Sanatory Hallways is a two player horror game, developed by Wegenbartho. You can play as either Charla, who is trying to make it out the halls safely by finding a blue key to unlock a blue door, or Mr. Spook, who loves to scare the bejeezus out of poor Charla.
There are two modes: VS and Bonus. The VS mode is the main draw of this game, where you utilise the nunchucks and the Wii remote, whilst you play as Charla, and the Wii gamepad, which you use if you play as Mr. Spook. Playing as the latter provides you with a birdseye view of the map, letting you place traps for Charla, as you try to turn her insane. If you manage to plummet Charla’s sanity counter you zero, Charla’s sanity is all yours. But, if Charla manages to find the blue key and the exit, she wins.
Charla moves using the nunchucks joystick, while you point the Wii remote at the screen, using it as a torch. This mechanic can be clumsy at times, the torch not quite pointing where you want it to. When the game is as unbalanced as this, every second counts, and fumbling with a torch is just not fun. Mr. Spook cannot face the spotlight, so he cannot get to you if you point your torch at him. However, Mr. Spook can easily avoid this torch, so having your back to the wall and sliding along, with your torch pointed into the dark abyss does not ensure you a win.
Meanwhile, Mr. Spook is living the dream, with the gamepad providing you with all sort of options to make sure you have fun. If Charla even glances at you, her screen blurs over so much, she has no idea what she is doing. Mr. Spook suddenly just pops up in front of her and it is game over for whoever is playing her. Mr. Spook has a number of points that allow him to place traps, which makes the player think bigger and plan accordingly.
Bonus mode is the same, but you play as Charla in an even tougher version of the VS. If you find the VS tough, do not even bother with the bonus mode, it will have you dangerously close to rage quitting.
This game is great fun, in theory. The main problem is, one player is having a whale of a time, whilst the other is slouching around, trying to escape. You know when you were at school and you would hear the bell ring to signify the end of the day, but your teacher kept you in for a couple more minutes and you looked out the window and saw all your mates having a laugh whilst you were trapped inside on a hot summers afternoon? That is what this game is like. Charla is you trapped in the classroom and Mr. Spook is your mates whilst they live it up. The game is too unbalanced; Mr. Spook generally has the advantage. You might be psyched to play it to begin with, but once you discover this, you will either be fighting over who plays as Mr. Spook, or you will just turn the game off.
One thing I cannot fault is the soundtrack and the way it makes jump scares scarier. Reminiscent of a horror film, all the added sound effects are something that Mr. Spook can control. Tricking Charla into thinking you are in a room across the hall, making her tiptoe into the room you are waiting in, is a fun tactic. There are also a variety of maps, but there is no big variation in what these maps can do and whether they are scarier than the others, they just provide a different layout.
To sum it up, Mr. Spook has all the fun in this game. It is so unbalanced, playing as Charla is a chore. Playing as Mr. Spook is great, but it is not scary. Playing as Charla is scary, but not great. There is not much replay value in the game, once you have played it about five times, it is enough. If they made a Sanatory Hallway 2, and tweaked these controls, making them game more fun for Charla, this game could be something great. But until then, do not bother.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo Wii U code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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