Game: Our way down
System: Steam (Windows)
Developers | Publishers: Basim Aziz
Age Rating: US T | EU 16+
Price: US Free | UK Free | EU Free
Release Date: March 31st, 2022
Review code used, with many thanks to Basim Aziz.
Our way down is a creepy thriller of an adventure game that takes place somewhere else. This game blends some features of a visual novel with an adventure game that reminds me of a creepier version of Undertale.
The Gameplay and Story
The story begins on a typical day in the typical life of Alagossa. She has decided not to go to her dead end job anymore, and she takes a quick shortcut down an alleyway. But suddenly the lights turn off and the tunnel narrows inexplicably, leading Alagossa to find herself in another dimension.
Our way down weaves along with a strange office building that has also been sucked into this alternate dimension, filled with little journal entries and environmental storytelling that chills the player to their bones. Whatever is happening here is deadly and weird, and our two main characters may not survive.
The game plays a lot like a mix between a visual novel and a point-and-click adventure. Most of the plot is told through the interactions between the two characters, with long mazes of hallways and offices in between. Players only have the option to move and interact with some of the items in their environment, looking over and making small comments on the rest.
The Pros of Our way down
While the artwork is a little bit childish, Our way down looks unique and charming in a way that doesn’t allow the lack of finesse in the artwork to detract from the game. The world-building is very good; there is a deep sense of foreboding with every click of the mouse. It is surprisingly good at making a frightening world with a constant creep factor without jump scares.
Some unfortunate things happen to the characters while wandering, and while this could have been graphic, bloody, and gross, the developers chose to allude to the loss of body parts rather than show them in detail which would have turned many players’ stomachs.
If you like little spooky games without the gore and jump scares of major modern horror titles, Our way down delivers a great, if short, horror experience.
The Cons of Our way down
This game took me a grand total of about 15 minutes to finish. That is something that actually detracts from the title, free or not because it takes away from the world that the developer tried to build. Some things feel rushed, like one of the scenes where a character loses a body part. It feels like a lot more should have been explained about the process (without needing to delve into gross detail) and why it happened. It took me until the character mentions that he is blinded a few minutes later to realize he’d even lost his vision from the interaction.
Our way down is wonderful, with a lot of obvious love and time put into it. With the rich world that the developer has built, this could really be made into something deeper and more complete. I like the mystery of the title, but too much mystery inevitably detracts from the overall experience.
This is very evident in the ending; something terrible has happened, and Alagossa experiences a change. Additionally, while it is obvious that the author had a good idea of what she was going through, the vagueness of the ending left me confused and feeling left out rather than curious.
Our way down is a great little horror game. I was surprised this was free; even with the short length. I would have expected to pay like $0.99 for it. Just to make up for the obvious time and effort put into the game by the dev. However, I would rather have paid for it if it meant that the game would have gone on a little longer and filled in more detail.
Overall, the story, world, and feeling of Our way down was well worth the time I put in. I look forward to more games from Basim Aziz.
Final Verdict: I Like it.