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A darker place, December 2, 2020
A Calling of Dogs is a choice-based horror / thriller by Arabella Collins, published in 2020. In it, youíre a woman who is being held captive in a cage. Interacting with your kidnapper and (Spoiler - click to show)thinking about how to escape or gruesomely murder him make up most of your choices inside the game.
The tone of the game is intense and unpleasant. The slightly rambly and at times very graphic writing creates an impression of a feverish thought process where itís mainly hatred that keeps one sane. I thought the characterization of both the hero and the villain worked well - I was always interested in seeing what would happen next in the story.
The game has an ambiguous lack of polish. The writing has a lot of typos and odd turns of phrases, but that might be an intended part of the expression here to create that aforementioned feverish, raw feeling. However, I did find one softlock too, which is a bit harder to defend. (Spoiler - click to show)During day three, right after being let out of the cage, I examined one of the choices twice. This resulted in a dead end with no more choices appearing.
While the game is short - only around 15 minutes - it has some significant branching paths and therefore replay value, in case you want to relive this harrowing scene. Itís simply a potent experience, if you donít mind entering a darker place for a moment.