Intruders: Hide and Seek Review - Simple But Effective Housebound Horror

Intruders: Hide and Seek may be basic and straightforward in its approach, but it's an enjoyable horror gaming experience with VR functionality.

Horror games have generally translated well into a VR setting and have represented a significant percentage oft he earliest tech demos and game experiences. Adopters have been treated to VR functionality in games like Resident Evil 7, while the future looks bright with other high-profile titles like The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners. With Intruders: Hide and Seek, Tessera Studios tries to show that indie studios can still make a big impact in the VR-compatible horror sphere.

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Intruders: Hide and Seek tells the story of Ben, a 13-year old boy whose house is invaded by three nefarious intruders. With his parents incapacitated and his younger sister hiding, Ben must use all his stealth skills to avoid being found. This is easier said than done within the confides of the family home.

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This leads Intruders: Hide and Seek into a cat-and-mouse horror experience, as the player tries to avoid detection. The game's core mechanics are stealth-based, with no method of fighting back against the invading trio. Instead, the player needs to pop into hiding places such as cupboards and make as little noise as possible.

Intruders: Hide and Seek doesn't stray too far in terms of ambition. It's a simplistic horror game, but there's nothing wrong with that - particularly given its VR focus. Tessera Studios ensures that the title controls well, and for its brief run time does not over-complicate itself with unnecessary features, although a little more variety would take it up a level.

On the whole, Intruders: Hide and Seek is an engaging experience. The main stealth mechanics are more than adequate, with a fluidity of control and an intuitive approach to steadily increasing the difficulty. It's a game that understands how to amp up the tension to entwine its gameplay with story beats, which is still a surprisingly rare trait.

Something that helps make Intruders: Hide and Seek is that it avoids the kind of jarring movement jumps that typify VR-centric games in general, making it more immersive. Indeed, although horror games often make it onto lists of best VR games in general, even the top examples make use of restrictive movement mechanics.

That's not to say that Intruders: Hide and Seek doesn't have its fair share of problems, though. It's certainly rough around the edges, particularly when it comes to both character models and their animations. There's an awkward quality to everyone, with a cartoonish design that is particularly dissonant in comparison to the more realistic look of the house.

Unfortunately, this means that Intruders: Hide and Seek isn't always scary in the right places. The rigid shuffle of its antagonists takes away from the tension at times, sweeping away the facade of genuine danger and revealing rigid AI pathways that are always better left hidden. More than in any other genre, it's best not to see how the sausage is made when it comes to horror games.

There's also the unfortunate side-effect of Ben's own family also appearing on the scary side. The character models dive deep into the uncanny valley, particularly his little sister. Alas, the same issues lie with the voice acting, which is more than a little bit stilted and is able to eradicate a player's engrossment in a heartbeat.

Even so, Intruders: Hide and Seek is a solid enough effort for an indie horror title. The fact that it remains so straightforward throughout may stop it from reaching a level of quality that comes with a greater scope, but it nonetheless achieves a competency that horror fans will appreciate. Throw in a decent story and it becomes a neat little pocket of fun for horror aficionados.

At the end of the day, there are plenty of worse games out there, particularly in the sometimes oversaturated indie horror market. Intruders: Hide and Seek acts as a quick jolt of Halloween fun, and something that definitely holds a place within the VR market in particular, even with its more awkward, basic moments. However, players shouldn't come into the title expecting anything groundbreaking.

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Intruders: Hide and Seek is out now for PSVR and PC. Screen Rant was provided with the PC download code for the purposes of this review.

Our Rating:

3 out of 5 (Good)
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