Doorways: Chapter 1 & 2 Review

Doorways Featured

Doorways Boxart

Developer: Saibot Studios
Publisher: Saibot Studios
Platform: PC (Desura, Steam)

In the past year or so, it seems that many indie developers have been doing nothing more than riding off the successful formula of Slender. Although the Slender Man mythos itself follows a whole host of “serial stalker” tropes to begin with, many developers have latched onto the design as if it were the only way to make a horror title. Of course, it’s not, and we have a whole history of games within the genre to prove it. I say all this because Doorways does not follow that safe (and frankly, tiring) path and instead charts its own course toward creepiness.

As of right now, only the first and second chapter of Doorways are available on Steam. Together, they last from one hour to three, depending on how good or bad you are at investigating every nook and cranny to solve copious fetch quests. Unfortunately, the game is rather vague about where you need to go in conjunction with solving relatively easy puzzles. This can create some annoyances when you pass over the proper thing multiple times before finally realizing it was there all along.

Doorways Screenshot

How is that possible even for sharp-eyed gamers? Simply put: this game is dark. There are multiple ways to brighten it, both with in-game options and by tweaking your own screen. However, nothing really solves the fact that there are seriously a lot of pitch black parts of the game world. Being in the dark can no doubt be scary, and it is here as well, but leads to frustration when the player falls into an unseen cavernous drop, skips over important objects, and the like. On the plus side, dying is incredibly quick and respawns players back in the same room.

Like was stated earlier, the puzzles themselves aren’t that hard – it’s shuffling around in the darkness to find the items that is. Once you’ve got a smattering of items it is usually easy to tell how and when to use them. If you can work through the annoying aspects of Doorways though then it actually becomes a bit of a pleasant surprise.

Doorways Featured

There are just so many moments that are visually unexpected and excited my inner horror fan. The strongest example of this (and a spoiler) showcased statues in contorted, pained positions down a hallway. Of course you have to walk through them, either choosing to examine them closely or simply book it through to the other end. These touches are definitely creepy! Then there are shots that are framed perfectly to make you feel incredibly vulnerable. While the story itself doesn’t quite live up to the visual flair, the ambiance is quite nice. If only you could actually see more of it!

So, who should play Doorways? Horror fans who have dealt with cumbersome horror games before will definitely be able to handle this one. Even non-fans might be willing to work through it for the overall neat atmosphere. The main reason to hold back from a purchase is simply because the game is not yet complete. But, if you don’t mind waiting a while for the next chapters then you’ll be in for a decent Halloween-flavored treat.


Score: 3

3 out of 5 alpacas


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