Release Date: April 26th 2018
Price as of Article: $9.99 USD, £8.99 GBP
Game code provided by Forever Entertainment for review
Goetia is yet another release from the highly prolific publisher Forever Entertainment. With a few hit and misses in the quality department, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Goetia could follow the same suit. Luckily, Goetia may be their best release yet.
The story of Goetia is fairly unusual as you don’t follow a living person. Instead, you are Abigail who died as a young child some 40 years prior. Without a body she explores the history of her old family home which is now in ruins and inhabited by demon spirits called up from her father’s research. The story is actually pretty good although it can be somewhat confusing with names thrown around like nobody’s business. Reading the vast amounts of notes and passages scribbled here and there can be a little overwhelming if fairly interesting too.
With a horror theme the audio definitely needs to be up to scratch in order to create the perfect atmosphere and I think it does a pretty decent job here in Goetia. There’s lots of eeriness to it and a pleasant amount of variety too. It’s not all spooky ambience either, which is something usually associated with horror games these days, but there are moments of melody and rhythm too which is a nice surprise. The music switches up all the time, builds up, drops off; all giving a very dynamic feel to playing the game. I really like it.
The environmental noises are equally excellent too; a bird cawing, a clock ticking, doors creaking. It’s superb sound design all round and one of the highlights of the game for me.
Visuals & Performance
Visually the game is very distinct with it’s hauntingly spooky style. The dark and decrepit environments really give a lot of atmosphere to the game. Yeah some can look a little flat or stock on occasions but then you some lovely lighting and shadows in places which make the game look excellent. There are some really great textures too like in the wood panels and masonry which send it above what you’d normally expect of a game like this. There’re lots of little details which I appreciate and overall, it’s a visual success.
The gameplay revolves around exploring the dilapidated environments and solving puzzles in order to uncover the mystery of just what happened here so long ago. As a disembodied spirit you travel around the Blackwood mansion and surrounding areas to snoop around. There is a certain linearity to it although you’re not always directed from one place to another, the game doesn’t hold your hand exactly. You can spend hours wandering around looking for where you should go next.
Puzzle solving is obviously the big gameplay thing in Goetia. This game’s puzzles are very much from the classic point ’n click era of erring to the obscure side of things. This game really doesn’t hold your hand that’s for sure. One thing different from the norm is that you don’t have an inventory or anything, instead Abigail has the ability of possession. She can take control over a very limited set of items found around the environments. It’s these that invariably need to be used to solve the puzzles at hand. It’s quite basic even if the puzzles themselves can be quite the head-scratchers. I have to admit, at one point I did need to look online for a solution to one particular puzzle as it was just a little too obscure for me. And yes, even after looking at the solution I didn’t think “oh silly me”, it was more of a “huh? oh.”, so yes, sometimes things can be a little obtuse and you may be wandering around for ages looking for clues or solutions to some of the puzzles. There are no internal hints or anything.
It’s not exactly huge. The PR boasts “over 90 rooms” to explore, which is a high number for sure even if some of them are on the smaller side or don’t serve any actual purpose. It can mean going from one place to another can be quite slow and arduous, especially thanks to how sluggish your spirit can be. You don’t really need to backtrack but if you’re wandering around aimlessly looking for the next thing to do, it can be a little frustrating.
While the game surely has a horror theme to it, it isn’t scary, at least not for me. It’s more of a constant eerie atmosphere that will keep you unnerved throughout your time playing. For those horror fanatics you may want to be wary at the lack of scares here, although in some regard I think that may be better, especially with the genre.
The game boasts about 20 hours of gameplay, I’m not sure where that’s coming from, but either way there is a solid, lengthy campaign here. It’s not a game you will complete in one evening for sure, which is how these games tend to pan out. For $9.99 or £8.99 plus a discount for owners of certain other Forever Entertainment games, I think you’ve got yourself a good deal, especially considering this is lower than the Steam price. It’s a sensible price choice from the publisher and I think it’s definitely decent value for your hard earned cash.
Great sound design
Maybe too obtuse for some