Title: Behind the Screen
Developer: 18Light Game Inc
Genre: Suspense, Puzzle, Action Game
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Audience: Mature. The game features scenes and storylines which are unsuitable for younger players.
Price: £8.09 – I was very kindly provided with a review code for this game.
Release Date: August 23rd 2018.
What the developers say:
My rapid review
So, I’ve just finished playing Behind the Screen. Actually, playing is the wrong word, I should say experiencing Behind the Screen. I had to write straight away whilst it was fresh in my mind.
The game features different puzzles that can be accomplished using 4 different techniques: puzzle, stealth, rhythm, and timing. The game is split into three distinct chapters. Chapter 1 is called Childhood, Chapter 2 is called Campus Period and the final Chapter is called Patricide?!.
Behind the Screen looks like a book of art, and the developers said that it was inspired by old Taiwanese hand-drawn colour advertisements and posters. The soundtrack suits the game perfectly.
You’re thrown into the game straight away!
On what looks like an old TV, there is a news report playing. A serious looking news reporter delivers a news item about a murder involving a father and son.
You’re then presented with a start menu. You can check out the options or begin.
When you begin the game, the same news reporter appears with an update on the murder. You find out that the murder suspect is a young man, who is thought to have shown signs of serious ADHD.
Behind the game
Behind the Screen is a game about the life of Yu Ming Wang, and how a seemingly normal kid, could possibly murder his own father.
The game begins and you’re a little boy on a bed, in what looks like some kind of Kindergarten. You are holding a note, from your mother, that tells you that she’s gone away for a while. I won’t give away the reason as to why she went away, you find out soon enough. Let’s just say that it’s one of many shocking pieces of information that you learn throughout the game.
Your character, Yu Ming Wang, wants to escape the Kindergarten to get home to his dad. To do this, you have to solve certain puzzles.
Once you’ve escaped, you find yourself on a journey through the school. On the way out, you encounter a number of stern looking teachers, none more so than Ms Lee.
You get the impression that school is not a happy place for young Master Wang.
Each classroom, has a challenge that you will need to complete before you can continue your daring (naughty) escape. The game is good at blurring the lines between reality and what could be Wang’s imagination.
Throughout the game, you view interviews of so-called witnesses. They all seem to have a very negative view of Yu Ming Wang.
When you’ve completed all of the challenges and made your way to the final corridor, you have to escape Ms. Lee. Not just any Ms. Lee, but Ms. Lee in full arachnid form! You must dodge various items and avoid her grasp.
The next chapter sees a grown up Yu Ming Wang, in High School. Although, his experience of school doesn’t seem to have improved. The chapter begins in a bathroom, and the school bullies are there.
You discover that Wang is the editor of the school newspaper and that he wants to be considered for the role of Student President. Obviously, the bullies and the ‘Boss’ are not happy about this and try to block your path at every turn.
However, smart Wang seems to be able to use his brains to get past them and to the office of the Principal.
The School Hall is the next stop, and the debate with the school bully – the child who has all of the power, and a rich family to back him.
I won’t reveal the outcome of the debate, or what happens after that. I will reveal that there is a final showdown with the school bully. It took me ages to complete this battle, as I literally had no idea what I was doing. The game doesn’t give you any clues either.
Thanks to a fellow reviewer, I learnt that it was all about the timing and watching the opponent’s movements.
The ending of the game is a somewhat disturbing. You return home after fighting the school bully, to confront your drunk, alcoholic father, and to find closure, once and for all.
The game concludes with a rather bleak, dark journey in which you meet the people who have had a impact on your life.
The game can be a little confusing. However, I’m sure, in the game’s native language, it would make more sense. Some of the translations and grammar are a little off. Although, you are able to get the gist of it easily enough.
It took a couple of hours to complete, although it can be done a lot quicker. It took me ages because I couldn’t work out how to defeat my arch nemesis.
Although the game is short, for me, it didn’t matter. The developers have squeezed so much into the title, that it didn’t take away from the experience.
I don’t think that I would play the game through again. However, since launch, the developers have tweeted to say that there’s a hidden boss in the game.
Has everyone find and successfully beat the hidden boss? https://t.co/yp9ibN7kjE
— 18Light Game JP (@18light_jp) August 24, 2018
This might tempt me to give it another play-through. For completionists, there’s the task of finding every hidden item in your notebook.
I really enjoyed the puzzle aspect of the game, and learning about the different Taiwanese proverbs. If you’re after a quick, thought provoking game, this one is for you.
Rapid Reviews Rating: 6.5 Worth a go!
You can purchase Behind the Screen from the Nintendo eShop, https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/Behind-The-Screen-1415034.html