Amazing sound design
Not a lot here.
Not much replay value.
Knock-knock is one of those unique games that makes the player question why they are playing something this odd, but at the same time they don’t want to stop quite yet. There is a charm and a low-level addiction to the experience that makes one want to continue, you want to find out what that bump in the dark was, you want to reach out and touch the box-headed women sitting in the room with you. Such is the experience with Knock-knock, turn out the lights, play alone with a headset turned up and have some fun with your horror this Halloween season.
Knock-knock tells the story of a young man living in an old house in the woods. The house is ancient and filled with things that really do go bump in the night. These bumps cause you, the player, to awake from your slumber to discover what is really happening with this haunted house. Eventually you will run into the cause of such issues that plague your mind. Other dimensions, freaky monsters, and your own paranoia will play a part in this story as you work to uncover the mystery.
The game plays quite simply, allowing the player to control everything with a few keys at most. You will walk the length of the house with your lit candle, fixing light bulbs here and there, and climbing ladders over here, all while searching for clues. But you are not alone; you will soon discover something within the walls watching you, literally. Other dimensions will pop up, leading you to a long hallway that leads on and on for seemingly forever. You can choose to rid yourself of these portals before they turn into something worse simply by turning the light on in the room before anything finds its way through. Should something make it through to the real world you will need to hide behind one of the very scarce objects within the house. This will allow the monster to pass you by after a short searching period, leaving you unscathed for the time being.
Knock-knock has a beautiful art style, almost cartoony. While this could be argued that it leads away from the fear aspect of a horror game, it actually helps the mood. Your character is as creepy looking as the monsters wandering the halls. The world doesn’t look like a serious place, but the tone of the story clashes together with the art style to create something in between, not quite horrific but not quite peaceful either.
Knock-knock sounds wonderful. The voices are reminiscent of The Sims. But the star of the sound side of the game is the knocking. The creepy, random knocking that occurs when something has made its way into the house. This noise is enough to make you jump a little and take a look around the darkness in your room. It is unnerving to say the least and quite well done.
The sad thing about Knock-knock however is that once you beat the game there is no real inclination to repeat the process. If you beat it that is. Wandering from room to room, fixing the lights over and over can get tedious and some will not complete the game for lack of something more intense going on. This will deter some people from buying the game, those looking to get more bang out of their buck. While it is a fun experience there just isn’t enough here to keep you coming back for more day after day. You could play it over a weekend and be done with it, allowing it to sink into your ever-growing Steam list.
Overall, the core gameplay, art style, and sound design save Knock-knock. But the story will not keep your attention and if you’re looking for more or a longer experience in terms of gameplay, this isn’t for you. Knock-knock will have a group of fans that will absolutely love it; it’s that type of game, to have a cult following. It just isn’t for everyone.