Important information

This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. By continuing to use our site, you consent to Steel Media's privacy policy.

Steel Media websites use two types of cookie: (1) those that enable the site to function and perform as required; and (2) analytical cookies which anonymously track visitors only while using the site. If you are not happy with this use of these cookies please review our Privacy Policy to learn how they can be disabled. By disabling cookies some features of the site will not work.


The Occupant Review

By , on November 1, 2013
Last modified 9 months, 4 weeks ago


The Occupant
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5

PROS

  • Atmospheric use of sound.
  • The slow, silent Occupant is agreeably creepy.

CONS

  • Goal are arbitrary, making levels feel like a waste of time.
  • Nothing meaningful to accomplish

VERDICT

Though The Occupant tries hard to generate a spooky atmosphere, the pointless tasks and directionless gameplay quickly turn your yelps to yawns.


  • Full Review
  • App Store Info

The Occupant is the latest in a line of Slenderman-inspired survival-horror games. For some inexplicable reason, you find yourself trapped in an abandoned hotel with a creature known as the Occupant. Each stage has you fulfilling a series of tasks before you can move onto the next floor. As you complete these task, the creature is silently stalking the hallways in search of you.

Let's make one thing perfectly clear; it's not the jump scares that make The Occupant creepy - rather, it's the oppressive atmosphere of the game, most of which is generated through ambient sound and music.

Low howls of wind accompainied by creaking wood leave you feeling tense and on-edge. Most of the time the only way you'll know if the monster is nearby is if you hear the sound of its footsteps while you're standing still. You seem to be viewing the action through a video recording device, so onscreen static and shifts in colour also alert you to its presence. By then, however, it's usually too late.

Most of the tasks involve using rudimentary physics engine to pick up and throw objects in the world. Wooden barricades can be destroyed by throwing books, chairs, or drawers at them. Later on, you'll need to deposit books in white bins, or the hotel elevator.

It's pretty crude stuff, and not particularly involving. In fact, the only horror associated with these goals is that they keep you in the game for longer than you would like, leaving you exposed and guessing at the monster's location. However, later missions, which have you throwing objects at the monster (which slow it down) cuts though the oppressive atmosphere, leaving you feeling more empowered than perhaps you should.

The Occupant gets a high grade for tone and presentation, but sadly, the gameplay mechanics really drag the whole ensemble down. If you're looking for a good scare, this will probably ellicit a jump or two. But as an actual game, it is left wanting.

Screenshots

Screenshot 1 of 4 Screenshot 2 of 4 Screenshot 3 of 4 Screenshot 4 of 4

Comments

Avatar
TheAspieFox 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Hmm.. It seems that developers just can't nail it when it comes to horror games on mobile devices. Actually, the whole medium of horror games is pretty mediocre. :/

Avatar
andrew 9 months, 2 weeks ago

In fairness, this whole genre is insanely outdated, so it makes me wonder why developers haven't tried harder. KOWA-OTO was released way back in 2010, well before the explosion of Slenderman (somewhere in 2012) and was damn scary, if very VERY boring once you got over the initial fear http://www.appspy.com/review/4493/kowaoto

I think the only game that has come even remotely close to nailing the concept for a mobile device is Papa Sangre (sadly I've not played the sequel) as it's entirely audio based.