There are plenty of games out there for the current generation of consoles and as a result, some smaller gems get passed over. Our Emily Wants To Play review takes a look at a jump scare game that just recently made its way from Steam to consoles.
As far as plots go, the story in Emily Wants To Play is pretty basic.
It’s 11pm, and you are at the last house on your route. The lights are on, and the front door is opened. But, the windows are all boarded up and the grass is overgrown. It seems like a strange place to deliver a pizza, but at least, it looks like someone is home.
You run to the front door since it’s storming pretty bad.
“Hello!? Your pizza’s here!” You announce. No one answers. There’s an eerie silence.
You are getting soaked from the rain, so you hesitantly step inside the door and look around. The front door suddenly closes behind you.
You just wanted to finish this last delivery and head home for the night. Now you must figure out how to get out of this stupid creepy house.
Freely roam the house and try to figure out what is going on. Three dolls and a strange girl named Emily will also start roaming the house as the hours toll by. Stay away from them, but if you do end up in a room with one, figure out how to stay alive.
This may be your last pizza delivery.
Once you step inside, your main goal is to survive the night being chased by creepy dolls, and eventually Emily herself. There are little clues and scraps of paper throughout but they don’t really tell you much and just sound like random ramblings of a young girl with phrases like “I think they want to kill me” and “i just want to PLAY!” with a smiley face below.
Gameplay is pretty simple. You walk around and turn on lights while you avoid getting attacked by one of three creepy dolls. As far as game controls, you simply walk and look around, and interact with notes, door knobs, and light switches.
The game consists of you trying to outlast three different dolls. You’ll spend the first hour dodging Kiki, a giggling girl doll. Once you figure out how to survive Kiki, you’ll be introduced to the clown, Mr. Tatters. The twist here is that not only will you have to deal with the clown, but you have to also deal with Kiki. Survive that and the game tosses Chester, a male doll with a high-pitched laugh, into the mix. Good luck avoiding all three dolls at once. Should you be successful, your final task will be to continue to avoid these three dolls while finding Emily.
Simply put, the jump scares in this game will quite literally scare you sh*tless and get your heart racing. It’s definitely fun to play alone in the basement with the lights out and headphones on, and it got to the point that if I felt like a doll gank was coming on, I’d close my eyes and just wait for it before restarting.
Emily Wants To Play is also fun playing in the company of others. I’ll admit to taking it to a buddy’s house and people were having their turns, some lasting longer than others, but all jumping for the most part when Kiki jumped out at them. Of course, when it was my turn, the lights went out, I heard Kiki’s giggle, and the second I turned around to switch the lights back on Kiki jumped out and, well, let’s just say I actually screamed like a little b*tch and dropped the controller. A good laugh was definitely had at my expense.
Thankfully once you do run into a doll and “die,” you start at the current hour you were trying to survive so you don’t have to go back to the beginning. I never did make it to the end, but maybe some day I’ll muster up enough courage to force myself through the entire game.
The graphics are pretty simple, you’re in a house that’s in various states of packing up for what looks like a move. The lighting helps to contribute to the mood, but aside from that the game is pretty basic graphics wise. However, you don’t need great realistic graphics for a good jump scare game.
Even though this is a horror/jump scare game, there is no actual violence depicted or blood, but it’s still definitely not something you’ll want to play with the kids around.
Not only does the lighting help contribute to the mood and apprehension, the sound effects in the game easily keep you on edge. From Kiki’s giggling to Chester’s high-pitched laugh — not to mention those light switch flicking sounds and creaky doors, the sound design in the game is very effective and well done. When listening with headphones, you definitely get a feel for the possible direction of one of the dolls — in some ways that just makes the entire experience even more creepy.
If you’re a fan of jump scare games and enjoy being apprehensive and having your heart pounding while playing a game — not to mention having to potentially change your underwear a few times, then you’ll definitely want to pick up Emily Wants To Play. There are definitely worse things you could spend $5 on, and if you have kids who play with dolls you just might be steering clear from them for awhile.
UPDATED (10/21/2016): Congrats to dhough76 and Timo – check your emails, your codes are inbound!
The developer was kind enough to give us a couple extra Xbox One keys for Emily Wants To Play, and we figured we’d give them away just in time for some Halloween scares. We have two keys available, entry is easy — simply leave a comment below (one comment per person, duplicate comments won’t be entered), and let us know what the scariest game you’ve ever played was. We’ll make the draw next Friday, October 21st, at 3pm PT/6pm ET and declare two random winners!
*We were sent a review copy of Emily Wants To Play on the Xbox One for the purposes of this review.
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