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Insanity

Insanity
  • Release Date: Jan. 2013
  • Publisher: Playflock
  • Developer:
  • Genre: Action & Horror
  • Official Site

Insanity is a new horror-themed action RPG that casts you into an unknown mental hospital. It is in the same vein with the classic text-based role-playing titles and depicts a scary world full of violent lunatics and cruel doctors.

Insanity

Insanity starts quite directly without any prelude to explain the backdrop. Perhaps the leading screen with its blood-stained, knife-grabbing nurse and a pale avatar in torn clothing inside a dilapidated room are self-explanatory, leaving any textual scripts redundant. The poor avatar is the role for players, a newcomer without knowing his/her identity, whereabouts and current situation. And the nurse will explain the basics with a short tutorial: visit the store to purchase a new piece of clothing, get familiar with the hospital map, do some dirty jobs to earn some coins, and fight the first battle against a violent doctors in the underground, buy and use boosts in fierce combat, and take pills to increase both aggression and insanity. After that, players are left alone.

Alone in the abandoned room. The dullness may drive a lunar to engage himself in something. To get another article of clothes or a cool tattoo at the collarbone? Not enough coins in stock. To have a good fight in dark places? Not enough coins to buy boosts needed to defeat strong lunatics and Berserk Bosses. So work before pleasure. To earn money, players need to find jobs to do, consuming Endurance (similar to energy) in exchange for a few coins, XP and occasional items like bandage and collar that can be stashed to make collection and also required to access certain areas. It’s not fun to just push the task button, especially when the job types are also limited. It’s when the lack of a storyline takes its toll. An engaging story breathes life into text-based games; without it, the entire gameplay is lifeless despite the great audio and visual effects.

Life is hard for newcomers. They don’t have other choice but to spend energy on working first unless they are willing to buy a comfy life with hard currency. Clothing aside, they need coins to purchase weapons, pills and boosts to defeat other inmates and Bosses (though the reason for fighting is unclear) and win XP, coins and rating. Battle is turn-based, in which only opponent is shown while the player is represented by a mere fist. Rule is simple: whoever drains rival’s health wins. But the battle against Bosses is a little different in that it has a timer giving players more time to get the help in need, calling a friend or purchasing boosts, when they already run out health.

Except working and fighting, the game doesn’t have something more interesting to offer. The hospital map contains three departments for now, with the two only accessible when players arrive at required levels. In the new area, however, the main gameplay is not much different from the before.

Insanity is a casual game easy to pick up, but fails to provide hooking depth to explore. It has the suitable bloody scene and great animation in and out of the battle screen. Even in the room, the horror atmosphere is enveloping with the vague image and hand prints on the window as if someone is stalking you as well as the frequent groaning and screaming voices floating from afar. But graphics and sound effects solely can’t make a great game. The scary presentation is inviting, but the game needs a good story to sustain the appeal of darkness and insanity.

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