Synopsis: The protagonist is a small abandoned child, searching for answers in a world of dark fairy-tales and death.
Story: The setting is creepy and the pacing is good: the dialogue suffers a little from being translated, however it is readable and delivers all the required plot and information needed to move forward. The main characters are intriguing enough to warrant investing more time in it, however it does feel a little clichéd in places.
And then we reach the end of this chapter: it has a great lurch into surrealism, almost as if David Lynch had just stepped in: it is quite powerful and worth reaching.
Gameplay: You will continue to die a lot initially. Puzzles require searching for specific items then proceeding to the ‘live or die’ point. Gameplay mainly consists of exploring everything and moving onward – which is fine, but not particularly inspiring.
However, the setting contains a ton of gothic atmosphere, some nasty little sudden-death ambushes and sufficient save-game points spread around enough to avoid frustrating the player. The puzzles themselves are a little linear, very ‘key-door’, with little initial payoff; but this is then compensated by some really nice scene-changes – the train ride being my personal favourite.
Look and feel: There is not too much music, but what there is suits the lonely atmosphere. The graphics are a little uneven but good overall: the bright nursery colours soon give way to dark and hellish imagery.
Summary: As a demo, it shows great promise at being a great full game.
It seems a difficult first-chapter to write as the payoff happens right at the end, but it is a worthwhile journey and sets up the next chapter beautifully.
I think it is going to be great to know what happens next, so would rate it 3.5 / 5.0 and recommend everyone put aside an hour to explore a truly dark place.