PC Game Review
Ayumi is a survival horror game demo I found on Gamejolt, I say demo because the game crashes after a specific part when the game searches for steam data. The game is also available on steam for 3 USD. I like finding weird games on Gamejolt because weird indie games are usually super experimental and interesting to think about, Ayumi is no different. As a Game designer myself with a diploma, I always appreciate experimental titles. Ayumi is definitely an interesting experiment.
Ayumi is made in RPG Maker VX which surprised me at first; it feels a lot like Corpse Party with similar Gameplay style. When the monsters appear it’s completely impossible to defend yourself which I always appreciate in horror games, monsters are far less terrifying when you can defend yourself but there is an option to defend yourself in the security robots, however, they cost 600 credits to activate meaning the player has to use them very sparingly. The game seems to revolve around the credits as not only do they activate the security robots but also activate the rejuvenation chambers which act as extra lives. If you explore the game, you can find credits but they’re usually guarded by monsters leading to some very tense moments which I enjoyed a lot. There are some serious programming issues though, for example, the WASD keys are used to move the character in the game but they cannot be used in the menu which caused me to accidentally quit the game and lose a great deal of progress.
The art style has very little to be said about it, the sprites are mostly stolen from around the internet which leads to some very inconsistent art styles between the characters, for example:
The monsters are completely out of place but I do admit enjoying the hyper-realistic monsters in comparison to the main character. Reminded me a lot of the undertale final boss. (you know the one)
But the biggest problem with the art style has to be when the game gets dark. For reference, this is the size of the game against my desktop
When the game begins it’s relatively well lit so there was no problem
But then when the horror section of the game begins, the lights go out and,
Yeah. The game does give you a torch but it doesn’t help much
I had to bring the screen closer to myself and squint the whole game. The size of the window is non-adjustable and it made the game unbearable at many points.
The sound effects and music are similarly stolen from around the internet which lead to some irritating inconsistencies such as the little girl you play as having a heavy breathing sound effect that’s very clearly and adult woman as well an incredibly annoying jumpscare chord that comes up at very annoying, pointless times like when Ayumi turns and sees a book. It’s cheap and not scary at all.
The story of the game focuses around the “Yellow Mythos” by HP Lovecraft and Robert W Chambers. Hastur, the King in Yellow, is connected to the Cthulu mythos and his inclusion in the game is actually very interesting. The player often encounters the king’s servants like the Byakhee and the Migos
In the beginning of the game, characters are complaining about headaches and they hear Hastur talking to them but you never encounter Hastur himself which is a nice touch as it makes him feel more like a terrifying shadow looming over the characters within the game.
In summary, the game is an interesting play for free but it simply isn’t worth the $3 price tag because it’s simply not polished enough. The creator, Lord Rutsah, doesn’t have any other games to their account so I can only assume that this is their first game and for a first attempt, it’s really good with some interesting ideas but quite frankly, it wouldn’t even pass as a midterm in a game design class let alone be worth monetary compensation.