Developer Cellar Vault Games has brought us the first mini installment of their anthology horror series featured on the Malaysian culture. You will experience a day in the life of three children as they attempt to invite a mysterious new neighbor to play with them. What was supposed to be an offer of friendship quickly takes a dark turn as each of the children experience terrifying visitations. Not everyone or everything is as it seems in this apartment block, and dark secrets lurk everywhere if you can find them.
Gameplay wise you will spend the day experiencing life in the apartment block, moving between the different areas, talking to residents and completing tasks and minigame challenges. You slowly uncover hints, find items and encounter new people to talk to. You'll need to play through more than once to discover all the block's secrets and your choices and interactions with different people you meet will matter. Your conversations will allow you to learn more about the story but your responses can set you down certain story paths, locking others from progression.
The game features a really unique paper origami-esque art style. The world is detailed and looks fantastic at various moments. The grimy environments and mix of 3D backgrounds and 2D models works really well.The sound design is also excellent with great music and sound effects which creates a highly immersive atmosphere. The story is a short one, taking between 30 minutes to an hour to play through. Whilst this is short, you will need to play through multiple times to get a full completion and experience the various dialogue options. It's nice to play a short game now and again but I would have liked another quarter of an hour or so of story added to expand upon what was on offer and add more context. Luckily the game is priced at a very reasonable amount that won't leave you feeling short changed.
Paper Ghost Stories: 7PM is a short folklore horror experience that definitely feels like an introduction that is building to a much bigger story in future. After my brief time playing through I was looking forward to the next installment Paper Ghost Stories: Third Eye Open - that will be coming in future. 7PM does alot that works but their is room for improvement in a sequel. TOTAL SCORE:
Paper Ghost Stories: 7PM was released onto the Xbox store on the 28th October 2022. Playable on Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S it's priced at £3.49 and can be purchased HERE. A copy of the game was provided for this review. A big thanks for that!