Survival horror games are generally the same. There’s a formula most follow, but if a game really wants to stand out, they’ll diverge from the path a bit and offer up something new. That’s what Sekai Games and indie developer InvertMouse set out to do in their latest, Clea. Clea is a skill-based survival horror adventure where sound plays a huge part.
Clea revolves around a girl of the same name. The story is as follows – After experimenting on the Chaos Servants, Clea’s parents have let the monsters loose in the Whitlock Mansion. Trapped inside by her family, Clea must find her way out and escape with her little brother in tow. Basically you need to avoid Chaos Servants, hunt down items, and solve puzzles to survive. Sounds easy enough, but it isn’t.
Speaking of which, sound plays a very important role in Clea and it is recommended that you wear headphones or earbuds for this. You see, you need to be able to hear where the Chaos Servants are and you do this by listening for their foot steps and doors they open. The sounds you make also affect gameplay as if you run and make loud sounds, the Chaos Servants will run to where you are. When they do, one touch from them and it’s game over for you.
I say game over because Clea does not have any way of defending herself. Your only real options are to run and hide. You can also use some items that will ward off the Chaos Servants, but those are scarce.
While Clea is an interesting game with an interesting gameplay mechanic, there are some areas in the game that are kind of rough. Graphically the game doesn’t look bad at all. Character designs are good and everything looks clean, but the level designs are very uninspiring. In fact, they’re just plain boring to look at. It’s mainly just lots of walls and doors and very little else.
The game itself is also rather repetitive with much of the same on each floor you visit. Basically you sneak around the level, pick up items, avoid the enemy, and hide. When you reach the next level, rinse and repeat.
With that said, Clea has promise, but in its current state, it is a bit lacking in areas. I do enjoy the art style and the gameplay is fairly intriguing, but it’s too repetitive to be enjoyable after a short amount of time. There needs to be more to keep you coming back. Other than that, the developer has something special here that can grow into something more which I’d be more than eager to check out in yhr future.
Clea is available now on the Nintendo eShop.
Received game from developer and/or publisher for coverage purposes.
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