Nun your business
It’s Great to See Puppet Combo’s Abridged Horror Experiences reach a wider audience. house of murder was the first to land on consoles and Massacre of the nuns sort of stopped on mobile devices. Now, Massacre of the nuns is making its way to consoles.
It is one of his most popular titles among his fanbase. It’s distilled Puppet Combo. house of murder may have stayed pretty close to the survival horror formula, but Massacre of the nuns is the lo-fi slasher horror it’s best known for. However, there’s a lot to know about Puppet Combo before you decide to take the plunge.
I think I figured out why I like slasher games. Video games have lost the ability to scare me, but when faced with the literal embodiment of a losing state in a game, it’s hard not to panic. I mean, it even worked in retro games. Look Sinister.
Massacre of the nuns presents you as an unhappy parent who is alerted to the illness of his child. Like any wise parent, you sent them as far as possible to a Catholic boarding school. Still, somehow they’ve found a way to interrupt your bath, and you have to go… better kiss them? You go to boarding school, then find yourself being stalked by a nun with a knife.
Thus, the goal is to unravel the mystery of the creepy boarding school and try not to die. Like, for example, why is it abandoned? What happened here? Who chose to build it in a place surrounded by cliffs? Say what you will about playground safety, I think I draw the line at which a child can reach terminal velocity.
What follows is a PS1 game that didn’t exist but would have been awesome if it did. Visuals embrace console limitations and puzzles feel like they’re ripped off silent Hill Where resident Evil. Everything looks jagged, textures get distorted, and you have to find a gear to be able to set a clock for some reason.
What would have been great on the PS1 still is today. I think. Full disclosure: I still play PS1 games and think they’re awesome. However, I will give you a few details right away that might dissuade you.
You will probably die. When you do, you start over. The Nun can kill you, sure, but she’s not as deadly as some of the insta-kill traps you can easily fall into. Some are obvious and you feel stupid falling in love with them, others you get into. Given that Massacre of the nuns is a game that requires exploration and experimentation, getting killed and starting over because you explored the wrong hole is never fun.
Fortunately, Massacre of the nuns is a rather short game. If you know what you’re doing, you can probably get through it in less than half an hour. It just seems odd that the main gameplay loop is to try and wander the protagonist in complete clairvoyance.
There are also a few puzzles in the game that are quite obtuse. The one that bothered me is that something in the environment says you need a wrench, which you never find. Instead, you come across a hex key, which I know better as an Allen key, but is also known as an Allen key. key. Massacre of the nuns could have just called him that to improve his communication and clean up his nomenclature, but fuck you.
However, this kind of game in Massacre of the nuns meat and potatoes. You’re supposed to wander around the school, looking for silly objects in the dark, as that gives the nun time to hunt.
She sees you, then there’s screams and the sound of a line of fire engines falling into an elevator shaft. Then you run and try not to hit a dead end. The nun can follow you everywhere, including through air vents, so don’t think that will save you. If she sees you ducking under a bed, you’re done. Luckily, she’s… not that smart. His AI has a number of interesting routines, like hiding while waiting. However, I never saw her react to the lighter, and I once walked past a room where she was looking out the door and she never reacted. Alien: Isolationit’s not, but chances are you wouldn’t think that when the nun comes running at you.
New difficulty options have been added for the console version if you find the nun too ineffective. Also, if you are wondering; yes, you can disable the CRT filter. When the nun is nearby, the fake VHS tracking goes crazy, and you can turn it off too. There’s also an option to turn on jump alerts, but you can’t turn off whatever your imagination conjures up. Still, it’s fine to adjust the game to your own tolerances.
Massacre of the nuns is effective horror in a small package. Say what you want about the sometimes obtuse puzzles or how shitty it is to start over when you die, but this nun will really get your blood pumping.
The Slasher Horror Genre Isn’t As Sparse As It Was When Massacre of the nuns was first released in 2018, but it’s surprising how well it holds up today. Its effort to build tension, the sound design that lets you look over your shoulder, and its simple yet confusing environment make for a harrowing adventure.
However, not everyone will accept its more retro leanings. Even beyond the barrier of horror, Massacre of the nuns is a rather hostile game. I guess if you’ve gotten used to the more accommodating nature of modern games, this might be a tough sell. For anyone who’s okay with a little tough love with their terror, Massacre of the nuns is a unique and entertaining experience. It makes the switch to console admirably. It’s perhaps better suited to the Switch, since you can play it on the toilet and it’s not too bad if you pee a little.
[This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]