The Cursed Forest: review The Cursed Forest: review The Cursed Forest: review The Cursed Forest: review The Cursed Forest: review The Cursed Forest: review The Cursed Forest: review The Cursed Forest: review The Cursed Forest: review The Cursed Forest: review The Cursed Forest: review The Cursed Forest: review The Cursed Forest: review The Cursed Forest: review The Cursed Forest: review The Cursed Forest: review The Cursed Forest: review The Cursed Forest: review The Cursed Forest: review The Cursed Forest: review The Cursed Forest: review The Cursed Forest: review The Cursed Forest: review The Cursed Forest: review The Cursed Forest: review The Cursed Forest: review The Cursed Forest: review The Cursed Forest: review The Cursed Forest: review The Cursed Forest: review The Cursed Forest: review The Cursed Forest: review The Cursed Forest: review The Cursed Forest: review The Cursed Forest: review The Cursed Forest: review The Cursed Forest: review The Cursed Forest: review The Cursed Forest: review The Cursed Forest: review The Cursed Forest: review The Cursed Forest: review

The Cursed Forest: review

Dark cursed forest. The gloomy gray sky eagerly shares with you the barely visible light through the crooked branches of tall trees in the thicket. The rich aroma of herbs from the evening harvest of the forest cuts into your nose. The moist and cool air penetrates piercingly into the lungs tired from the exhausting hike. Each step with the destructive force of broken branches breaks the dead silence of the lonely forest with thunder. The harsh cries of magpies, the sounds of a cricket, the rebellious rustle of grass, the crackle of a fire, the howling wind and a hum like the lowest bass greet you with open arms of dry branches in this dark ominous place.

First and not last date
Welcome to the cursed forest! You may have already encountered a similar horror story back in 2014, when this indie horror was just beginning to grow overgrown and smell like history. The product was grown by Andrei KPy3O Sukhachev on the CryEngine Free SDK 3.4.5 engine. Our Russian development team from Siberia, referred to as Noostyche, just recently released their full 1.0.0 creation for freedom on the Steam service for 240 rubles (at the time of 03/10/2019) and immediately got fans. On the resulting "remake" he already worked with the team. The game is a walking simulator, in the best sense of this phrase, with a horror flavor, a quest and an incredibly exciting adventure.

The plot of an insanely exciting adventure
Our insanely exciting adventure of a nameless hero begins with a turn in the wrong place, or rather into the cursed forest, where a terrible ritual was once performed and, through the fault of the greedy inhabitants of the forest, ended for them not in the best traditions of Hollywood. From the otherworldly reality a "puppeteer" appeared to them in the face, or rather in the body, of the unfortunate girl Sarah, who was sacrificed by her father. In this, at first glance, banal story, our developers have laid a lot of meaning and details, which I would like to talk about in more detail below.

More details about what I wanted to talk about below
First, the elaboration of the forest. Trees, leaves, rocks, stones, swamps, streams and rivulets look as if they were alive. The feeling of being in a deep forest is conveyed immediately after the first loading screen with art. The visuals and attention to detail are only comparable to the brand new Metro: Exodus and not as young Io games as The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, What Remains of Edith Finch. Walking and jogging along the paths and not only are associated with the beloved bearded Dear Esther.

Secondly, references and niceties. Since the Io game was made by our compatriots, the forest also came out to our relatives. All huts and wooden outbuildings are full of Slavic flavor of the Russian-Siberian soul. There are Russian stoves in the houses, painted samovars and various utensils with black bread and dryers flaunt on the tables, hunting rifles, knitted carpets, folk paintings and even the proud Vladimir Ilyich Lenin in a frame hang on the walls. I am already silent that we have to collect Buratino himself piece by piece, see the "hedgehog in the fog" carved on the rocks and notice Soviet money on the shelves. Under the open starry sky, candies with the image of "whites and arrows" lie on the picnic carpet. The Io game also did not go unnoticed by Western "Easter eggs" in the form of transparent rocks with the inscription: "nine and three quarters."

I think you have already guessed what kind of referral with a boy with a scar on his forehead we are talking about. After finding this Easter egg, I broke more than one nose on the rocks.

Third, a heartfelt note. An integral part of any horror is the presentation of a plot or part of it through scraps of paper. For what! Each note is handwritten in its own distinctive, illegible handwriting. It is in them that the heroes, their motives, experiences and simply thoughts about the events taking place then are revealed.

Fourth, the A-atmosphere. From the very first sounds of the piano and cello, meeting at the beginning of the game, you plunge deeper and deeper into the depths of the impenetrable foggy deciduous forest. Although the musical arrangement is more rare than the constant accompanying ambient, it makes a huge impression and competently dilutes the gloomy and mysterious silence of the surrounding reality.

All of the above features of the game characterize it from a good, bright side. But do not forget that this is not a walk in the woods, not a mushroom hike, this is a full-fledged horror, with its own special dark sides.

The dark sides of the forest
The most banal and easiest way to scare any gamer is the SCREAMER !!! Here they are in moderation and most of them, thank God, are not predictable. Otherwise, there is no point in screamers ... But what is difficult to scare is with an inducing suspense. And the developers did it. Those who played the early build, that is, the Io game of 2014, were probably afraid of buckets. There are enough of them in the current version of the Io game. In general, the Io game is very inventive and virtuoso tickles the nerves in the most unexpected ways. She plays with us like toys. Her desire to scare is somewhat similar to "trolling". They mock us, lead us by the nose and periodically give us a magic pendel that takes us to the previous checkpoint. The preserves here are made in the form of altars, I would even say bonfires. The difficulty of the Io game is not high, death causes only a smile or a slight surprise, if you understand what I mean.

Relationships are a difficult thing, especially with a babayka in the forest, but even here, the developers manage to show their development from threat and war to forgiveness and mutual assistance. And even easy flirting was found here. Babay in the face of a grown-up man from the cartoon "Bonifitsia's Vacation" now and then throws a rake in the middle of the road (the most original screamer in the game, in my opinion), hides like a child behind clothes hangers and tries to attract our attention. This whole pun permeates the entire gameplay from the intro to the credits.

Process
The walking simulator genre has always been stingy with the interaction with the environment. This problem has not spared this project either. We can walk, run, jump, crawl and even swim, so much for a walking simulator alone, right? Well, that's probably all. And no more! This set is enough for 100% immersion in the Io game and contemplation of the beauty and horror of the cursed forest. The only drawback is the lack of a flashlight (the main attribute of any harror), but this is already the technical side of the issue. I would like to summarize and finally get out of the forest.

Verdict
The Io game teaches us morality. On the example of the heroes, we see that even the strongest love for loved ones can turn into grief for those around them. Attempts to control everyone and everyone are reversed - total imprisonment in a soulless straw body - a prison. As the most holy and pure creature, under the influence of cruelty, it can display the most monstrous qualities. And only people who care, will not pass by, tail between their legs, and lend a helping hand to the most terrible creatures in need of it. In general, the Io game deserves attention not only for the fact that it is thought out in details and interesting, but also for the fact that our comrades in the shop, our dear people, did it with all their hearts!

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