Today the first-person mystery horror Charon’s Staircase was released for all consoles and PC in time for Halloween to give you some chills over the weekend, does it deliver? Let’s find out, but first, I would like to thank SOEDESCO and Indigo Studios for the reviewing opportunity.
Charon’s Staircase (pronounced Karen) takes place in an unidentified (presumably) Eastern European country in the 1970s that will be joining the European Union but wants the totalitarian skeleton in its closet to be erased. This is where agent “Desmond” comes in. Desmond is assigned to retrieve and destroy secret documents relating to human experiments conducted at the Oak Grove estate. Once there Desmond uncovers darker secrets he wishes to share with the world…if he survives.
Now onto the game itself! Charon’s Staircase‘s controls are limited as the game focuses mainly on exploring and puzzle-solving. The game is fully voice acted as it’s narrated at points of the game as Desmond tells his story. The soundtrack is pretty good but I think the ambient sound effects could have used some work as it did not sound as convincing as you would want it.
The graphics of the game are pretty good for the most part. As you can see above with the screen grab, the game is quite dark visually, this helps add to the mysterious surroundings we find ourselves in. The graphics overall are what you expect with an indie game but it was clear the devs did the best with what they had and effort was put into trying to un-cheapen the look.
The gameplay as mentioned above is pretty straightforward, this is an explorative narrative-style game, the most you do is interact with the environment and solve puzzles to help you explore more as Desmond narrates what he sees or has experienced. Overall the game is quite interesting to play, with some decent spooks in it that make you jump a bit. I enjoyed it but unfortunately, I think Charon’s Staircase is one of those “one and done” kinds of games as there seems to be no collecting mechanic that would make you want to go back and play it some more to unlock secrets.
If you want to play an interactive spooky story for Halloween, Charon’s Staircase is something to consider but don’t hold out for something earth-shattering. On my scale of 1-10, I give it a 6.