Indie Review: One Late Night
One Late Night, a new release developed by BlackCurtainStudio, is an indie horror game boasting a unique concept and high quality graphics. Does it succeed? You'll have to read on to find out.
- Addictive?Yes, despite numerous failures I returned continuously.
- Worth The Time?Yes, it's a high quality indie game that's also free.
- Things LovedThe extremely high quality visuals, the uniqueness of the game, the setting, the horror concept, the intrigue surrounding the ghost.
- Things HatedThere are some graphical bugs, the game can crash, saving is buggy, movement feels a little clunky, it's a bit light on active scares.
- RecommendationIf you're looking for something fresh in the horror genre, this is your game. Plus it's free, so as always you have little excuse.
- Quick ConclusionOne Late Night has a few notable issues, but it's a fresh horror experience that succeeds in achieving what it strives for. It's easy to recommend.
- Name: One Late Night
- Genre: Horror
- Players: 1
- Multiplayer: N/A
- Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux
- Developer: BlackCurtainStudio
- Publisher: BlackCurtainStudio
- Price: Free
- Reviewed On: PC
You can download the game for free here.
One Late Night, developed by BlackCurtainStudio, is a newly released indie horror game that boasts a unique concept and high quality graphics. You play as some guy unfortunate enough to fall asleep in his office, and as is the usual brand of luck in the horror genre, he finds himself locked in and all alone. Except, he’s not alone, and one of his colleagues has information on some entity that seems to be haunting the office. Stranded on your own on a stormy night in the office, it’s up to you to search it thoroughly for clues on how to beat the entity and escape. But you can’t exactly fight it, so your only option is to hide whenever it makes itself appear. This, is the basic premise of One Late Night.
The name of the game here is exploration. For a reasonably small office space, there’s quite a lot to search through, and there’s a certain order to the way you’ll proceed through the game. You’ll need to check all rooms, and give the more important ones more than one look later on, as things will appear in them as you progress. I immediately took a liking to the setting, because it’s a very normal place you’re finding yourself in. Except, it’s small, compact and with little place to hide. You’re completely vulnerable and exposed, and this is what makes the experience work as a horror title. There are some light puzzle solving elements, but most of the game is based around finding what you need in a certain order, which takes thoroughness and patience. It’s unfortunate that movement feels a little clunky, as you walk really slowly and can’t walk diagonally. You can only walk straight or strafe, so it feels a little unusual, but you get used to it just fine, and a very recent update added a short sprint to the game, so it’s alright.
While searching through the office, you’ll be taunted and hunted by a certain ghost whose appearances are punctuated with a creepy tune and Slender-style static. It will wander around the office, but if you catch it in your direct line of sight, then it will come for you. As mentioned above, you can’t fight it, so all you can do is run and hide under a desk until it decides to leave you in peace for a while. I very much liked that fact, and it made the game feel quite unique often enough. Admittedly, I wasn’t such a fan of the death screen, because it lacks any horror aspect to make you feel like getting caught was a really bad thing. I did enjoy the slight quirkiness of the game over message, but I felt it needed to be more fear-inducing. However, I will say that the ghost itself is very intriguing, and a great deal of my motivation for continuing to play was finding out more about it. All in all, the horror aspect is really enjoyable to experience, but I do wish there were more active scares outside of the ghost.
For the most part, the game is quite straightforward. There’s no voice acting, but helpful text prompts from the main character keeps you on the straight path and you always have a clear idea of what your objective is. The work comes in finding where what you need is, and that requires you to search as best as you can. The catch is that you only have moments out in the open before the ghost returns, and you’ll have to hide as fast as you can. It presents an interesting dynamic that keeps you on your feet, because you can’t get too comfortable out in the open and will need to make sure that you know the quickest route to a hide spot at all times. Even this, however, isn’t completely foolproof, because you might just be unfortunate enough to see the ghost pop up right where you planned on going, or very near to you. This is all part of what keeps the game entertaining, and I applaud the execution.
Graphically, One Late Night is stunning. Built on the Unity engine, the game features high quality visuals and is packed with fantastic detail, and it really is hard to believe sometimes that it’s a free indie game. An enormous amount of effort went into this aspect of the game, and that’s evident from the fact that there’s even a DirectX 11 version available. I do have a minor nitpick unfortunately, and that’s that there are some visual bugs in the game like clipping issues, where your hand goes through walls if you get too close. It’s just a small blemish on an otherwise gorgeous game. The audio work is also really well done. I’m not sure if it was just me, because I didn’t see any other complaints about it, but I couldn’t get the save feature to work on either the standard or DirectX 11 version of the game, because whenever I loaded my save I fell clean through the floor. This is a very short game so it wasn’t heart-breaking, but it was puzzling. The final criticism I have is that my game crashed on two occasions when I got cornered by the ghost and it refused to go away after spotting me despite me going into hiding.
One Late Night has a few notable issues, but in the end it’s a definitely a fresh horror experience that succeeds in achieving what it strives for. The flaws it has are overshadowed by what it does really well. It’s easy to recommend, especially considering that it’s free and it’s really a high quality game.