Nun Massacre Review

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Those who grew up watching low budget horror movies on VHS may get a little nostalgic playing Puppet Combo’s Nun Massacre.

With a wafer-thin plot that sees a mother making the journey to a boarding school after receiving a letter stating that her daughter is ill, you’re in for a heart-pounding affair as you’re pursued by a nun seemingly out for your blood. Along with its low-poly visuals and VHS-style filter that crackles as the nun draws close, all the ingredients of an old-fashioned video nasty are here. And for those that can get over the fact that this doesn’t look like a game released in 2022, there’s a good time to be had with Nun Massacre.

After making your way to the boarding school, requiring you to climb up what feels like a mountain on a stormy night, Nun Massacre truly begins. And with the odds stacked against you, chances are you might die pretty quickly. When that does happen, you’ll find that you have to start all over again – there are no saves here. Thankfully though, you don’t have to make the climb to the boarding school again unless you really want to: you can skip the intro if you wish.

In the boarding school, you’ll find that the gameplay is simple but thoroughly engaging. As the doting mother, you can run, crouch and interact with a range of objects. You can pick up some items to add to your inventory, too. You might find carrying a lighter useful, for example, giving you better visibility when in the dark. Or a radar that lets you know when the nun is near. You might even want to carry a stone, which can be thrown to break objects such as panes of glass. But you need to consider that your inventory space is limited.

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There’s a Resident Evil vibe to Nun Massacre, where you need to explore until you find a roadblock, then find the required item – or items – that will allow you to get past it. The problem is, with a murderous nun always hunting you down, it’s not always so easy. You’ll need to sneak through rooms and corridors, seeking out items that will allow you to continue, keeping out of harm’s way at all costs. If the nun sees you she’ll give chase, forcing you to run and hide. Get caught, and she’ll hack at you while eliciting a horrendous scream. It’s terrifying.

The nun isn’t the only danger you need to watch out for in Nun Massacre though; numerous traps can also cut your adventure short if you’re not careful. You need to keep your wits about you, pay attention to your surroundings, and simply be vigilant. Though if you do get caught out, you just take it on the chin as part of the learning process. Nun Massacre isn’t a long game, so you don’t feel too aggrieved about having to start it again and again.

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Those who find Nun Massacre a little too challenging will be happy to hear that there’s a difficulty setting, allowing them to make the nun a bit less effective at hunting them down. The difficulty can be increased, too, for those who want to make the ordeal even more arduous. What’s more likely to put people off is the fact that it’s a little rough around the edges. The nun often behaves a little erratically, for example, and one particular trap we fell into didn’t manage to kill us, leaving us stuck with no escape.

With its old-fashioned visuals and scrappy gameplay, Nun Massacre won’t be for everyone. Horror fans going into it with an open mind, however, will soon find a place for it in their bleeding, haunted hearts. Being hunted down by the nun never fails to set your blood pumping, the screen distorting as she draws ever closer, leading to horrific screams as she charges at you. It’s truly scary – and that’s what horror is all about.

Nun Massacre Review – GameSpew’s Score

This review of Nun Massacre is based on the PS4 version, with a code provided by the game’s publisher. It’s available on PS4, Switch and PC.