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KOWA-OTO Review

By , on September 17, 2010


KOWA-OTO
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5

PROS

  • Insanely spooky Eastern horror atmosphere.
  • Solve mazes while avoiding your doom!

CONS

  • Maze solving and hiding gameplay often conflict.
  • No seriously... don't play it in the dark.

VERDICT

KOWA-OTO is without a doubt well worth a playthrough or two to creep out yourself (and possibly your friends), but like most horror titles repeat playthroughs can enure you to its spooky charm.


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There's something about Eastern horror themes that really get to me; I'll freely admit that classic movies like Ringu really got inside my head and they were hard to shake off once the film was over. KOWA-OTO by CHUNSOFT banks on this kind of horror getting under your skin and you'll have to escape a maze while being followed by a creepy possessed doll.

You only have a few options once you're in the deadly maze and players can either turn around or move forward and backward. For each step they take the doll will take one as well, but don't stall for too long as you only have a short timer before the doll will move on its own. Things get even worse if you manage to let the doll see you as it'll start moving at twice the speed to close the gap.

What makes KOWA-OTO work so well is the combination of creepy ancient tunnels covered with ancient seals and wards and the hollow empty audio that helps you to pinpoint how far away you are from the doll. Every now and then a whispered word from someone trying to help you sings out in the distance, but instead of comforting you it just lets you know you're a long way from safety.

But like many horror films the shock and terror wears off quickly after several attempts to escape, quickly being replaced with frustration and annoyance that you not only have to escape a maze, but you have to hide at the same time. This conflict makes the game incredibly hard to complete, but until frustration sets in KOWA-OTO is a creepy game that should not be played with the lights out.

Screenshots

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