Gaming Reviews

Published on June 28th, 2019 | by Joseph Saulnier

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Slender: The Arrival For Nintendo Switch

A brief history for those who are not aware (courtesy of Wikipedia):

“The Slender Man (also known as Slenderman) is a fictional supernatural character that originated as a creepypasta internet meme… Stories of Slender Man commonly feature him stalking, abducting or traumatizing people, particularly children.  The Slender Man is no confined to a single narrative, but appears in many works of fiction, typically composed online.”

Slender: The Arrival (which we’ll just refer to as The Arrival moving forward) is the official video game adaptation of Slender Man.  Blue Isle studios developed the game to bring us improved visuals, great replay value, and a brand new storyline.  These should combine into survival horror at its best.  But sadly, it does not.  The Arrival encourages exploration and the philosophy of scaring the living daylights out of you.  It just doesn’t.    Now, truth be told this genre is not typically my bread and butter, but I came into this game with hopeful expectations, but soon found myself wanting more than the game could offer.

First, you are thrown into the game without any instruction or opening.  Just head down the road, though.  It seems easy enough.  I did appreciate the way they worked credits into this opening sequence though, as you are shown the developers and the team that worked on the game.  Once you get through this, you come upon a house where you will explore the rooms to find notes scattered throughout the house giving you more information on your back story.  Sparing spoilers, essentially the story revolves around a shared trauma from your youth.  Once you leave the house, you press on, turning on some generators along your path.

You’ll come across the second house after crossing a river, where I encountered some of the strangeness I assume is part of the experience.  Glitching visuals, weird creatures that seemed to disappear when you shine your flashlight upon them, that sort of thing.  It could have been a bug, or bugs, but doing a little digging online it seems I was not the only one to experience the same.  There wasn’t really any action to be had.  A little disheartening.

There’s not much challenge with The Arrival.  You will, at some point, encounter the Slender Man in the game.  I went straight toward him, and nothing really happened.  Unfortunately, it’s a bad byproduct of these games.  If it doesn’t scare you, even in the slightest, you’re just left with a stagnant experience while you are running from point to point to read lore.

It took me nearly 2 hours to finish the game, though I suspect those without toddler twins may get through it a bit faster.  Suffice it to say, I wish I had those 2 hours back.  I never really felt the tension that would cause fear or even nervousness.  The shaky cam visual of the game certainly didn’t help.  Essentially, you are playing through the eyes of the camera you are holding, complete with “recording” indicator and battery level (you can turn this off).  As you walk the camera bobs back and forth a little bit, and as you run it does so a little faster.  I understand what they were trying to accomplish here, but it was executed so poorly.  I found myself constantly trying to correct this with the joycon thinking it was simply drift.  It was super distracting.

Slender: The Arrival failed to give a complete game worthy of the price tag, even at its current price tag of $9.99 on the eShop.  That’s not to say you won’t enjoy it, especially if you scare VERY easily or are just a fan of the Slender Man himself.  It’s just that combine a wonky control system, very little instruction, and no real tension building moments, and you have a dud of game in my book.

1 out of 5

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