Game Review: Frightence (Xbox Series X)

From Playstige Interactive comes the short, intense first-person horror Frightence. Out on now on all major consoles at the low price of £4.99/$5.99.

When we say short, we mean short. The game can be completed in less than 30 minutes. In fact, on repeat plays you could probably have it done in less than 20. That is short, but is it satisfying?

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You play as the janitor for the infamous apartment block 17, which is the seed of many eerie tales and blood curdling urban legends. Detail that you won’t really get at first. As you’re literally dropped into the janitor’s shoes and tasked with checking that all the residents have left. Left because the building is dilapidated and has been condemned with all the residents having been given eviction notices.

It looks pretty horrible inside but what awaits you in some the apartments is much worse.

A walking simulator, Frightence bucks the trend of indie horror games by going for atmosphere and the odd jump scare, over the tired ‘run & hide’ mechanic. Aside from one brief moment, the janitor moves very slowly. The controls are very basic; move, look around, zoom in and interact with certain things. It’s all in place to ensure you can take in the atmosphere of the game.

Which is easily the best aspect of Frightence. It creates foreboding and oppressive atmosphere that makes you scared to go into an apartment. Who knows what you’ll find? The meat of the story comes from documents that you can pick up in the resident’s apartments that give you some backstory as to who lived there. It’s a welcome touch as there’s nothing else to do in the game.

The mechanic of walking to each apartment door and trying them to see if they open might seem monotonous but the game does offer hints if you know where to look. Not sure what apartment is now open following the latest horror-heavy event? Take a look at the clock that’s in the lobby of one of the floors.

As already stated, the scares in Frightence comes from the atmosphere but it’s not adverse to a jump scare or two either. Some are very effective (the meat one), others not so much (the doll’s face) but none are jarring. Thanks to graphics that really make the building seem on its last legs, music that is very threatening and sound effects that add great creep factor, Frightence is an effective horror game.

At least until its final section where things get a bit too weird and then the game ends abruptly with a ‘to be continued’ message. That feels like a copout when you’ve got barely 30 minutes of gameplay out of it.

Is that a problem? It will be for many even if the game is priced very low. Just as you’re really getting into it, it ends. It does stay with you afterwards though.


  • Carl Fisher

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Frightence (Xbox Series X)
  • The Final Score - 7/10
User Review
9.25/10 (2 votes)