At this point, why would young people ever go on a trip out the woods?
It never goes well. It’s a horror trope that has been severely beaten to death. Ironically, being severely beaten to death is also the fate that befalls most of the young characters that decide to go on the death trip to begin with. 2D side-scrolling horror title Re:Turn – One Way Trip might use the same trope, but it does so in a unique and clever way. Set to release on Steam on October 14th, we played through the first few chapters of the game to see what it was all about.
Re:Turn One Way Trip is a title from developer Red Ego Games that follows the story of five friends on a camping trip together. When character Saki wakes up to find the rest of her friends have gone missing, she sets out into the dark woods to try and find them. From there she quickly realises that things aren’t what they seem; there are dark creatures lurking in the shadows.
In the very beginning, Re:Turn – One Way Trip sets up the story by introducing you to the five friends you’ll learn about as you play. At the forefront of the story is Saki, a young woman engaged to Sen. The other members are couple Kanae and Kazuki, and Yuuka. After an argument late into the evening, Yuuka runs into the forest, but none of the others choose to go after him. The same night, Saki has a horrible nightmare and wakes up to find everyone gone. It’s here that the game really starts.
The game’s opening section does a great job of quickly introducing all of the characters without wasting too much time; you’ll soon find yourself in the nitty-gritty of the story. After exploring the woods a bit, you’ll come across a broken-down train. Noises and creepy laughter are some of the first spooks you’ll encounter; but as you explore things get much, much worse. Considering the game’s pixel art visuals, the horror aspects come across very well and the setting feels truly horrific.
Much of the game plays like a point-and-click adventure. You’ll move left and right through different areas, picking up items that you can later use. For example, a knife that you pick up at the beginning of the game is later used to cut down some tall grass. Unlike other adventure games though, you won’t be fumbling over obscure item combinations. So far, the puzzles have been straightforward, so you’ll not get stuck in one place for too long. After all, you’re there for the scares, not a brain workout; you don’t want to be stuck in the same three rooms trying to figure out how a pair of scissors, a magnet and some ear wax can be used to help you progress.
The scares really are great. So many horror games, like Five Night at Freddy’s for example, rely heavily on jump scares. But Re:Turn – One Way Trip makes full use of its eerie atmosphere and music to its advantage. Every location in the game so far has been dark and creepy; they genuinely will make the hair stand up on the back of your neck. If the game manages to keep that mood throughout, it might end up being one of the better horror games we’ve seen in recent years.
Re:Turn – One Way Trip is shaping up to be a brilliant horror title. It puts players right into the spooks within the first five minutes, and the tension continues to rise from there. Aside from the odd bit of awkward dialogue, there’s a lot to love here. We can’t wait to see what other scares are waiting for us in the full release.