less than halfway through. There are some nice touches to Albino Lullaby, such as the artwork (minus the fleshy stumps with faces) and the ability to alter the environment, but the cons far outweigh the pros in this case. I really wanted to like this game and kept hoping that it got better further in, but by the time the credits rolled I was left with wondering why I continued to trudge on. I wanted a horror experience that had me on edge the whole time. Instead I got a boring walking simulator where I had to constantly evade boring adversaries.
In short, Albino Lullaby is more yawn than yelp.