Nintendo Switch

Review: Ikai

  • 7/10
    Total Score: – 7/10

7/10

Summary

Interested in feudal Japan? Keen on psychological horror? Ikai may be just what you are looking for!

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Developer – Endflame

Publisher – PM Studios

Platform – Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4/5, Xbox One/S/X, PC (Reviewed)

Ikai is really a psychological horror game through the new Barcelonian developer Endflame. This team of three worked together on projects while in their university and also have come back together to begin developing games they hope will immerse players into remarkable experiences by bringing stories to life. Their first attempt at this feat is Ikai.

Set in feudal Japan, Ikai has us go ahead and take role of Naroko. She's a young priestess who assists the priest from the shrine together with his duties. Recently, there has been a sense by the locals that there is evil spreading through the land and also the priest must go to protect them. After Naroko draws some talismans to supply protection, the priest leaves her alone to have a tendency to the shrine as they is finished. What starts being an evening of laundry and cleaning quickly turns into a nights pure horror. Naroko must cleanse the shrine from the evil spirits called Yokai and discover the foundation of the evil.

In Ikai, we spend nearly all our time inside the shrine's walls, but we all do get to explore the neighborhood forest, a cavern, plus some twisted imaginings of Naroko's mind. The sport has us solving puzzles, writing Japanese warding talismans, and finding hidden collectibles whilst getting rid of the spirits that are haunting the shrine.

The puzzles are pretty decent, nothing too challenging but could definitely cause you to think for some minutes. I'd say one in particular had me sitting for around 15-20 minutes thinking about the solution. Some of the solutions require you to find certain objects, while others have you utilizing a brush and ink to determine patterns. Ikai is similar to games for example Myst but with more freedom of motion including being able to run and to sneak.

The story is pretty interesting too. While you progress with the game you find letters which were sent from your members of the family that offer you having a bit more clues by what is going on but I can't explain much without spoiling the reveal. The sport covers topics such as arranged marriages, relationships, abuse, spirituality, and alcoholism which was much more than I was expecting from the game seemingly about mischievous Yokai. The story is concise but interesting enough to help keep you moving through the game to find out more.

The sound design can also be great. There were moments that felt enjoy it had ASMR inspirations, with really creepy and almost tactile moments with the right headset. Creaking floors, creatures skittering, wind blowing, and eerie instruments playing were all satisfying. Graphics were serviceable as well and it was full of interesting imagery. I truly enjoyed the overall look of the game and also the horror elements included.

One from the major downsides I saw people having is its runtime. I clocked inside a full playthrough in 2.5 hours, as i think a playthrough looking to get all the collectibles could run maybe 3-4 hours. The sport happens to be around $13, so concerning the cost of buying a movie. It's not too bad, but others might feel differently. It might happen to be interesting to determine a few more Yokai as they mention about 25 through the collectibles however , just a few make an appearance. Even the game ends quite abruptly, The manufacturers should game expanded a little more of the ending to give a bit more closure to the story.

Overall, Ikai is a superb first endeavor for indie developer Endflame. I had a great time with my playthrough and could see myself going through it a minumum of one more time to obtain the missing collectible and achievements. If you are interested in feudal Japan, are a fan of psychological horror, and looking for a quick adventure, Ikai may be just what you are looking for. If you're on PC, you can even download the demo on Steam allow it a shot first!

Disclosure Notice: Game review code supplied by publisher.

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