19:00, a Malay horror game with nostalgia – Health Guild News


During the pandemic, you may have witnessed the release of some Malaysian Games which won awards and nominations, including the fairly popular one Short creepy tales: 7 p.m. (19:00) created by a small local independent game developer, Cellar Vault Games.

Among other games, it is one of the few that shows Malaysian culture with locally inspired characters, which is one of its biggest attractions for players.

Intrigued by some of the 19:00 I saw online, I wanted to try it out as I liked the artistic style of the game and its Hungry Ghost Month festival setup. This is what I thought of the experience, but keep in mind that there will be minor spoilers for some parts of the game.

A Game based on 30 minute decisions

The children you will live vicariously

The game lasts approximately 30 to 40 minutes and you can play it approximately three times to explore other decision-making routes that you have not taken before. Some decisions will close, but it will ultimately lead you to the same end.

It starts with three children listening to enchanted tales of an old neighbor in the apartment complex and then separating to explore the apartment. You can play from the perspective of the 3 children as they will be exchanged along the way.

Thanks to your childish character, the game can bring back memories of childhood dramas about the little one (who at the time felt very serious and upset). As an adult, you can’t help but laugh at the immaturity that sometimes appears on the screen.

Malaysians would enjoy the family scenes of the game, such as the neighborhood Aunt coming nasi lemak and paper joss (yuan bao) being burned by the dead. For non-Malaysians, the game explains the local scenes very well.

An example would be teaching the player how nasi lemak the package is put together, as the joss papers are folded and there are small counters in the dialog box sometimes where a non-English word is used so that players can learn what it means.

Unconventional artistic style

The highlight of the game, even mentioned repeatedly in its Steam reviews, is its artistic style. While the paper-cut style has its limitations, such as restricting the animation of the characters, it adds a unique charm, especially when there are so many games that currently look realistic.

You’d think paper scraps would also mean the horror would be less pronounced than in a more realistic-looking game, but I still got stuck.

Since 7pm isn’t a very lively game, many important events don’t happen smoothly. For example, the biggest jump in the game occurred in breaks that delayed the surprise a bit. Despite this, the shock factor was still there thanks to the strange appearance of this ghost that I would not have guessed.

Overall, the rougher aspect of the paper cut style was added to the creepy factor of the environment. Accompany it with the fact that the area you need to explore is that of an old and slightly dilapidated apartment complex, and you will get an uncomfortable environment.

The way 2D clippings are made 3D in certain parts (with shadows too) is quite fascinating

It exudes an atmosphere of “worldly” horror, where the fact that everything is set in such a familiar place amplifies the restless feeling you have. The nostalgic building is likely to have passed you anywhere in the Klang Valley, and the game doesn’t forget to add details like the Grab waiters waiting for you, the typical Myvi and many more.

Even if you’re a Malaysian who didn’t grow up in this exact environment, you’re likely to still find some nostalgia in the scenes.

Anticlimatic finish and short game

Personally, I didn’t mind the over-dialogue (some didn’t matter either) to the game, because it seemed to me that it always led to discovering a mystery. But some reviewers on Steam he thought the dialogue was a bit dragged down.

However, one thing I agree with most Steam reviews is that the game was too short and there were a fair amount of unsolved mysteries. It seems like a lot of the characters in the game have their own secrets and I thought it would be fully explored.

The biggest leap in the game, of which we have never been able to know more

Unfortunately, my curiosity was unsatisfied when they only expanded on a mystery related to the old woman telling stories from the beginning. However, due to the dialogue between the characters, the result was quite predictable.

Throughout the game, I came across three ghosts, with only one I could talk to. It would have been interesting to expand on all their later stories or even just find out why they are where they are in the apartment complex.

The developers mentioned that 7PM is the first formal installment of a horror series of the anthology they make, so they may leave this information on purpose (if they pursue a sequel to this story).

The only ghost you could interact with and we don’t know too much about their background either

A recurring conclusion in his other games

Before 7pm, however, they had a similar Short Creepy Tales The long way ahead, which features a couple heading to the man’s hometown to visit their parents at midnight and using what appears to be the “enchanted” Karak Road.

During their return trip, they decide to take a shorter route and face disturbing events, but this game is not as extensive as 7pm and players can decide how much they want to get to buy the game.

The iconic paper-cutting style in these creepy games

In this game, the developers also posted many mysterious events that happened throughout the game, but did not detail why there were ghosts, or what they wanted from the couple, and so on.

Since this is a recurring conclusion in these two Short Creepy Tales games, perhaps Cellar Vault Games aims for players to come to their own reasoning. After all, some would say that horror is best when it is not told.

– // –

I would have liked to have some clues as to where I should go to the next one in case I have missed details or events I should have gone through. Perhaps the developers thought it was not necessary to do so, as in the end it was a small game.

Overall, it was a fun game with a fair amount of suspense to make it interesting enough to move on, and I would love to play the next few games that have lined up in this anthology.

Cellar Vault Games ’Grand Jury Award wins, Best Visual Art and Best Game Design at the SEA Game Awards 2020 were definitely well deserved and I look forward to seeing what else the team will create.

  • You can find out more about Short Creepy Tales: 19:00 here.
  • You can read about more games from Malaysia we wrote here.

Source link