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Have You Played... Uncanny Valley?

BOO

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I’ve heard of love at first sight, but does it really count when all you’ve done is speak two or three terse lines of dialogue at someone? Uncanny Valley seems to think so, because that was all it took to make spooky apartment building owner Eve fall in love with new boy security guard (and player character) Tom. She even sent a letter inviting him to a late-night rendezvous in the rec room one evening, but goddamn it I have a job to do, and my lazy pal Buck would have busted my ass if I didn’t show up for work on time. And to be honest, I’d rather she hadn’t fallen in love with me, because then I’d still be in possession of both my arms and legs.

Safe to say, Eve isn’t very nice. I’d been quite enjoying my night shift at the recently closed down robotics lab until she declared her undying love for me, as I’d just started to piece together the lab’s troubled history by rummaging through all the leftover computer logs as I made my nightly tours of the building.

It’s a creepy game, what with the darkness and the torchlight and the low, ominous music, but never threatening, making it a more manageable horror game than most I’ve played. Sure, the security guard sections are bookended by Tom’s rather more horrifying nightmare sequences where he’s being perpetually chased by an inescapable black horde of something, but they aren’t particularly scary. After all, there’s nothing you can do to evade the black blob, so you might as well embrace it and just get it over with.

Then Eve came and ruined it all. She is threatening and terrifying and everything I hate about horror games, and because of her I never want to go back. You see, Uncanny Valley is one of those seemingly-short-but-really-quite-long games that benefit from multiple playthroughs to get the proper ending. But one playthrough was enough for me, mostly because I fear she’s just going to get me again if I’m too slow at figuring out the game’s wider mystery in the apparently limited time I have before she goes completely psycho.

Who knows, maybe things would have panned out differently if I’d skived off work that night and met her in the rec room after all. Maybe then she wouldn’t have cornered me and brought me back to her flat, whispering sweet nothings into my ear as she sliced off my outer extremities and left me a lifeless husk on the floor. Maybe she’s actually all right if you don’t leave her spurned and ignored all evening. But I guess we’ll never know now, because there’s no way in hell I’m going through all that again.

Perhaps you’ll fare better instead, so why not try it on Steam and let me know what happens, yeah? Please?

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Who am I?

Katharine Castle

Hardware Editor

Katharine writes about all the bits that go inside your PC so you can carry on playing all those lovely games we like talking about so much. Very partial to JRPGs and the fetching of quests.

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