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User Score
8.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 16 Ratings

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  • Summary: The Painscreek Killings is a first-person, explorable mystery solving game set in a fictional town of United States in the 1990s. As a young and upcoming journalist, you are to uncover the secrets behind the town killings and publish the truth in the city papers.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. May 10, 2018
    90
    The Painscreek Killings is an engrossing, complex, challenging murder mystery that makes you feel like a real investigator. Dig out your notepad; it’s time to uncover the secrets this sleepy, abandoned town is hiding.
  2. Nov 30, 2018
    77
    An adventure game that, instead of holding your hand, gives you the freedom to figure things out yourself. Unraveling mysteries through information you’ve gathered by yourself brings a unique type of satisfaction.
  3. Nov 27, 2017
    60
    It’s a commendable effort to make a mystery-solving adventure without narrative structure but the game simply lacks pizzazz for anyone but the keenest investigators. Even I, who utterly love detective stories and games, was often frustrated by how little the game is willing to help the players wanting to solve its case. The Painscreek Killings has an exciting murder mystery hidden somewhere but it’s buried under all the extra baggage of technical issues and awkward game design.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Oct 17, 2021
    10
    Not a perfect game, but a game you can love. The best thing about it is the atmosphere. The village where this game takes place in, has a vibeNot a perfect game, but a game you can love. The best thing about it is the atmosphere. The village where this game takes place in, has a vibe that makes you feel warm and curious at the same time. I don't know why but when I played this game, I didn't feel like I was a journalist investigating, rather, I felt like I came back home where I don't even remember growing up in. That's what I'm talking about. I felt like a someone with Alzheimer's came back home to gather the memory that I've lost. Each notebook, each house I came across helped regain my memory. I know I might sound a bit weird right now. But this game has that certain vibe to it. And I suggest you try it too. Expand
  2. Jul 26, 2019
    9
    The Painscreek Killings has been one of the most enjoyable gaming experiences that I've had in a long time! If you like exploration andThe Painscreek Killings has been one of the most enjoyable gaming experiences that I've had in a long time! If you like exploration and solving mysteries on your own, then this is the game for you.

    One thing that this game absolutely nails is the atmosphere. I've seen some people complain about the lack NPCs in the game. However, the game's atmosphere heavily depends on a feeling of isolation, so having NPCs would actually be detrimental to this feeling (and the town is supposed to be abandoned, after all). In addition, exploring the town alone really adds to the immersion of the game. Together, the locations, visuals, story, and music successfully evoke atmospheres that are eerie, sad, disturbing, tense, and more.

    At times, you are expected to pay close attention to detail, which is something that I look for in a detective game. As such, you shouldn't try to rush through things - doing so will almost certainly cause you to miss things, and then you'll get stuck and have to backtrack. I don't see this as a flaw with the game, you are just expected to play patiently and observantly. It's best to read each document in detail and comb each area carefully. Playing through the game in this way took me about 10 hours. Even still, I only got a 90% completion rate, so there is definitely no shortage of clues to look for. Luckily, after the end you are able to go back to your last save to find more clues/evidence without the need to start all over.

    The most common complaints I encounter are about the gameplay. For the most part, this game plays like a walking simulator. So at the end of the day, gameplay shouldn't even be the main focus. That being said, if you are someone who absolutely hate walking sims, you might not like this game. If you love walking sims, you'll have no problem with this game. If you're anywhere in between, there is still so many more other things that this game has to offer: exploring an abandoned town, solving a mystery, figuring out puzzles, following a story that unravels the deeper you dig, and so on. It plays like a walking sim, but it's a mystery/detective/exploration game at its core.

    I played with a group of friends, but it would be just as fun to play solo (this would only add to the feeling of isolation and immersion). To be fair, I don't think that it's a perfect game. Some of the controls could have been better, and I might have liked it if certain parts of the game were a little different (although I definitely didn't hate these parts - I even liked some of the riskier decisions they made). But these flaws only make up a small portion of the game and they were more than easy to look past, even more so when considering that this is an indie game. Moreover, I thoroughly enjoyed every other aspect of this game. So having a few rough patches certainly doesn't ruin the entire experience, especially when these moments don't take away from the overall story or previous memorable moments of the game.

    Overall, I really loved this game (which is why I wrote so much, sorry). At the end of the day, I think it is very impressive that this is the very first game EQ Studios has ever put out. You don't always get this level of polish in indie games, especially when it is a studio's first release. I've been wanting to play a game like this for the longest time, but other games that I have tried have never really hit the mark quite like this one. So, thank you for creating this game - I finally found something that is exactly what I have been looking for! Now, I will eagerly await the studio's next release!
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  3. Oct 9, 2020
    9
    This game is the pinnacle of world building and mystery, as soon as you get into town there's no objective or mission telling you where to go.This game is the pinnacle of world building and mystery, as soon as you get into town there's no objective or mission telling you where to go. Every single progress depends on you finding hints and figure out where to go, this game doesn't hold your hand one bit which is why it's so satisfying to finally put the dots together. Very immersive experience. Expand
  4. Nov 15, 2021
    9
    This is an amazing game with an interesting story. You know nothing at the start, but with every place you visit in this lost town, you willThis is an amazing game with an interesting story. You know nothing at the start, but with every place you visit in this lost town, you will learn something new. At first, I thought I don't need to write notes for myself, but then I realized that there are a lot of unique characters in this story, and everyone has their own thoughts and motives.

    Although the game has no hand-holding at all and you can explore a story in the any way you want, the truth is revealed step-by-step. You can not access the information stored in place D before you know how to access places A, B, and C and collect all the information needed.

    The game itself contains a lot of hints. Usually, there is one or even two hints that would suggest you go and explore this place and look for that particular information there. Thus, you just really need to read everything carefully and to make notes of everything you see.

    There are two drawbacks in the game for me, but these are minor ones:

    1. You MUST make notes, but there is no built-in notepad in the game, so you need to switch between game and external resources all the time.
    2. There are a few places that can not be unlocked and explored at all, but the gameplay itself suggests that you actually can. So I have spent some time trying to find the keys, but there were no keys at all.

    The story is great, the soundtrack is good (but the same sounds during 17 hours of the game make me sick of it eventually), and the overall experience really makes you a detective.
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  5. Sep 28, 2019
    8
    This game deserves more attention. It is far from a perfect game i.e. The graphics look outdated, it can be clunky to move around, theirThis game deserves more attention. It is far from a perfect game i.e. The graphics look outdated, it can be clunky to move around, their could be more detailed environments, and some of the writing didn't translate the greatest. But with all that said, this game is a blast!

    My gf and I had notepads and discussed theory after theory. There really needs to be more games like this, and I'm honestly surprised after looking that their is very few.

    So if you are looking to solve a mystery and piece together clue after clue. Then this one should be a game you consider.

    I'm excited to see if more games like this pop up.
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