Saturday, January 14, 2017

Fran Bow Review

Fran Bow is the first game I completed in 2017. A point-and-click adventure game that throws horror and hallucinations into the mix, Fran Bow is creepy and oftentimes unsettling. You take control of the character Fran Bow Dagenhart as you try to figure out who killed your parents and left them bloody and dismembered in their bedroom. After discovering this horrific scene Fran runs into the nearby forest outside of her house with her black cat Mr. Midnight and collapses on the ground. She is later found by police and taken to a mental institute for children.

This is where the game begins as you try to figure out who butchered your parents and why you have been brought to this institute. After a recent session with your psychiatrist Dr. Deern, he gives you a new type of medicine called Duotine. The medicine is supposed to "create a door between the subconscious and conscious," and when Fran takes it she sees hallucinations of morbid scenes involving the people and objects around her. 

Taking a Duotine pill will allow Fran to see characters and items she couldn't see before and allows her to progress through the game further. After finding items you'll have to figure out what they are used for and oftentimes you will even have to combine certain items (just like the classic Resident Evil Titles) to make new items. While this can be frustrating at times, with a little bit of thought and experimentation you'll be solving Fran Bow's puzzles in no time.

 Just some of the many items you will find in Fran Bow

Without saying too much about the story, as I don't want to spoil it, Fran Bow gets progressively more frightening and unsettling as you get closer to the end. It also isn't for the faint of heart or those that don't do well with blood and horrific scenes. I love horror games, but even I found myself cringing at some of the images I was shown. The music and sound effects also do a great job of encouraging uneasiness.

If you can get past the extremely high level of creepiness, you're in for a treat. The main appeal of Fran Bow is the imaginative characters and environments you'll encounter throughout the game and their interactions with Fran. Killmonday also did a great job of including a great amount of lore and detail into the story. The illustrations and art style also made me feel like I was reading a children's storybook at times and I couldn't help but think of Alice in Wonderland as I played.

    Speaking with the many inhabitants of the world is a must to progress

The five chapters found within Fran Bow are storytelling at its finest and definitely worth the ride. Everyone who plays will likely interpret the story differently, as it's left up to your imagination and the clues left throughout the game.

Overall, Fran Bow is a game that I will remember for a long time due to the sheer shock value associated with it and the disturbing scenes I bared witness to. If you're the type of person who enjoys a good story and can handle blood and guts then I highly suggest experiencing Killmonday's game.

My Review: 8/10


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