Sally Face is a stylised horror adventure game with a lot of charm. The story so far, is being unravelled through episodes; a common trend for indie game developers today. But, this game has for the most part carried it well. A young boy caught up in a world of chaos and murder and accused of a crime that he may or may not have committed. A compelling story that has a lot to offer any intrepid gamer and a fitting style for the genre. With only two episodes out, I still wanted to give an overall review of what we have seen so far.
Storyline – Episode 1
Sal, or Sally Face, is a mystery of a boy. Straight away, it is made obvious to us that he has had a traumatic past. His mother is dead and we are left wondering what is happening. Sal also wears a full face prosthetic mask. This only adds to the mystery that is Sally Face. After the death of his mother, his father moves them to a new state and home. The Addison Apartments. A place that is also filled with mystery but also murder. When Sal arrives, he discovers that a woman has been murdered in the apartment next to his. Making quick friends with one of his neighbours, Larry, they set about trying to solve the murder. Along the way, Sally discovers more strange things about the building in which he now resides. Strange figures appearing, a red-eyed black mass that stalks the corridors.
Storyline – Episode 2
In the following episode, we find out more about Larry and his past. How his dad just disappeared one day. So, Sally Face, being the good friend, decides to help him figure out what happened. But, he also starts to uncover more about the dealings within the Addison apartments. A strange cult; innocent ghosts and a mystery shrouded in doubt. As we discovered in the first episode, Sally is about to go on trial, many years after the events we play. His story is not yet finished, but will Sal be able to return to the apartments before all hell breaks loose? We shall have to wait and see.
The first two episodes offer slightly different gameplay aspects. Although both include puzzle solving and typical adventure game play style, episode two did try something different. In the second part of the story, we find ourselves more focused on using the Gear Boy. This is something that Sal receives in the first episode. I quite enjoy puzzle games on the whole. Mostly, I enjoy them when they aren’t overly complicated. I definitely think the main focus of Sally Face is the story telling so I’m glad the creator didn’t try to over complicate the gameplay. However, it is not always obvious as to what you are supposed to do next. There were a couple of occasions in both games, where I found myself wondering around for too long. It would be nice to see some different elements in further episodes but it has been enjoyable so far.
Graphics and Sound
The graphic style of Sally Face is striking. It has a very distinct look about it that is reminiscent of Fran Bow. That hand drawn style is a favourite of mine and I honestly believe it works for this type of game. The sound for both games is decent enough. It would have been nice to get more sound effects and/or music for both episodes. However, some of the sound effects were well implemented. I thought effect of the ghosts appearing and disappearing was a fantastic; both visually and audibly. Sound can give a real sense of place which is why it would have been nice to have more. But, overall, not too shabby.
You can play Sally Face with either a keyboard and mouse or with a controller. This is a nice touch that some indie developers forget to implement in their games. It plays fairly smoothly too. There are no weird keys to press for certain actions which is something I’ve noticed in more indie games (e.g Press “C” for inventory.) The only issue I had with the controls was when playing the Gear Boy game in episode two. The controls are super sensitive and there is a slight delay in the movement of the character on screen. This makes is especially difficult when trying to navigate the maze of spikes in some of the levels. I am quite a patient person when it comes to video games but even this was annoying for me. It did feel like an accomplishment when I did finally make it through though so that’s something.
It’s a fairly simple game to be honest. Other than getting lost with some objectives, there isn’t much else to say about it. If you aren’t good with puzzle or adventure games, I would not recommend this. But, even then, this game doesn’t over complicate things.
You could definitely play this through again, especially if we have to wait another nine months to see episode three. If you were like me and didn’t manage to find every little secret the first time around, you may want to play it again. Other than that, I wouldn’t say it had great replayability at this stage. Perhaps, when we have all the episodes available, it would be great to play them all through again, one after the other. But, like I say, the only other reason you may want to play them again is because we may have to wait a while for the next one. Since it had been nine months between episodes one and two, I needed a refresher of the story and some of the characters. But, that would be the only reason I would play them again.
Get Sally Face on Steam now – Episode 1 & 2