Despite being a huge scaredy-cat, I am a big fan of a lot of horror titles. Most of the time, the scariest element about these games is the atmosphere. So, you know what “atmosphere” gives us? That’s right, narrative potential. This is why I end up liking many horror-adventure titles such as Misao, Ib, and The Last Door. This is why when I saw Re:Turn – One Way Trip by Red Ego games, I was immediately intrigued as it checked all the right boxes. Luckily for me, I was able to play through the demo to see how it holds up.
Re:Turn – One Way Trip stars Saki, one of five college friends who have decided to go camping together to celebrate their graduation; after all, it’s going to be a lot harder to stay in touch after this. Moments into their trip, a verbal confrontation breaks out, and Saki notices her friends have vanished, leaving her with the only choice being to look for them. Kanae stumbles around the surrounding forest area and finds a mysterious train, abandoned and ruined, that she doesn’t remember seeing before. While any sane person would know this is the set up for a horror movie, our Kanae is different, and it’s all aboard the one way trip to some serious regrets. At least you’ll look good doing it because that visual style with the detailed sprites is impeccable, and the animated CGs here are steller.
Aboard the train, you’ll hunt down Saki’sfriends and solve simple puzzles. To solve these puzzles, you’ll have to select an item you want to use while standing next to the point of interest. They’re simple. Please do not overthink them like I did and spend an hour working out that paint thinner is used on paint. Most importantly, they’re really good at setting the mood using mysterious poems and drawings scattered around the area. Still, you don’t have to go out of your way to acquiring any extra lore as the demo was quite linear, making the puzzles more interesting as the reward for solving them progresses the narrative.
The best thing about Re:Turn – One Way Trip turns out to be the story sequences that take place every time you put a few items together as they set up potential plot points. Aside from just rescuing your friends, you’ve got a mysterious girl who shows up in your dreams, and I assume draws these cute pictures you find. You see, Saki sometimes astral projects into the past to when the train was still operational and brings items back with her as she also experiences whatever the passengers were going through at that time.
The mysteries surrounding this train fuel the adventure, but that’s not even getting into questioning what our lead’s friends are doing and how they connect to the train. After all, you can’t rescue your friends if you can’t find them. Oh yeah, and there are monsters too. I wouldn’t worry about it if you scare easily though, this title is much more about the atmosphere than the scares.
Honestly, my main joking “complaint” is that the demo is too damn short, I was totally hooked on the story concepts and wanted to find out what the deal was with everything, so I was very disappointed when it was over because I wanted more. In terms of legitimate complaints, though, there are a few parts where the scripts are slightly broken, and an entire conversation is said from one person without changing the text box name and portrait, but I’m sure that will be cleaned up for release. Also, you can’t change the aspect ratio, which kills my small laptop screen for size, but that’s not a big deal either.
Re:Turn – One Way Trip is a title with a very intriguing premise with some opening chapters that will leave you wanting more. With such a compelling set-up, this game has set some exceptionally high expectations, and I am far more excited about it than I probably should be.
Re:Turn – One Way Trip has a planned release date for October 14 on PC-via Steam.
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