Fans of scary games will be in for a treat as we take a look at Clea for the Nintendo Switch. In the game you play as Clea and her brother, trying to avoid demons known as Chaos Servants, strewn about Witlock Mansion. Take a seat, it's gonna get scary!
Clea is a survival horror game minus the jump scares. However, some of the scary moments in the game can surprise players if they aren't careful. That being said, you hear the enemies coming before you interact with them. Also if you make too much noise, you'll bring attention to yourself and telling the monsters where you are.
What I also found interesting is some of the area interactions, like pushing a button on a picture, will also make a noise and alert the monsters to your location. This is where strategy in Clea comes into play. You might have to make a noise to alert an enemy inside the bathroom for instance and then sneak past. Hiding in closets will also help your survival since hiding sometimes is the only way you're going to live. The Chaos Servants go into rooms when they hear you and will only stop hunting you is if you hide.
Another interesting gameplay mechanic is being able to look under doors and through keyholes to see what's awaiting your on the other side. You will need to explore the areas as there are plenty of things to locate like key fragments and switches for example. On the plus side, you'll be able to save everytime you find a birthday cake in the mansion so save often as one wrong move and it's back to the last save-point for you.The game starts at a birthday party thus the cake savepoints. With every noise you hear important, it's recommened by the devs that you play with headphones on and I can see why. You need to be able to hear everything going on so you don't have a monster sneaking up on you at the last minute.
I mentioned items like key fragments before and you can't have a survival horror game without items. One of the most important items, as well as a limited supply of them, is the blue candle. Light up the candle and you'll be able to walk right past any Chaos Sevant that gets in your way. You'll have to decide when to use them and when to run away and hide. There is a run button but running makes a lot of noise and will bring the monsters to your location. While exploring the mansion, you'll be able to find notes that give you a better idea of what you've actually gotten yourself into.
Clea does have replay value as there are different medals to earn as well as achievments such as beating it quickly. That being said, it does get repetitive after awhile as you're dodging monsters and hiding quite often. If the mansion had more variety then it might feel less repetitive but there were only a few types of rooms/monster types. The art style looks great as the marienette/paper doll look of the characters plays into the creepyness. I also felt that the shadowing of the characters presented that spooky vibe as well.
Clea reminds me of the classic survival horror style games where you have to go from point A to point B, avoiding something along the way. The game creates a scaryness without the typical jump scares games of the genre are known for. The artstyle and sounds play perfectly together and really make you feel like monsters are going to get you. That being said, it does have replay value but it will feel repetative after awhile. It's these reasons that I'm giving Clea for the Nintendo Switch a 7.5/10. I'd like to thank Sekai Games for the review code.