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Stay Out of The House(2022)(Review)

A few weeks ago, I brought you a review on a creepy low-poly game from independent studio Puppet Combo titled “Bloodwash”. It was a lot of fun and took full advantage of its low-textured animation to create an investing & creepy, yet super short, experience. I had such a fun experience that I decided to purchase another game of theirs to play while spooky season was building and building.

Enter: ‘Stay Out of the House’

‘House’ is yet another low-poly experience, but this one has a much bigger “world” within it. You play as Roxanne, a woman on the road with your man when he pulls over at a rest stop to urinate. You close your eyes and wake up sometime later realizing he hasn’t finished yet. As you go to see what’s taking him so long, you find he’s missing and his wallet is on the ground behind the building. This takes you along a rather long path through corn fields and buildings until you reach what is ultimately named “The House.”

As you approach the house, you are knocked out. You awake locked inside of a dog cage in a room with a television blaring evangelist messages. As you make your way out, you find a minimal amount of tools (such as a lighter, a screwdriver, a revolver with only a single bullet) that grow increasingly more useful the further you go. The game is an extensive series of unlocking doors, crawling through air vents, and figuring out the layout of the building as you find a way to escape – all the while you are being hunted by a masked man known as “The Butcher”. He squeals and groans loudly as he chops up body parts on a table in his office, meanwhile his Grandma is rolling around the downstairs in a wheelchair. If either of them see you, they sprint and viciously hunt (well, Grandma doesn’t, but she screams and immediately summons The Butcher). You can die in as easy as two or three hits depending on your difficulty.

It’s a high-intensity game that requires you to be quiet and patient as you traverse obstacles, booby traps, a constant prowl, and many surprises. Will you find a way to escape out of the front door? Or how about that weird metal door you found down in the basement? Or maybe, just maybe, there’s a window you can reach and climb out to reach the road. Ultimately, the decision is yours – which allows the game to reward multiple playthroughs.

It’s broken into 4 main acts – Night Shift, Prologue, The House, and Bunker. Bunker is an optionable act that you can completely avoid if you wish, but this game does allow 4 different endings depending on the choices you’ve made and the paths you’ve traversed. The final act adds some very interesting lore that changes how you perceive the entire story, while the randomness of the achievements give you different angles to play from.

It’s a super fun, intense, and genuinely scary time that can be challenging and frustrating – but very rewarding. While it’s nowhere near the camp of Elden Ring or games of that ilk, it does have ways to make you replay the same segment for hours at a time if you’re not careful.

Enter the house if you dare, but mind your step.

“Stay Out of the House” is currently available on PC & all current-gen consoles.

‘Til Next Time,
Mike Cleopatra

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