[Review] Re:Turn – One Way Turn – Nintendo Switch

  • Developer: Red Ego Games
  • Publisher: GMG Publishing
  • Release Date: November 7th, 2020
  • Price: $11.99 / £9.99
  • Code provided by GMG Publishing

Introducing: Re:Turn – One Way Turn Switch Review

Halloween maybe over, but that doesn’t mean that the scares ever stop. If you’re a fan of Japanese horror, then this game is definitely one for you. I grew up watching Japanese Horror like Ringu, Grudge, and even more modern Asian horror like “I saw the Devil”. This game is very very reminiscent of those sorts of horror movies.

Next Stop: Horrorsville

The game starts off with a group of five young adults in the woods on a camping trip (typical) before they all go their separate ways after college, to get married or what have you. The game stars Saki and along with her friends Yuuta, Kazuki, Kanae, and her fiancé Sen. If you can’t already tell, this game as mentioned earlier, is deep seated in Japanese culture and takes place in a modern setting. So yeah, you and your friends are camping when suddenly and mysteriously your campfire goes out. So you have to find firewood.

On your way back from gathering firewood Saki finds a note confessing their love for her and she immediately assumes its from her fiancé Sen. Sen denies this allegation and it instantly turns the group against each other as Sen suspects another of the friends of trying to steal his fiancé. The suspected friend runs off, they decide to let him blow off steam and they go to sleep. One thing I’ll add, is after a little while I really started getting invested in the characters as you get a pretty good look at each characters dynamic and how they truly feel about each other in their friend group. Your character wakes up to an earthquake and her friends missing and so she decides to try to find her friends when she happens upon a derelict train. This is where the game mostly takes place – on a run down train that has definitely seen better days.

Become the Master of Unlocking — Literally

This game is a single player 2-D sidescrolling adventure game. When you go to pick up the firewood as mentioned earlier, this is pretty much where the game tries to introduce you to the idea of picking objects up and then using them on something else akin to old school adventure games like Sam and Max Hit the Road or the Monkey Island series. Due to the way the game was done, there’s no combining of items in your inventory or the typical “Look”, “Walk”, “Instantly Win” commands although helpfully when you get close to something you can interact with then a magnifying glass shows up letting you know that you can do something with it. Likewise, when you come up to a person you can talk to then you’ll get a little speech bubble. This actually makes the game fairly linear in the fact that you’ll spend a lot of time going from place to place trying to figure out what to interact with next and instead of blindly tapping A nonstop to find things to interact with – you’ll get that magnifying glass and instantly think “okay so where does this fall within my next puzzle?” but keep in mind that not everything you can interact with holds significance.
The next thing to talk about are the puzzles. At the beginning of the game the puzzles are pretty standard and can be easily deduced, but as time goes on some of the puzzles are EXTREMELY obtuse and make you really think hard about the solution. The game loves throwing puzzles at you where all you get is a hastily drawn diagram and you then have to figure out what’s going on. For example, very early on in the game there’s a door with a lock. Simple enough right? Get the key. However, this lock is a combination lock and you get two options – Left or Right. You have to figure out which specific combination will unlock this door. Before that however, you have to clear “red paint” off the door to get your first clue. Once you do that – you have to find a diagram of these hanging dolls with a haiku and use this to unlock the door with the combination, however due to the way it’s worded and how utterly confusing the clue on the door is, you may find yourself stuck at this point. I know I did. I eventually just starting pressing left and right randomly, but unfortunately the numbers were against me on that one. I eventually figured it out by really looking at the clues but it made the game frustratingly longer.

Seeing the Gory Sights and Sounds

I found the art and setting itself very engaging and there were some legitimately creepy and shockingly gory moments in the game where I was completely caught off guard and had to be sure no little eyes were walking by. What makes this even worse is – when there’s a particularly brutal scene, that’s when they decide to hand draw it to really get across the brutality and awfulness of the situation. The sounds and music in the game definitely add to the atmosphere and I highly highly recommend wearing headphones to really immerse yourself in the sound design. The music definitely reminded me of music you’d find in a typical Japanese horror movie and I never found it distracting or bad – but it was just enough to keep it from being just silent for most of the game.

Relatively Pain Free Experience

During my playtime with the game, I can’t say I ran into any bugs or issues. It’s a 2D sidescroller – so it plays pretty much identically in either handheld or docked. My thing is, I enjoy games more in handheld since the power of the Switch lends itself well to it. My personal opinion is to play it on handheld – especially if you have kids as there’s some pretty terrifying moments.

Last Stop…Game Over

My closing thoughts are that I enjoyed the story and characters of this game, along with the atmosphere it puts forth. I wasn’t a huge fan of the puzzles – some were really fun to figure out, but a lot of them were incredibly obtuse and difficult to decipher. If you’re a fan of Japanese horror, and horror in general and you want something with a nice creepy atmosphere and beautifully done 2D sprites and hand drawn artwork, then this might be the next game for you to check out. Be warned though – if you have no difficulty with the puzzles, you can get through the game in probably a few hours.

PROS

  • Beautiful 2D Sprite artwork / Hand drawn artwork
  • Great Storyline
  • Interesting Character Development

CONS

  • Obtuse and Difficult Puzzles
  • Short Length

Verdict

Re:Turn – One Way Turn uses Asian Horror movies of yesteryear to craft a well done story that will definitely be worth playing in the dark.

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