More of a joke than actual horror, this 3D features a few puzzles that might interest you but I do advise you wait for a price cut before acquiring it.
Developer: EastFog Studios
Publisher: EastFog Studios
Genre: 3D “Horror”/ Puzzle
Release Date: 9th of December 2016
I must’ve played at least a dozen indie horror titles on Steam, created with Unity Engine assets. Most were entirely decent and the obvious work of talented & dedicated individuals. And then there’s Root Of Evil: The Tailor, sadly. A game that should have either spent a few more months in development or at least be released under the “Early Access” label. The moment you start it, the loading screen lets players know that this is the work of a single individual and “the game will inevitably some small errors affecting the gaming experience”. Yes, you read that correctly as I quoted. Not even the disclaimer is spelled properly. And it is somehow still an understatement which never prepared me for the actual gameplay.
Where to begin? The Main Menu has no options other than audio settings. No control scheme (never mind the fact that you can’t rebind anything) or graphical tweaks. Consequently, no resolution changes can be made (at least it’s running by monitor’s native res). Vertical synchronization was implemented only after some players complained on the game’s Steam Discussions tab. I’ve never seen a 3D PC game with the “rich options” of a console title. Starting on the wrong foot indeed. You might have forgiven the technical mishaps if the story was mind-blowing. I’ll let you guess if it is, or not.
Actually no. I need to discuss at some length about that too. Not so much in terms of spoilers since the plot is so generic that even if you last watched a series or movie a decade ago, you’d still feel déjà vu. Silent protagonist Dr. James is a private eye/psychic medium out of work (who would have guessed?) that agrees to investigate an abandoned house, merely after receiving a cryptic letter from “Kate”, along with a key to the location. Once inside the lobby, the mixed attention to details shall become quite obvious. Some objects have top notch textures while others seem even more abandoned by the dev than the house itself. Among the few strong points I did find to Root of Evil, has to be the nice 3D render of an antique Singer Sewing Machine which even features wheel and needle animation. I own such a model in near-mint condition and in all my subjectivity, I couldn’t pass such a detailed video game render of a seemingly random object. At least The Tailor in this tale is a self-respecting man which knew quality when he saw it.
Too bad the gameplay is held back by technical and level design choices. Invisible walls, or more precisely unclimbable stairs and far too many locked doors. Apart from some puzzle sections, you don’t really get to explore the house except for a limited number of rooms. Even those mysteries feature zero explanation or hints. I honestly don’t know how many updates would be necessary to get this game in a decent playable state and with the many examples of Engrish (broken English), I dare not try the other languages included in Root Of Evil: The Tailor. As far as I’m concerned the game is more of a high school project than actual entertainment and it is truly sad that the developer missed even the opportunity to properly sell it at an appropriate sum. The inclusion of Achievements and Cards never represents a decisive factor for me. If that Singer wasn’t present in the game, I would have rated it even lower. So just wait for the inevitable bundle or heavy discount if you’re looking for some unintentional humor. Horror, this is not!
+ A few interesting puzzles to solve.
+ Antique Singer Sewing Machine!
+ Steam Trading Cards & Achievements.
– Severely lost in translation, along with too many spelling and grammar errors to mention.
– This title has nothing in common with the horror genre.
– Slightly overpriced, given the state in which the game presents itself.
– Lacks graphical and control settings.
All the screenshots you see above, have been taken by me in-game through the Steam Overlay.
(click on the image to see the rating explanation)