Horror might be one of the most difficult genres to get right because it’s pretty damn subjective. Not everybody is afraid of the same things. Ask most of the Internet, for instance, and they’ll go on about how they’re afraid of the ocean. That’s because they’re giant scaredy-cats who don’t know what real terror is – that’s bugs, by the way. Anyway, the point is that it’s possible to run into some issues when talking about horror games because, well, it’s hard to say if something’s actually going to scare you where it didn’t scare me. It’s usually more pertinent to talk about things like gameplay when we’re discussing something like Creeping Terror on the 3DS.
Case in point: Creeping Terror is yet another game in the ever-growing genre of Hide From Stuff Horror. We’ve seen an uptick in the number of these in the past few years thanks to the success of games like Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Alien: Isolation, but one of the original progenitors of the style was Clock Tower on the Super Nintendo. Creeping Terror very clearly uses this game as a source of inspiration; the two owe a lot to one another, and fans of that series may appreciate this game more than most.
As in Clock Tower, you’ll spend most of the game running around solving simple puzzles like finding keys in order to progress further into whatever spooky location you’re exploring. If a monster shows up, you’ll take off and take cover until the danger passes. None of the baddies throughout Creeping Terror seemed to be especially dedicated to their jobs, so as long as you don’t completely ignore the central gameplay concept you’re probably going to be fine throughout the three hours or so it takes to clear this one. You’ve got a life meter that allows for a few mistakes and health items show up throughout the game, so even if you’re caught it’s not the end of the world.
The game’s presentation deserves some mention since it immediately calls to mind the beautiful work of Japanese studio Vanillaware; if you’ve played Odin Sphere or Muramasa: The Demon Blade, you’ve got an idea of what’s in store for you here. That’s not to say that everything reaches those vaunted heights, of course, as Creeping Terror’s animations in particular are a little amateurish and probably could have used a little more DLC. Sound-wise you can expect the usual horror game staples of spooky atmospherics and adrenaline-pumping music when you’re being chased.
Creeping Terror is a short and straightforward experience that serves largely as a bite-sized taste of survival horror on a platform that doesn’t typically feature the genre. It’s unlikely that this one is going to shake anyone’s world, but it might introduce a few shivers to players who aren’t already weary of the Hide From Stuff school of horror games. Given its relatively inexpensive price and competence throughout, that’s plenty.