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3DS  header logo

The Starship Damrey

For: 3DS

Transporting a different kind of horror

Product: The Starship Damrey | Developer: Level-5 | Publisher: Level-5 | Format: 3DS | Genre: Adventure | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
The Starship Damrey 3DS, thumbnail 1
What passes for horror these days? Some games and films would have you believe that it all boils down to torture and gore. Others will tell you that there must be zombies and other monsters.

Level-5 has taken a completely different approach with its 3DS eShop release The Starship Damrey, the last title in its Guild 02 series of games.

Memory games

The suspense starts when you wake up locked in a cold storage pod on the spaceship Damrey.

Initially, it seems as though there's no chance of escape as you poke and prod around the pod. Then you manage to initiate and restart the ship's computer system through a set of puzzles that cleverly introduce you to the skills you'll need throughout.

Once you take command of one of the ship's drone robots you'll have to make use of those skills rather sharpish as The Starship Damrey both pulls no punches and takes no prisoners.

You'll find no hand-holding here. Whenever you're told something, you need to make sure you've memorised it or written it down so you can refer to it later when it undoubtedly crops up.

An interstellar experience

The cold, creaking, steely corridors of the Damrey are perfect for the game's sci-fi horror setting. Your field of vision is limited to where your flashlight's beam can reach, creating an overbearing sense of claustrophobia. Think Event Horizon or Alien.

Added to this is the hollow sound your movement makes through the ship. The whirr of your robot's wheels echo through the hull, and the swell of dagger-like strings when something jumps out to surprise you really does make you jump.

You're always wondering what's just around the corner. Every moment feels fresh as you unravel the mystery that occurred upon the Damrey - even if there's still the obligatory creepy female that most Japanese psychological horrors have since The Ring.

No one can hear you scream

The Starship Damrey is a relatively short adventure for the price.

What's more, Level-5 doesn't make enough use of the 3DS's features, and nor does it really take advantage of the potential for emergent puzzles and management gameplay inherent in the various discarded robots in the Damrey.

There are also a few loose ends to proceedings, although you probably won't notice them if you've invested in the extra story features that come from owning previous Level-5 eShop releases like Liberation Maiden or Crimson Shroud.

However, it's really hard to say anything overly negative about Level-5's efforts. For all its faults, this is undeniably a solid, good-looking, and genuinely frightening horror game.
The Starship Damrey
Reviewer photo
Vaughn Highfield | 23 May 2013
A wonderful 3DS psychological thriller that details the journey through the emotional turmoil of a ship in distress
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