PAX East brings the big name for games to showcase the recently released, upcoming, and works in development. But my favorite parts of PAX are the wonderful Indie games that are out there and available to play, like the one that I found from Authentic Illusions, Arbor Sheep, and Games Starter: Realm Walk of Soul. Realm follows the story of Iris who finds herself in a waking nightmare. In a world that is full of the creepy dolls, scary landscapes, and ominous omens abound, Iris (and the player), must work her way through various challenging puzzles in order to find her way back to “normal” life and reality.
Visually, the game reminded me of a Japanese horror film, mixed with reminiscences of Resident Evil monsters and a haunting soundtrack, like that in Silent Hill, that gave me chills. All of these elements come together in a game that, with very little dialogue, tells a clear and concise story that isn’t overburdened by cut-scenes and allows the player to become completely enveloped in the story. The game-play is fairly easy to pick up and has very few requirements in terms of controls, making the game easy to pick up for people who are not used to playing games. The difficulty of the game comes with the various types of puzzles that are in place to allow Iris to move through the world. Now full disclosure here: I am not good at puzzles and I typically will give up after a few tries if I can’t get the puzzle figured out. But Realm kept me entertained with the puzzles and, while the puzzles were challenging, they were not impossible. That was the beauty of Realm to me while I was playing it. The game does not present you with an impossible task or mission. All the puzzles that are in the game can be figured out with some thought and effort.
Overall, I very much enjoyed my time playing Realm Walk of Soul for the whole experience it provided me, the player. The horror aspect of this game is very present and had me shrieking and chiding away from certain places because of what was lurking in the shadows. The puzzles were difficult and provided a challenge to the player, but did not detract from the overall atmosphere of the game. Lastly, the art, story, and sound together, presents to the player a game that is visually appealing and really aids in telling the story without heavy and obtrusive dialogue. The game trailer is available to watch here, but Realm Walk of Soul is available now on Steam for PC and Mac, PS4, and PSVita.