Mixed or average reviews - based on 46 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 46
  2. Negative: 2 out of 46
  1. Feb 14, 2016
    The true masterpiece is the endless struggle to create art. Jump scares and predictable tricks in horror games won't work anymore. The story of the artist is intriguing while still making you feel tense and uneasy about what you see. Layers of Fear made story, gameplay, and atmosphere work together in harmony.
  2. Feb 15, 2016
    Truly, Layers of Fear is a masterpiece to behold. Buy it. Play it. Buy it and have a friend play it while you watch if you’re faint-of-heart.
  3. Apr 10, 2016
    An imaginative and exquisite horror gem, wrapped up in Victorian madness and medieval art. Traits that might normally be denounced in other games, like the length and low interactivity, only serve to accentuate its dread. Bloober has crafted a delightful nightmare.
  4. PC PowerPlay
    Apr 7, 2016
    Sparse with its controls, Layers of Fear nonetheless delivers a rich, immersive, and - most importantly - really bloody scary game. [Issue#249, p.60]
  5. Mar 15, 2016
    This is a frightening and fascinating horror game, unlike anything else you’re going to play in 2016.
  6. Feb 24, 2016
    Layers of Fear is probably the scariest game of all time. A nightmarish journey through the mind of a deranged talented painter. Riveting atmosphere, fitting music and otherworldly scenes are going to haunt your thoughts for several days after the completion of your walkthrough. Magnificent.
  7. Feb 14, 2016
    Layers of Fear is an incredible, mind-bending horror game. The gorgeous environments are both detailed and terrifying, and the story will captivate you as you work to unravel all the threads. What it lacks in polish it makes up for in how obsessed you’ll become with finishing the masterpiece.
  8. Feb 14, 2016
    A fun, thrilling – and yes, very scary ride. Its amazing visuals and fascinatingly-creepy environments will have you hesitating at times, jumping at others, but always pushing onwards to uncover the story of its insane protagonist.
  9. Feb 14, 2016
    When flesh is the only adequate canvas and blood runs the color of regret, you will discover that the most horrifying monster is the one within. Layers of Fear will make you scream into the empty room time and time again, even though you think you know what is coming. It will make your every hair stand on end and keep you playing, helpless, lost in the throes of deepest nightmare. One of the most intense horror experiences of recent years.
  10. Pelit (Finland)
    May 9, 2016
    Gothic horror with a beautiful, strange setting and a strong embedded story. Linear, with a lot of hidden details. [May 2016]
  11. Feb 24, 2016
    If you're a horror fan, or even just a fan of storylines that make you think, Layers of Fear should be right up your alley. Though it can be completed in a couple of sittings or less, it's an experience not easily forgotten.
  12. Mar 13, 2016
    Layers of Fear is a great experience, recommended for everyone who doesn't need monsters in a horror game.
  13. Mar 7, 2016
    The game that will make you genuinely uneasy, Layers of Fear uses more subtle scare tactics to induce paranoia into the player, building a heavy atmosphere during its rather short runtime.
  14. Feb 16, 2016
    If you are looking for a nice atmosphere, gashes visions and a clever narrative that unfolds room after room, Layers of Fear is the game for you.
  15. Feb 15, 2016
    Yes Layers of Fear has a ton of jump scares yet everything else comes together as well to offer players a feeling of truly descending into madness. Sometimes a game comes along that sees a team of people coming together to create something unique and scary all the same. That’s Layers of Fear in a nutshell and it scared the living hell out of me.
  16. Feb 15, 2016
    If Konami let you down when it killed the new Silent Hill game, then Layers of Fear will help ease your pain. It's not perfect but it's punctuated with some great moments and you can't beat the price.
  17. Feb 15, 2016
    A surprisingly good horror exploration adventure that relies too much on a single mechanic, which makes the final part of Layers of Fear too reiterative, and that is its only flaw.
  18. Feb 14, 2016
    Layers of Fear is a great horror. Could've been even better, but it's still a fresh genre for Bloober Team, making it easy to forgive some controversial solutions that don't affect the gameplay in a hugely negative way. Fans of terror should and suspense should not miss this dark adventure.
  19. 80
    An excellent horror experience for both seasoned and newbie gamers. Despite some minor shortcomings, Layers of Fear brings some classic elements while adding new depth, creating a unique and fear filled journey that you won't be able to tear yourself away from.
  20. Feb 14, 2016
    The story feels on par with the works of Edgar Allen Poe in its abilities to bend fantastical and grotesque imagery into the expression of a natural human tragedy.
  21. Feb 24, 2016
    This is a playable nightmare that will make you lose your mind. Unfortunately you lose a sense of danger and fear too soon.
  22. Feb 22, 2016
    Bloober Team’s game has a splendid and dark art direction, and even if it abuses some classic horror elements a bit too much, it uses dementia and visions in an unique way that makes the experience worth the money. Horror fans will be delighted.
  23. Feb 18, 2016
    Layers of Fear is a well executed title, which focuses on the linearity and jump scares rather than psychological terror. But his biggest setback is a story that could have given more of itself for enjoying this "ghost train" more than just going through it.
  24. Feb 14, 2016
    This horror experience infuses deep feelings of fear, both through great sound and images. However there should have been bigger interactions and extended puzzle solutions.
  25. Feb 14, 2016
    Everyone who mourns for the recently terminated new Silent Hill game will find consolation in the Layers of Fear. Both games use similar tools in order to give you goosebumps: sudden noises, objects moving under mysterious circumstances, paranormal apparitions and an ever-changing level-structure. Personally, I’m not much of a jump scare fan but – if you choose to ignore the minimalist gameplay – Layers of Fear is almost a perfect example for a horror game. The story is thrilling and graphics as well as sound are of very high quality. My biggest issue with the game is its short playtime, which clocks in at around 3-5 hours.
  26. Game World Navigator Magazine
    Apr 21, 2016
    Layers of Fear brings Pan's Labyrinth to mind – with the caveat that there’s no monsters in it. The game’s more weird than scary, and it’s very hard to die here, yet it manages to keep players in suspense. [Issue#208, p.62]
  27. Mar 7, 2016
    The horror story of the mentally disturbed painter will appeal to you with a mood and a suspense. The unexpected changes of environment you get the most, environment though lacks more interactivity at some moments.
  28. Layers of Fear is one of those games which has great potential but later on, is wasted. It could have been a great game but thanks to the cheesy jump scares and horror clichés it makes itself an ordinary game.
  29. Mar 4, 2016
    Despite the abundance of clichés, you can see that a lot of effort went into setting the right tone and atmosphere. There are some downright mind-blowing scenes and unique uses of audio and color.
  30. Feb 25, 2016
    A superb atmospheric horror experience, Layers of Fear succeeds in taking terror videogames to the next levels in terms of immersion, but fails to deliver little else than another artistic walking simulator.
  31. Feb 20, 2016
    Layers of Fear masterfully toys with your sense of reality, when it's not throwing cheesy jump scares in your face.
  32. Feb 16, 2016
    In a game that has a lot of fresh ideas on how to build suspense and let your mind do most of the work, it's disappointing to see frequent usage of those tautologies (it's scary because it's scary).
  33. Feb 14, 2016
    Layers of Fear wasn't as frightening as I thought it would be based on early impressions, but I was still entertained by its mind-bending haunted house even when the jump-scares fell flat.
  34. Feb 14, 2016
    On the surface, this is a simplistic horror game with a claustrophobic atmosphere and plenty of creepy moments. The straightforward puzzles and unusual visuals give it wide appeal. Beneath that there are secrets to uncover and the subliminal pleasure of playing as the monster. For those that want to probe deeper there are angles of art and psychology to ponder. Stacked up like the rickety tiers of a gothic building, Layers of Fear proves aptly named.
  35. Mar 2, 2016
    Stomaching the jump scares and heavily recycled horror imagery will earn you a handful of mesmerizing vistas, but Layers of Fear fails to challenge or transform its central trope.
  36. Feb 15, 2016
    Layers of Fear is a linear game that is a few steps behind the horror titans. The 4 hours needed to see the ending couldn't be considered wasted time but I had some doubts during. The game can scare you pretty well - unfortunately after a while the pattern becomes too repetitive (at the same time this is the moment where the rooms become more interesting). Layers of Fear takes some stuff from the P.T. demo - but when you copy, you should do it from the best source possible.
  37. Feb 14, 2016
    Layers of Fear is an intriguing experimental haunted house, but without a proper sense of pacing, it fails to scare.
  38. Feb 22, 2016
    As a lifetime fan of horror, good, bad, and cheesetastic, I’m pleased that we’re experiencing a renaissance of horror in books, movies, and games. But recent games (SOMA, Penumbra, Amnesia) have set a pretty high bar, and in comparison to those Layers of Fear falls markedly short.
  39. Feb 14, 2016
    If you’re looking for something to scare you for an hour or two on a dark night, then this is a title you should consider picking up. If you’re looking for the next great horror title, however, your efforts will be better served elsewhere.
  40. Feb 14, 2016
    Layers of Fear lacks the surprises and subtlety needed to keep things interesting all the way through. It makes a strong first impression, but quickly exhausts its best ideas, making it hard for them to really shine as scary or meaningful moments. It’s hard to be terrified when you can see what’s coming at the end of every long dark hallway.
  41. Apr 3, 2016
    Pretty visuals do more harm than good to Layers of Fear. The game looks like a sleek, smart, serious interactive experience, but in reality, it disappoints every step of the way.
  42. CD-Action
    May 1, 2016
    Layers of Fear can send shivers down your spine, but it lacks a good story and moderation. It looks like developers could not decide which favourite horror motifs to use, so they used all of them and although the game started really well, after two hours I was already tired by the throng of predictable clichés and jump scares. [04/2016, p.57]
  43. Feb 19, 2016
    Despite some creative visual tricks, Layers of Fear doesn’t have sharp enough teeth to maintain its bite.
  44. Feb 19, 2016
    Layers of Fear is well made, but commits a potentially greater sin than a game that’s simply bad. It’s dull. It’s dreary. It’s got as much bite as a beach ball.
  45. Jul 23, 2016
    More an incoherent collection of jump scares than a horror game, Layers of Fear occasionally spooks but doesn’t make much of a lasting impression.
  46. Feb 15, 2016
    In other words, not so much a game as a tool to drive traffic to someone’s YouTube channel. That’s not game development. It’s pandering.
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  1. Layers of Fear is an effective scare ‘em up but the sense of dislocation and the lack of character development left me feeling as if I’d enjoyed a thematically messy series of shocks rather than a cohesive horror story. It’s a collection of scary things that are tangentially related to the idea of creative blocks and familial cruelty rather than an exploration of the artist or his personality flaws. By the time the credits rolled, I knew very little about this particular painter that I couldn’t have learned by reading a brief synopsis.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 385 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 51 out of 385
  1. Aug 27, 2015
    The best horror game this year! Absolutely amazing mood, groundbreaking visual style. It looks a way better then PT. There is just one snag -The best horror game this year! Absolutely amazing mood, groundbreaking visual style. It looks a way better then PT. There is just one snag - you better don't play this game alone at night! Full Review »
  2. Feb 16, 2016
    There is little to nothing about this game that I haven't experienced in other horror games. Lots of cheap jump scares, nothing perticularlyThere is little to nothing about this game that I haven't experienced in other horror games. Lots of cheap jump scares, nothing perticularly interesting about the storyline either. There are allot of random items that have little to nothing to do with the storyline as if they where trying desperately to copy other successful games.

    I didn't give this game a terrible rating as there are a few interesting concepts but sadly enough it wasn't enough to make this a memorable experience. I think there's allot of potential on the developper's side but they need to rework their idea of an horror game.
    Full Review »
  3. Feb 16, 2016
    This a game is not bad. It has nice design, decent graphic, good soundtrack and horror atmosphere. Unfortunately game scares you not withThis a game is not bad. It has nice design, decent graphic, good soundtrack and horror atmosphere. Unfortunately game scares you not with elements listed above but with jumpscares. Full Review »