So, when I was sent this game for review, I really wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew I liked the art style and it looked very interesting from the previews, but other than that, I knew nothing about this game. The one thing that was truly promising is that the publisher is Soedesco. So far, every game I have played that they published I have really liked. So how does Ian’s eyes stack up to the other games I have played under this publisher? Read on to find out, or scroll to the bottom and look at the score. Honestly, to understand if you would like this game, you need to read on.
Graphics – 7/10
I really liked the look of this game. It has a very Tim Burton feel to it. I liked the animated cut scenes, as well. The way the eyes on the children glowed when they turned into the zombie-like characters was really effective. The one thing that really did bother me, though, was the fact that the mouths on the characters didn’t move during in-game cut scenes. This may just be a personal thing for me, though. I also have no idea what the budget on a game like this is. The character models and the school all had a really simplistic look to them, so if you are looking for HDR lighting and incredible texture work, its not really here. It doesn’t need to be, though. The art style works really well for this style of survival horror game. One of the things I really love about this game’s graphics is how they took simple environments and created a truly creepy atmosphere.
Story – 9/10
One of Ian’s eyes strong points is its story. You play as Ian, a blind boy who shows up at school with his trusty dog, North. You meet the principal, who helps you get used to the interesting play mechanics. I won’t spend a whole lot of time on the story, because . . . spoilers. I will just say that there is one heck of a twist at the end. Giving it away would be like giving the ending away to Bioschock. It just wouldn’t be the same.
Audio – 7/10
Even though I got used to it, the voice acting wasn’t strong. There were times it was not great and other times it was reasonable. I got the feeling that the voice actors were also the developers or maybe some of their friends. I have heard a lot worse (master of unlocking anyone?), but still, it’s not great. I did, however, enjoy the various moans and creeks and just the overall atmosphere created by the audio team. Other than that, there is not a whole lot of music, what’s there is standard fare. Overall the audio worked, but it was nothing special.
Gameplay – 8/10
Ian’s Eyes is a stealth game, for all intents and purposes. You control Ian and his dog North. There were times that you simply controlled North. Whoever you controlled, your objective was to avoid the zombie children by staying out of their sight. You had to figure out there patterns and avoid getting in their way.
This is not an easy game; I’m just going to put it out there. It is a very rewarding game, though, when it comes to feeling accomplished. When you pass a zombie child and get to the next room it feels like you really achieved something. For me there was a lot of trial and error. I didn’t mind though, partly because I found it fun, and also there where checkpoints before each challenge. So if I died it was no big deal. I seemed to have infinite checkpoints. I found the pacing really good as well. My biggest frustration came from myself and making a bad choice. I never felt like it was the game’s issue, simply user error.
Family Friendly rating – 7/10
This is a survival horror game, sort of. There was no gore, blood, language, or violence of any sort. It could be quiet creepy and scary for young kids. Other than that, there is nothing else to report. Well, except that ending. A bit creepy. I won’t forget the ending anytime soon.
I really enjoyed my time with Ian’s Eyes. There were moments of frustration for sure. Ian’s eyes was a really original game that I had a good time playing. There was never a moment that I wanted to give up. I would recommend giving the demo a try. The full game is better, but it will still give you a taste of what to expect. If you are looking for a stealthy non-violent yet scary horror game, check out Ian’s Eyes.