• arrow
    LOG IN 
    • Log in using an option below.
         
      Forgot password?
      Login with Facebook
      Sign in with Twitter

  • REGISTER
ABOUT US
Shop Contact Us Submit Videos Who Are We? Hall Of Fame Advertising With PG Games Archive
BEST GAMES
Best games on iPhone Best games on iPad Best games on Apple Watch Best games on Android
FREE STUFF
Best free games on iPhone Best free games on iPad Best free games on Apple Watch Best free games on Android Competitions
GAME SALES
iPhone game sales iPad game sales Apple Watch game sales Android game sales
UPDATED GAMES
Latest iPhone game updates Latest iPad game updates Latest Apple Watch game updates Latest Android game updates
NEW RELEASES
New iPhone games New iPad games New Apple Watch games New Android games
MORE PG SITES
PG.biz PG FRANCE PG GERMANY PG Game Guides PG GameHubs PG Connects
MORE SM SITES
AppSpy 148 Apps Android Rundown iPhone Quality Index iPad Quality Index Android Quality Index Swipe Magazine Best App Ever Awards
PARTNERS
Metacritic
GameRankings
Pocket Gamer on NewsNow
GamesTracker
dx.net
UK Mobile Pages Directory
Skinflint Price Comparison
iPhone  header logo

Only When Howling review - A short, contemplative piece of interactive art


For: iPhone   Also on: Android, iPad

Open up your eyes

Product: Only When Howling | Format: iPhone | Genre: Puzzle | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
Subscribe to AppSpy on


There is nothing more boring and pointless in the world than the argument over what is or isn't a game – especially when people try to use it to mark down interesting titles that try to do something new with the medium.

So, let's get this out of the way right here. Only When Howling is not a game. It's an interactive art piece which happens to have multiple paths and interpretations depending on how you choose to experience it.

That's not going to be to everyone's tastes, but if you go in with an open mind, you may be surprised about how much you get out of it.

Open hearts, open minds

Each of the three stories in Only When Howling is presented in a similar format – you're shown a small cutscene to explain the scenario, then your character's head opens up and you're invited to dive into their thoughts and feelings.

These are represented in abstract environments which you poke and prod to change in sometimes short and imperceptible ways, with multiple screens to look at before you move on.

Only When Howling Screenshot 1

Your actual goal, for want of a better word, is to find specific objects which unlock a new cutscene, giving you a better insight into the emotions of the character whose story you're experiencing.

This is all done with minimal text and a heavy focus on imagery and metaphor, so it's up to you to draw your own conclusions based on what you've been presented with.

Obscuring the way

It's a design decision that works well here but will probably drive away more than a few people here – Only When Howling doesn't offer any clear-cut answers, and nothing has a particularly satisfying ending.

The art style may also prove to be a turn-off for some. It's a little bit basic and cartoonish and lacks the kind of polish that similar projects often focus on to set themselves apart.

But, again, it works in the context. The art style lets Only When Howling experiment with its own presentation, leading to wildly different environments to explore for each character.

Only When Howling Screenshot 2

You get a sense of each person's life and feelings through how their thoughts are represented and the different ways you can interact with them, and it's another layer of imagery to consider when you're thinking about the experience afterwards.

The quiet of night

Overall, Only When Howling is certainly not for everyone. It doesn't hold your hand, it doesn't offer any neat little answers, and it doesn't provide much in the way of interactivity.

But at just half an hour long, it does what it wants to pretty much perfectly – it gets in, gives you complex emotions to deal with, and gets out to leave you to your thoughts.

If you're looking for something short and contemplative, it's definitely worth checking out. And even if you're not used to this kind of experience, you might still find something here that will give you some food for thought.
 
Only When Howling review - A short, contemplative piece of interactive art
Reviewer photo
Ric Cowley | 11 June 2018
Only When Howling is a beautifully weird art experience that will give you lots to think about in a very short space of time
 
Have Your Say
POPULAR REVIEWS
RECENT COMMENTS
LATEST NEWS
LATEST VIDEOS
VIDEO REVIEWS