Knock knock is a creepy atmospheric survival game by Russian developers Ice-Pick Lodge. Originally a PC game, it was ported over to iOS earlier in the year, and more recently Android. The game itself is wonderfully strange and very difficult to describe. Even now I am still not entirely sure what you have supposed to be doing.
The game is all about the atmosphere that it creates. It recommends at the beginning that you use headphones and turn down the light. This is not your typical game so to get the best experience you need to really play in the right conditions. When you do, the game becomes wonderfully creepy with brilliant sound effects and plenty of jumps.
Basically the game follows a freaky little fellow called Lodger who is persistently kept awake by strange goings on in his equally strange house. You begin the game knowing nothing at all and are forced to explore the house and find your own way through the plot. There are no real instructions so you just have to experiment with the environment and see what happens.
Lodger speaks in a creepy little foreign voice which just adds to the general oddness. Here lies a slight problem, however. With the game being a port it is ofter really difficult to read the on screen text. I found myself really straining my eyes in the dark and struggled to follow the onscreen text. This becomes increasingly taxing after a while of play.
In essence you task is to survive the night and make it through to sunrise. You are presented with a clock in the top left hand corner of the screen which counts down the hours but you can find clocks hidden around the house which speed this up. Controls are really simple and just consist of pressing the right or left of the screen to move Lodger, and clicking on things to engage with them. Climbing ladders can be achieved by merely swiping up on them. The same upwards swipe of the finger also activates lights in darkened rooms.
After a while of getting your bearings you start to encounter ghosts and ghouls. You have to hide from them in order to progress through the night and If you don’t succeed then you will have to start the level again, or certainly part of it. This is the main gameplay element. You have no tools or weapons, you just have to hide or run away from the baddies.
The game itself is very interesting and does a fantastic job of scaring the crap out of the player. It achieves this aim very well. The gameplay itself is also simple but can get a little bit tedious after a while. I often found myself wondering what the hell I had to do next, and the game certainly doesn’t really guide you at all. That said it is really fun to play, providing you set the mood first!
Visually everything looks great. The lighting and shadow effects work really well and everything looks super sharp on your smartphone display. I have no complaints about the visual experience at all.
If you like games with structure and purpose the Knock Knock is not for you. If on the other hand you enjoy new experiences and get kicks out of laying on the sofa with the lights out, then this is certainly the game for you!
I have enjoyed playing Knock Knock and find it has enough intrigue to keep me coming back for more.