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Have You Played... Knock, Knock?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Deeply weird and fantastically stylish, Knock, Knock – a Russian studio’s examination of insomnia and being afraid of the dark – is one of the best games of the past couple of years. Just don’t expect to understand it all.

I think there’s a certain part of us that just craves to weird and the mysterious, and the more sinister those unexplained bumps in the night of our consciousness are, the more delicious they can be. Knock, Knock is all this, and something completely out of the normal range of games. A 2D side-scroller, sure, but that’s about where it parts ways with the rest of gaming. It’s about patrolling a big spooky house, at night, and making sure THINGS don’t get in. As the nights pass, the house gets bigger, and your character gets weirder, and the things in the house get closer, and more terrifying.

Knock, Knock, is a game that looks for, and finds, the anxieties which haunt us. Even when we’re not scared of the dark, we’re still apprehensive. Even when this game doesn’t do jump-scares or threat by being eaten alive by monsters, it does something that searches a bit deeper. It’s a deep, dark thing and makes me shudder to think of the dark nights I spent alone with it.

Play it. If for no other reason that it is a horror game like no other.

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Jim Rossignol

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