In the midst of the 20th century, you assume the role as Ophelia Delaney, a young woman on a quest back to her original birthplace – Delaney Institution – to rid herself of several repressed memories developed in the past. Upon arriving at this location, Ophelia soon realizes that much has changed since her initial birth and there is much to discover within the dark, mysterious realms of this institution. As the player traverses through the vast building, solves increasingly difficult puzzles, and fights off a variety of creatures, it becomes apparent that there are plenty of secrets to be uncovered and questions to be answered. Eldervale is a definite success in my playthrough of classic, horror games!
Crafted from the ground up through the talents of solo designer Solkitte, this game presents itself as a brilliant start toward this user’s future game developments. With an initial goal in mind, Solkitte accomplished this perfectly by providing a solid early-access, survival horror game for amateur players, as well as a nostalgic, classic-horror game for veteran gamers. As a matter of fact, this game had many iconic factors that made some horror titles (e.g., Resident Evil, Silent Hill) so popular, such as the increasingly annoying camera angles and clunky player movements. Although this was a little frustrating at first, it was easily forgivable knowing that this was representative of what made previous classic horror games solid hits!
Certain aspects of this game might be criticized to harshly (e.g., lack of combat mechanics, simplicity of level design, and lack of voice-acting), but then again, it is important to remember that not all classic horror games were able to achieve these qualities in a superb manner for their respective era in which they were developed. Once again, I must tip my hat to the developer who managed to develop this game entirely independent. With little to no advertising for this title, I feel like this title should be further reached by horror fanatics and gamers alike as it pays solid homage to a bunch of recognizable titles that initially jump-started the horror genre for gaming.
In terms of gameplay, this game took me just over a few hours to complete, considering that there were a couple of times that I had died and had to restart to progress through some particular segments of the game. As for bugs, I did happen to find a few latency issues and elements disappearing from one room to the next. As of July 31st, these issues have been thoroughly assessed and corrected with a patch update, which sure lends it hand at the fact that Solkitteis receiving gamer’s feedback and criticism very well and is willing to make necessary changes to the game prior to its full release. In its current state, however, Eldervale feels quite polished and nearly complete in terms of gameplay. There are a lot of collectibles to search for and many puzzles to accomplish, which truly makes this game worth its asking price.