Released: October 4, 2013
Published by: Ice-pick Lodge
Platform: PC, PS4
Knock-knock is a horror game centered around an insomniac who is forced to wander around his house while trying to reassure himself that nothing sinister is happening. The game was successfully funded on Kickstarter in September 2012, which allowed for its release the following year. More recently, in September of this year, the game became available on the PS4, which marks Ice-pick Lodge’s first game on a console.
What’s it about?
Knock-knock is about a cabin deep in the woods that has been home to 3 generations of lodgers. The present lodger begins to notice strange things about his once-familiar surroundings. Creepy noises are heard, things are missing and, at night, it seems that someone else has made the cabin their home, too.
The objective of the game is to stay awake and sane until dawn. You must wander the rooms and repair light bulbs, start clocks and avoid the gruesome guests that your Lodger does not want to see. You must solve the puzzle and find the answers to why everything has become so strange.
What’s the idea?
According to Ice-pick Lodge’s website, the idea came about from an anonymous email. This email challenged the team to make an unconventional game based on enclosed materials. The attached folder, titled “lestplay,” included text, audio files and video footage. The email specified that all of the files had to be used in the game, but gave them no other restrictions.
What did I think?
I had no idea what I was doing in this game. Granted, I did not know it was a puzzle game before I started playing because I was keeping myself in the dark intentionally. That being said, I’m not good at puzzle games. I couldn’t figure out what I was supposed to do. I even looked up walkthroughs that were telling me things I already knew, but not telling me how to apply that knowledge to the game. The biggest tip was that I was supposed to listen for audio clues, but I couldn’t figure out what those clues were.
Despite my personal experience and my lack of talent with puzzle games, Knock-knock is a very clever game. It’s visually stunning and absolutely terrifying. It’s an unconventional idea that turned into something amazingly beautiful. I can say that, if I had been able to get passed the 4th level, I wouldn’t have been able to put this game down (of course, I couldn’t get passed level 4 and I ended up rage quitting).
Do I recommend it?
Oh, yes. If you can solve puzzles with patience and ease, this is the game for you. Even if you can’t, you should really look into it, if only to see the design and the concept.
Watch me play it here:
Maybe I’ll watch some gameplay online and try it again. Do you think I should? Let me know in the comments!
-Vanri the Rogue