Return to the Forest House

by Seciden Mencarde

Episode 2 of the Forest House series
Horror
2008

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
The Forest House is back! And this time it's personal… more so., November 29, 2010
by Wade Clarke (Sydney, Australia)
Related reviews: ADRIFT 3.8, ADRIFT, horror

The child who was a child in the original The Forest House is now a teenager, and he (you) is dropped immediately into the eponymous house and confronted with monster and spook-shaped danger.

This game has little nods to Resident Evil (a shotgun on hooks on the wall) and Silent Hill (alternate realities with consequences for real realities) and considering the game's small size, it packs in quite the bite-sized adventure. It's probably the best designed and best to play of the three Forest Houses, in spite of being written in three hours and also subject to the OddComp 2008 restrictions on the number of allowable rooms, objects, tasks, events, and characters... (Spoiler - click to show)In this game's case, 7, 9, 11, 5 and 3 respectively.

These restrictions manifest primarily in the extreme lack of look-at descriptions for objects. You still can't get away with looking at nothing though, as there are a few objects which must be examined to enable progress.

The score system seems bizarre at first glance, being broken up into blobs of 17 points, but again this makes sense when you remember the game's comp bias towards odd numbers. One character is completely inscrutable, and though (Spoiler - click to show)the game has a couple of endings, trying to work out how to get whichever one you didn't get the first time may prove to be a hair-pulling experience. The inbuilt hints work well at all other times.

A higher-tech revision of this game would be welcome (though it might end up breaking the odd number patterns that determined most of its design), but instead what comes next is For3st House: Sacrifice, the most ambitious and craziest -- but also the most half-undernourished (?!) -- Forest House to date.