Sometimes you’re in the mood for a spooky story, one you can interact with but are more interested in the tale weirdly woven within than something that requires immersive game play and Masochisia is a game that ticks that specific box. But given just how lacking in game play interaction it is, calling it an animated novel might be more true to the medium. Nevertheless, we played it as a game and dived into a bizarre anatomically warped, dark world.
Masochisia deserves credit first and foremost in the art department, which is the primary source of creep from start to finish. The surroundings, the characters, the undead objects that are scattered around, all exude unnerving voyeur gothica. The focus of the game is on masochism (in case the title did not hint that), and you the player will see some first hand self infliction from prodding yourself with needles piercing and falling into the rabbit hole of associated psychological and personality related disorders. It’s a game that seems to almost focus on you as a player and want to unnerve you than to entertain. It has moments that are reminiscent of The Cat Lady and other games that are unashamed and raw in their depiction of how disorders of the mind shape the world within and around those afflicted.
In a point and click style, you play Hamilton, a young boy messed up lad from an even more messed up family. It’s like Texas Chain Saw Massacre if they all had access to a tailor that specializes in tweed. Hamilton suffers physically and mentally under the cruel hands of his family and the game doesn’t sugar coat this aspect and shows how it has shaped him to no doubt grow up to be just as warped as his elders. His brother, Walter, is a creepy mask wearing BDSM freak, who lives in a prison like room, probably his own choice of decor. No one you encounter will be someone you’d invite around for a cup of tea any time soon.
Make no mistake, the purpose of this game is not to save Hamilton, it’s to simply watch and partake in his decline into sheer murderous lunacy. There’s no hope for him and no beautiful Japanese RPG music score when the credits role.
Game-play as mentioned is limited, as playing the game is not the intended goal, so much as experiencing it. Any movement and interaction that does exist is quite confined. The game is dialogue heavy and the writing borders from well done to sometimes a bit sketchy and choices from certain conversations don’t hold much weight afterwards. Personally I didn’t enjoy playing this game, I think you need to have an interest in the macabre or not be terribly affected by the brutal contents to say you had fun playing Masochisia and that’s not a bad thing. The creators didn’t make this game with the intention of pleasing a mainstream and hopefully not for younger gamers to try out.
In conclusion, every aspect of this game, from the characters to the curtains is bleak, but the art style and representation of this mad, masochistic world is executed superbly. If you’re going through a particularly low point, maybe wait before playing this game, novel, story, nightmare. Unless you like this sort of thing, you sick sick puppy.
Masochisia is currently £5.59 on Steam