Neverending Nightmares – game review.

What is in the mind of a seriously mentally ill person who is tormented by intrusive thoughts and terrible dreams? The game by Matt Gilgenbach tries to bring us closer to these states with the help of a macabre story about Thomas locked in repeated dreams.

Neverending Nightmares – game review

Neverending Nightmares is a production that is extremely difficult to review. It cannot be denied that the whole concept is very interesting and also extremely scary, which is a good sign of the horror movie. The whole story, however, ricochets heavily due to the not very ingenious and dragged out mechanics, which tire more than help in conveying this story.

The monsters lie dormant in you

To understand this game better, we need a real-world context. Matt Gilgenbach is an independent developer whose latest game, Retro-Grade, although warmly received by critics, did not win the hearts of players. The creator already had some problems while working on this project, and finally was diagnosed by a psychiatrist as a person with severe depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder. His ailments inspired the game Neverending Nightmares, which, although it tells a completely unrelated story, expresses many of Matt’s fears, and also includes excerpts taken straight from his dreams.

Neverending Nightmares – game review

Groundhog day

In the game, we play the role of a young Thomas. We take control of him as soon as we wake up from a terrible nightmare in which he kills his younger sister. Knowing absolutely nothing about his past, we set out to explore the man’s apartment, which becomes more and more weird and twisted with every step we take. Every once in a while, we come across an event that causes Thomas to wake up in his bed again, but the world around him undergoes some sort of transformation in the meantime.

The hero of the game also suffers from asthma, which explains his very poor condition. To speed up sightseeing or escape, we can run a few steps. However, it is worth speeding up only in exceptional circumstances, because each caught out of breath can even cost us our lives. In addition to looking at various corners of illogically arranged corridors, Thomas can also look at some items, which is an element that builds the mood and reveals the next pages of the story.

Neverending Nightmares – game review

In Neverending Nightmares, it is worth delving into to find out what is in the mind of a person suffering from a terrible mental illness. It is a truly terrifying vision

The visual style of the game is a mixture of high school sketches from the last pages of the school notebook and the works of Edward Gorey. Among the black and white surroundings, only red blood and objects touched with only one color, which we can see or pick up, stand out.

The creator of the game clearly wanted exploration to be the power that pushes the whole story and drives the player to explore more details of the story. The problem is that he failed to capture the element that makes a given walking simulator interesting for the recipient. We were held by a narrator on Dear Esther. Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture delighted the eye with graphics and tuned with beautiful songs playing in the background. Neverending Nightmares takes a long time despite the relatively short time it takes to complete this game. We will see one of the three possible endings after about an hour and a half of fun.

Neverending Nightmares – game review

It’s also worth noting that the story is not uniform in the game, and each ending gives us a completely different idea of ​​what really happened to Thomas and why he has recurring nightmares. This is an extremely ingenious way to encourage the player to re-read the story, while the successive storylines change our whole view of the narrative and script.

Wandering in the dark

Don’t get me wrong. In Neverending Nightmares, it is worth delving into to find out what’s in the mind of a person suffering from a terrible mental illness. It is a truly terrifying vision. The problem is that the interesting and suspenseful elements are separated by terrible debts, and survival-horror elements that were not very skillfully woven into the plot. The feeling of dread quickly turns into irritation as we walk down a very similar corridor again. Monotony makes all corners look the same at first glance, and this additionally demotivates you to look at all angles and look for elements related to the script. It is a pity, because if we only want to take a closer look at the surroundings, which I strongly encourage, we will see that the author hid a huge number of details in the background that can be easily omitted.

This is a title that helps you understand a little more about the states of some of the people passing us on the street every day

It is also worth remembering that this is a game intended only for adults, and those with strong nerves. Neverending Nightmares is very shocking in terms of some scenes and it can tighten the stomach of some of the more sensitive people. It is also a heavy game in terms of climate. The more painful is the fact that its proper reception is hampered by not the best designed gameplay. Honestly, it would be a lot better if the story was focused on the experience itself and the gameplay kept to a minimum. Not only would it intensify our experience, but it would also deprive the game of debts and unnecessarily repetitive sequences.

Neverending Nightmares – game review

Empathy stopped mechanically

Neverending Nightmares has a big problem. This production will disappoint players with poorly developed gameplay, and people who crave an interesting experience will get excited about boring gameplay. However, I will risk saying that despite my final grade, this title is worth readingbecause it certainly brings with it a valuable, though very macabre, experience. This is a title that helps you understand a little more about the states of some of the people passing us on the street every day. The problem lies in the incompetent use of the possibilities offered by this medium.