You wouldn't think a portable 2D horror game would be that scary. However, Creeping Terror offers an immersive and atmospheric horror experience so stock up on rations and phone batteries and let's head to a mysterious mansion.
I didn't know what to expect upon booting Creeping Terror up. After the goofy intro where four teenagers head to an eerie mansion just to test their courage, I thought it would be a stereotypical horror experience. However, once Japanese exchange student Arisa falls through the floor to an underground cave system, things started to get interesting.
Creeping Terror's most notable trait is its creepy atmosphere. The 3D effect is handled beautifully and it's great watching the 2D sprites move through the dimly lit environments. However, the audio is where the ambience turns from creepy to downright terrifying. The soundscape of haunting music and prominent footsteps will keep you on edge then once you come across an enemy, the audio intensifies as you try your best to escape. It's fantastic stuff.
The gameplay merely involves walking between rooms and collecting keys and stuff in order to progress through a mansion, cave, mine shaft, forest, hospital, and finally, an underground escape route. As you run around, you'll also come across a twisted man carrying a shovel, a mysterious cult member, and a vicious dog. Once you encounter one of these monsters, you must run away and hide. Thankfully, you can throw certain objects to hinder their movement but the goal is to hide so they'll leave you alone.
The campaign is steadily paced and never gets boring throughout. Personally, I didn't get stuck once which is a miracle because these kinds of games almost always leave me wandering around aimlessly. This is especially surprising considering the fact that the hints displayed on the bottom screen are so vague. Anyway, there is tons of back-story featured in Creeping Terror that you can piece together as you pick up notes, journals, and newspapers. Therefore, if you're the kind of gamer who enjoys putting together the plot for yourself then this will surely be a welcome component. All of that being said, the entire campaign is super-short and it took me only two and a half hours to complete. There are multiple endings so you could always replay it if you care to discover them.
Creeping Terror has two major issues that prevent it from being thoroughly enjoyable. The first is that it's extremely easy. I only died once in my playthrough and that was during the intense final escape. Basically, if you keep running and hiding effectively then nothing really poses much of a threat. There are way too many heal items around, too. This lack of challenge makes the overall experience far less scary because the sense of danger tapers off quickly. The other issue is that you'll find yourself backtracking at regular intervals and it gets very tedious. I know warp points aren't realistic but traversing the same areas over and over again just isn't all that fun.
Creeping Terror provides an impressively engaging campaign for a 2D horror game. Although the easy difficulty makes it a lot less scary, what's here is still a solid enough experience to delight gamers looking for a memorable creepy adventure.
- + Incredible creepy atmosphere and immersive audio will keep you hooked
- + Steady pace and uncomplicated progression
- + Lots of story pieces to put together
- - Severe lack of challenge takes a lot of scariness out of the equation
- - Incredibly short campaign
- - Backtracking is pretty boring