“The fury of a demon instantly possessed me. I knew myself no longer. My original soul seemed, at once, to take its flight from my body; and a more than fiendish malevolence, gin-nurtured, thrilled every fibre of my frame.” – Edgar Allan Poe
Developer: Sushee Games
Released: April 2016
Price: £9.99 (PC/Mac) £8.99 (Switch) £4.99 (iOS)
Goetia is a point-and-click puzzle game by Sushee Games, it started with a Kickstarter fund, and released on Steam in 2016. The game takes place in a Victorian setting and the player adopts the role of Abigail Blackwood, who died decades earlier.
Goetia’ contains all the standard point-and-click mechanics and puzzle tropes, such as finding letters and photos and deducing lockbox combination codes. However, this game adds a unique element by making the protagonist a ghost. This particular part of the character and narrative design affects the way in which the player can interact with the game environment and helps provide a fresh take on an increasingly stale genre.
Abigail’s spectral form means that walls are not barriers in the way that one might expect. Additionally, being unable to pick up objects means that there is no inventory system. It is also possible to possess certain objects and move them around this way but as these have no physical form, new routes are often needed in order to get them to their intended destination. This in itself makes up some of the game’s puzzle portions.
The puzzles were mostly enjoyable but did get a bit convoluted in parts, with solutions seeming to follow either no logic or a very specific and sequential logic! There are a lot of memos, notes, letter and similar object to find in the game, often leaving the player presented with multiple walls of text with only occasional indications of which information is important.
Goetia has a dark, underlying narrative complete with unexplained deaths and demons. This is revealed gradually through items found in-game and by solving puzzles to progress the story and while it adds a touch of creepiness to the game it wasn’t especially gripping.
One of the game’s most prominent flaws is its UI, the text size is very small, even after adjusting the in-game settings and was impossible to play comfortably with a 4k resolution. This, along with a lack of voice acting made the masses of text even more prominent and chore-like.
The visuals were otherwise pleasant enough, with minimal lighting and an almost greyscale colour palette with only splashes of muted colour. The art style felt somewhat generic though and it didn’t offer anything new aesthetically.
Similarly, both the sound effects and music were in keeping with the tone of the game and implemented well enough but felt familiar rather than fresh, and eventually faded to background noise.
Goetia has an interesting concept but struggles with the execution. It has too many downsides to justify the price tag, especially when there so many examples of good point and click horror puzzles, such as Rusty Lake Paradise or The Hex, both of which cost less than this game. If you’re a particular fan of the genre and find it heavily discounted it might be worth trying it, otherwise I’d recommend finding something else to spend your money on.
Looking for some spooky games to play this Halloween? Check out our horror game reviews here!