An online interpreter is tricked into reading an ancient book that summons a demon into her home. Night Book is an interactive occult thriller movie from the publishers of The Complex, Five Dates and Maid of Sker.
Publisher: Wales Interactive
Reviewed on: PC
Also available for: PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One
Developer: Wales Interactive
Director: Alex Lightman
Writer: Megan Jones
Cast: Julie Dray, Mark Wingett, Siwan Morris, Colin Salmon, Akie Kotabe, Kaine Zajaz
Wales Interactive’s latest FMV horror game is a short and paranormal adventure. Because it was filmed and developed in lock-down, there’s a feeling of making use of what we’ve got, and the final product will warrant a couple of playthroughs to see everything on offer. Though atmospheric, there’s little in the way of legitimate scares here, but the story is oddly engaging for the genre.
You make choices for Loralyn (Julie Dray), who are working remotely as an interpreter. Her father (Mark Wingett) has locked himself away in a room, thinking that spirits are after him. The man he believes is responsible for this is Loralyn’s husband (Akie Kotabe), who’s away getting a new hotel ready to be built on top of a tree that may or may not be central to the indigenous tribes’ religion or culture.
You see everything happening through the security cameras that Loralyn has installed inside her home, the webcam of herself, and the people Loralyn is speaking to. It’s a premise that we’ve seen become quite popular in horror films, but it doesn’t reach the same success here thanks to a reliance on visual static and jump-cuts. Some practical effects of a chair moving in the background or anything along those lines would have gone far here in making the experience scarier.
Night Book is most comparable to those interactive episodes of Black Mirror on Netflix, rather than your typical FMV adventure game. There’s no puzzle-solving and no choice in which direction or room the characters head into at any point. Instead, you’re simply making choices as they pop onto the screen, often picking between two things and then watching the ‘butterfly effect’ play everything out.