Decay: The Mare Image
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  • Summary: In this psychological horror game, you play as Sam, an addict who has found himself in the metal institution Reaching Dreams. Hoping to kick his habit and sort his life, something goes terribly wrong and he becomes lost in an endless nightmare. [Xbox.com]
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  1. Oct 20, 2017
    70
    Decay – The Mare is another unusual, strange quirky game to enter the Xbox One library of misfits.
  2. Oct 13, 2017
    60
    Decay: The Mare is the story of a game of 'Xbox Live Indie Games program' that became big and took the leap to the next generation. A mixture of terror and adventure that will catch your eye with its surrealistic storyline, despite its outdated visual appearance.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 3
  2. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Dec 27, 2017
    8
    I really enjoyed this game. There is a really good story and creepy atmosphere and a lot of good puzzles to solve. I think for the price youI really enjoyed this game. There is a really good story and creepy atmosphere and a lot of good puzzles to solve. I think for the price you get a lot of game play and I was entertained and curious about what would happen next throughout. Highly recommend this game. Expand
  2. Jan 2, 2018
    7
    I love unusual and strange games that don’t follow the usual formula of the many games out there, and that’s exactly what Decay: The MareI love unusual and strange games that don’t follow the usual formula of the many games out there, and that’s exactly what Decay: The Mare offers you. To say this game offers you a unique experience is an understatement, and the main reason it feels so unique is because of the story. The story is captivating from the get go and it never stops being captivating because the writing is so good. I would however have liked to have been in fear more, but unfortunately you never feel like something is going to happen to you. I will say though that when the game ended I was definitely left with a satisfying feeling and the twist at the end is something I wasn’t expecting, which is great. If you like difficult puzzles then this game has plenty. Some of the puzzles in the game are very creative and that keeps things interesting, but I do think some of the puzzles will put some people off because they’re rather difficult. My biggest gripe with the game was the controls. The controls just felt finicky way too many times and I must admit that they frustrated me quite a bit especially when I wanted to click on a specific area. The presentation side of the game is something that I found to be very enjoyable. The visuals and sound design work together in perfect harmony to create an eerie and strange experience, and without a doubt they do a wonderful job of enhancing the gameplay. At the end of the day if you feel like trying something different then I fully recommend you give Decay: The Mare a try. It’s far from being perfect and it does have its problems, but I appreciate all of the effort that’s gone into the story and in the end it gave me a very good experience. It also stayed with me after I completed it which is rare in games these days, and for that reason alone it gets a thumbs up from me. Expand
  3. Oct 13, 2017
    5
    Years back when I got my first smartphone, which wasn’t anything nearly as developed as what we have today, I purchased a mobile game based onYears back when I got my first smartphone, which wasn’t anything nearly as developed as what we have today, I purchased a mobile game based on Silent Hill. It featured a creepy atmosphere and while not nearly as good as its console counterparts, I trudged through the game. Looking back on it, the game was a complete mess. Why am I talking about this mobile game from a decade ago you ask? Well, Decay: The Mare is essentially the same game with a bit more story and depth added.

    The game tells the tale of Sam, who has recently been institutionalized. After a brief cut scene which sets a creepy tone, you are given control of Sam in his locked room. With no option but to take the medicine and go to bed, you will awake in the room with some mild changes. While not completely out of the ordinary, you can tell something is off. You’ll spend the following 3 chapters navigating the asylum in a point and click adventure. The story was written well enough to keep me engaged, but the overall presentation is lacking. There is very little voice work featured in this game, and when it is present, you wish it wasn’t because it sounds like the actor is channeling Ben Stein with his painfully slow and bland delivery.

    Being a point and click adventure, I wasn’t expecting any tense firefights or the need to run for my life and hide, but there isn’t much of anything to do here. You’ll spend approximately 3 hours wandering the halls of the asylum interacting with objects and solving the occasional puzzle. While most of these were challenging enough, many only required looking at the room from a specific perspective. You’ll also come across reports or notes left by other inhabitants of the world; most of these were illegible with no option to zoom.

    The game essentially plays like a slide show of well-designed and heavily detailed scenes from early Silent Hill entries. It’s akin to when you found and examined an item and it would zoom in showing detail with text at the bottom explaining what you were looking at from the character’s perspective. While I did say well designed, this is comparing them to a game from over a decade ago, so you can draw your own conclusions from this statement. Every single scene of this game either feels lifted straight from the series or a direct nod to them, from the otherworldly atmosphere to the jiggling door knob sound effect with the text notification letting you know “The door is jammed.”

    You’ll occasionally come across a brief cut scene featuring some unsettling images, but again, nothing terrifying or remotely close to the scares that can be found in other horror offerings. These come off like cheap imitations capitalizing on the Silent Hill fame years after the fact, but look no better, and in some cases worse than the original cinematics on the PlayStation. Yes, I compared the graphics to a circa 1994 PlayStation game.

    The controls are very basic and easy to become accustomed to, making this a game that a player of any skill level can pick up and play. Sadly, the execution how you move Sam through the asylum is extremely lacking and confusing. Regardless of which direction you enter a room with multiple paths, you will always face the same direction. This was a huge issue toward the beginning of the game when I was trying to backtrack through a wing of the dilapidated building after acquiring a piece required for a puzzle. I bounced between 2 rooms no less than 20 times. At first, I thought the game was messing with me psychologically, similar to Layers of Fear (review available to read on the Garage Band Gamers site). Nope, it was simply a horrid design choice. While not the worst mechanic I have had the joy of learning to deal with, this was not something that was easy to get used too.

    While some would argue this point, I feel that Silent Hill was the grandfather of the survival horror genre. The genre has evolved into many sub-genres since its inception; most horror games released since have borrowed aspects from it with varying degrees of success, so comparisons are inevitable. I feel like this borrows top heavily from the series and does not feature enough unique scares. If you’re looking for something spooky that doesn’t require the quick reflexes that other horror games do, this is for you. For the rest of the horror community, this will leave you yearning for something with a little more meat to sink your teeth into.
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