Thursday, March 2, 2017

Hello again everyone, the Horror Rater is back with another game! This time, instead of a text based game, I'm going to be playing a Horror RPG called Imaginary Friends. Yet again, I like going in with little to no information. So, all I really know so far is it is about a fourteen year old girl named Hailey. She spends the summer in her bedroom, and her mother insists she goes out to play with friends. After playing, I went back to read about what was written on the summary page, and that was when I saw the warning. So, before I suggest you play, I will be pasting the warnings above the link.

"The game contains elements of psychological horror, non-graphic violence, blood and mentions of bullying. It is not recommended for players under the age of 13."

If you want to play this game, you can play it here: Imaginary Friends

As I always will, I highly recommend playing the game yourself and even supporting the creator if you can. This is his/her first RPG Maker game, so please spread the love! There are spoilers for the game below.

The Game
Starting off, you get this adorable photo as the starter screen. Hailey, the character you play, is pictured on the right, and an unknown child character named Oliver is shown on the left.
I didn't know this story was about me!
After selecting "New Game" I was brought to the opening scene. In this, Hailey's mother expresses concern for her daughter's antisocial behavior. Hailey states she has no friends, then Hailey's mother says she's going shopping with Timmy, and she forces Hailey to come along.

Once at the supermarket, Timmy says he wants spaghetti, and I am instructed to go get noodles. Instead of listening to my mother, I chose to do tasks for everyone else in the store first.

Suddenly after getting everything my mother needed, she was gone. I search around for a bit, but when I exit to another area of the store and come back, everyone is missing and the sale signs say "alone". As I try to exit the store, I'm stopped by a boy in a red cap, who tells me he wants to see my room before leaving the store. I exit too, and when I get home it is silent and empty. I search until I get to my room, where the boy says we'll play. Everything goes black as he says he hopes I'll have fun.

I appear to go back in time, and I watch a cutscene of every classmate in the classroom leaving in groups aside from me. Then, I wake up. I leave my room and I'm no longer in my house. When I go back into the room, it's changed. The bear is the save point, and I exit the room to go solve the puzzle of this mysterious place.

After I finished the first puzzle with the doll and received the key drawing, I continued onto the next stage. I went right towards the house and once there, I began to explore. In the room with the television, my game crashed.

I did manage to watch the video on the second try, but I wasn't really sure why it was important. Still, I continued to make the invisibility potion before heading back to the forest to get a drawing from the tree house. Once I put it back and get the hammer, I enter the most infuriating scene ever. Running around with several monsters following was very stressful and rage inducing, but I eventually managed to escape the house and draw myself a friend. I'm unsure at this point how drawing each option would change the story, but I decided to draw the boy. Once I entered the drawing house, I met him. Oliver.
He's so cute! I wanna squish his little cheeks!
I continued through the new puzzle with ease. I thought the cloud kingdom was very cute, though I was concerned when Oliver froze when the school bell sounded. I was also certain the statues would be gone or Oliver wouldn't want to leave once we got to the exit. Fortunately, I was wrong.
I don't remember... Is this game supposed to be scary or adorable?
We got out! We did it! I was beyond excited to make it out alive and okay with Oliver. Then things turned as I saw the school. It was another puzzle. And this was much darker than the last.
My baby;;
I was not ready for the ending, to be honest. It hurt my heart. I searched frantically for the pieces of the paper, but I didn't expect to see Alex instead of Oliver.
Wasn't Oliver going to be the person that she stopped being friends with? I forgot the title was Imaginary Friends for a while, so I wasn't ready to see Oliver completely disappear as Hailey remembered Alex instead of him.
The art for the credits was beyond beautiful. I loved the messy childlike crayon drawings that were presented with each piece, and I couldn't help but put them all in before my thoughts. So here you go.
I wound up getting the third ending, which ended with Hailey realizing a girl from school, Jo, had been trying to be her friend for a while. She contacts Jo and the two decide to hang out tomorrow. But, because I am dedicated to this game, I decided to go back through and get all of the endings.
I didn't get the best ending because after the credits Oliver was still alone...
Eventually, after way too long and trying way too hard, I managed to get everything I needed to get ending four.
This one was, by far, the most emotional ending I played. The first ending left me completely alone and stranded in the dark, and the second one left me alone in this dream world with Oliver. The third was emotional but left the Oliver side of the story shut. This final one just seemed to answer everything so well. In the fourth end, though, I went to Oliver after meeting with Alex and before waking up from my dream world. I can't even explain how emotional it was.
In the fourth end, Hailey even wrote to Alex, telling her old friend about how her life had been since the last time she wrote. It was touching to see Hailey grow up in so many different ways I didn't even think of.

Visual: I thought the visuals were fine. It was well done for an RPG game, and I liked the different filters for a few of the scenes. The scenery had little details which were enjoyable, and the facial expressions of characters and the cut scene images were lovely touches. (8/10)

Audio: The music was beautiful. Just listening to it got you further into the game because it helped create a perfect atmosphere. Some was gentle, while some other songs were sad or angry, or even silent. They perfectly explained what was going on or about to happen without a single word. Some of the sound effects were frustrating, like when you get caught by a monster in the chase. It goes black and the creature just moans out for a bit. It seemed somewhat drawn out. (9/10)

Plot: I loved the plot so much. I wound up becoming trapped in it so much that I even forgot Oliver was going to wind up being an imaginary friend. It really captures you when you get into it. At first, I was confused by the few plot holes after I completed ending 3. It didn't explain things such as the cloud kingdom and how Hailey remembered it. Then, I got the card that stated it was ending 3, and it made a lot more sense. Even when you don't get the best ending, it goes so far as to explain that there were still things left undone. I liked that. (10/10)

The controls were fine, though they were difficult to get used to since I am accustomed to wasd. (9/10)

Overall, the game wasn't very scary. It built on atmosphere as much as an RPG Horror game can, but when you have a pixel style game you do tend to lose the realistic aspect. That aside, it was genuinely scary at a few points for me. When the mirror shattered, or when I exited the attic to find a large monster right in front of me are just two examples of this. (6/10)

Fun: This game had moments where I wanted to punch something out of pure anger or frustration. I wasn't expecting a chase scene, and there was a point where I ran into a shadow student and just died because I couldn't get away. I hadn't saved since I entered the biology room, so I was furious. Aside from the few moments, though, it was a cute and fun game that I would play again. (8/10)

Total: (8.3/10)

I loved this game. The characters were cute and it was chilling at times, though it was more of a sad game than a scary one. There was a lot of unnecessary language at first, but it seemed to die off very quickly. This is definitely one of the best games I've played in a while.

Remember to support the creators as best as you can.

Thanks for reading everyone, and I'll see you guys next time!

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