Developer: Bubby Darkstar
Publisher: Aggro Crab
Genre(s): Indie, Adventure, Horror
Age Rating: N/A
Release Date: 28/10/2021
A code was provided for review purposes
Taking the Midnight Train
Subway Midnight is a third-person exploration horror game where I traversed different trains on a subway. Many of these rooms also featured simple puzzles to keep me entertained and motivated throughout my journey. Was this subway ride worth the ticket price? Find out in this Rapid Review.
As I booted up Subway Midnight for the first time, I was surprised to find that I was not introduced to my character. None of the actions I were taking were clarified, and I simply kept walking through different subway cars because I had no other actions to take. Initially, I was disappointed by the lack of narrative structure. However, as I continued playing, I began to understand more about the different characters in the world and why this subway exists in the first place. Still, even after playing through the game and seeing multiple endings, I have not found the story exciting or meaningful.
On the other hand, I was surprisingly pleased with the inclusion of various characters throughout the game. Though they did not have a major role in terms of the overall storyline, their inclusion impacted the game a lot. They were expressive, making it clear whether I satisfied their needs or not. At the same time, their wonderfully animated expressions made me want to make them happy and notice their sadness when I failed to. This was important, as making these characters happy differentiated the good and bad endings. I really enjoyed the way the characters supplemented the gameplay loop and rewarded me for paying attention to their emotions.
Running from Train to Train
Though I liked making the characters happy, the minute-to-minute gameplay was not as rewarding as I would have liked. There were some puzzle rooms, some rooms where I had to evade an oncoming monster, and some rooms where I needed to navigate dangerous facilities. Unfortunately, just as many rooms only required that I walk forward. Whether I walked forward and pushed a button or walked through a different-looking area, I still felt a little bit bored walking through many segments of the game. However, Subway Midnight is a horror game, so though these segments are boring, they add tension, and I think in the aggregate, they made me more scared, as I was constantly watching the screen as I was pushing through multiple rooms.
Though it may sound like I did not like the rooms, instead I was more disappointed by my character’s movement. Again, I understand that enemies need to be able to chase the main character in horror games. However, there were so many rooms where the only task was to move forward. Plus, my character consistently walked at a slow pace, making each room take longer than I wanted. Additionally, there were no advanced movement techniques, so I could not alter the pacing of the game myself. I constantly needed to wait for the game. This may not be an issue for everyone playing the game, as again, it is a horror game, but I could not stop noticing it.
Again, much like the character movement, I was disappointed by the simplicity of the puzzles. Honestly, I liked a lot of the puzzles that were available. One had me adjusting buttons repeatedly while evading a massive shark head. The added pressure of the shark was exciting and forced me to think about my actions. However, most rooms were not even puzzles. Usually, I would just need to get to walk through a vacant room. Even many of the puzzles that I did like were very easy. Moreover, despite enjoying many of the chase sequences, I never felt genuinely at risk. It was not hard to continue moving forward throughout the game, as the puzzles were not hard.
The only time I did find difficulty in Subway Midnight was when the camera angle got stuck in a wall or made it difficult to see. I was typically able to see, but when it was challenging to see, I either needed to memorize where the path would be or guess where to go. Though it was not overwhelmingly present, the camera did inconvenience me various times throughout Subway Midnight.
Despite the lacklustre camera, the game was pretty. One of the main reasons I was interested in this game was the art style, and it did not disappoint. Even though many of the locales were the same throughout my playthrough, I enjoyed seeing where I would explore next. The visual style was also carried over into the characters, showing me clearly what I would need to do if I wanted a good ending. The game visuals came together nicely with a blend of information and beauty.
Sound the Horn
The music was also excellent. One of the things I liked most was how diverse it was. There were some happy segments where the music was upbeat and lively, making me excited and happy. These contrasted the grim and foreboding songs, giving each area in Subway Midnight a distinct vibe. The music helped bring the game together while also making each area distinct.
Overall, though there were a lot of things I did not like, I enjoyed the overall experience. Though the game lacked difficulty or an intricate story, I found myself enjoying the visuals and music throughout my experience. Again, there were some issues with the camera and my character did walk very slowly, but I had a good time, and I am glad I played Subway Midnight.
Rapid Reviews Rating
3.5 out of 5
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