Familiar and safe horror in a dilapidated hotel
Fobia-St. Dinfna Hotel is a first-person horror game developed by Pulsatrix Studios and published by Maximum Games that resembles many of its kind, but still brings something new to the genre.
Room reservation in a suspicious hotel
After a short prologue, the main character of the game, Roberto Leite Lopes, enters a beautiful hotel, with the intention of investigating the disappearances that happened in the surrounding area. The area where the hotel is located is known for its disappearances and other supernatural events. Roberto, a young journalist, sees his opportunity has come. Right away at the reception desk, however, one begins to doubt, when Roberto is received by a man who avoids directly answering his questions.
After researching places for a week, Roberto comes to the conclusion that there is absolutely nothing newsworthy in the area. Even Stephanie, who originally tipped Roberto off about the place, no longer responds to his emails. However, just before Roberto is supposed to leave, something inexplicable happens in his hotel room and he loses consciousness. When he wakes up, his room is completely ransacked. All you need is a camera that can see over time, and the adventure can begin!
With the help of the camera, secrets from the environment are revealed, tools and keys are searched for, and new routes are found. At first there are only two floors, but the venue expands as the game progresses. Mainly the story opens up to the player mostly only through documents and audio tapes lying around here and there, and it soon becomes clear that something more than just a shadowy cult is in control of the hotel.
Phobia is beautiful to look at. The hotel looks and sounds good, and there are enough secrets-almost too many. Progress is slowed down by numerous locks or chains, for which you cannot find a tool right at the beginning. If you are any slower to come up with solutions-like I am-then playing quickly becomes really frustrating. It’s even more annoying to have to go back and forth everywhere, even if there is progress.
Movement is mostly smooth, but there is some clumsiness in the controls, which comes out worst in combat situations. Boss encounters had to be tried several times to find the best and smoothest way to move.
The story unfolds slowly, and while mostly good, it ends up leaving more questions than answers. Normally, it wouldn’t bother me that much, but Fobia‘s story remains so open anyway that reaching the end doesn’t feel satisfying. The setting is tickling, and we could have gotten a lot more out of it. The game was also not quite as scary as I had hoped.
Overall, Fobia-St. Dinfna Hotel is a very typical horror game. However, there could have been more horror elements, and in a certain way, replacing the fight with hiding and sneaking would have brought even more excitement to the game.
If you want familiar and safe horror, then Fobia is worth trying.