The thought of being kidnapped or trapped without escape is a viable fear for most people. In the latest title from Gogii Games, you’ll play the role of victim Helene as she tries to find a way of escape before her killer closes in on her. But making a casual horror game is notoriously tricky business. Does Trapped: The Abduction have the makings of a truly great and scary game?
The game begins without much elaboration on what’s going on. All you know is that the main character, Helene, has been kidnapped and taken to a strange warehouse-like location. Her kidnapper, a man cloaked in a dark hooded sweater with a deep and distorted voice, has set up cameras all around the location, asking Helene if she’d like to play a game: a game of survival. Helene must not only try to escape, but recover her memory, identity, and evidence along the way before time runs out.
Trapped: The Abduction is your run of the mill hidden object game. In each area you must find a list of objects before "replaying" the same area (after a message from the kidnapper), only actually finding useful items to progress to the next room. Most all the objects you’ll be picking up have very little if any significance, with Helene often asking herself why she’s doing this and the kidnapper thanking her for picking up after him. The whole vibe of this makes the game very peculiar, and instead of worrying about the prospect of being killed or not escaping, you’ll more likely be wondering what the point is to begin with.
In the secondary puzzles, you can toggle the mouse over various objects to make a "?"appear over things you can interact with or find pieces to. A hint system is present to aid you in finding these areas and objects, but isn’t always as specific as you need it to be. Hints are unlimited but take a short while before they can be used again.
There is an inventory present in the game that allows you to stash items for later use. However, you won’t be using these inventory items regularly: instead you will only use a handful in a single room at the very end of the game.
The main appeal of Trapped for most people will be the promise of scary gameplay, but unfortunately what could have been a very frightening gaming experience really isn’t. The premise is similar to the Saw movies, minus the gore. The kidnapper will come on the loudspeaker and taunt you very often, however I can’t tell you how many times the kidnapper will repeat himself. This is one of the very things that makes the gameplay drag on and makes it hard to take the kidnapper seriously. `In addition to that, some of his comments are so off the wall strange, such as being unable to resist taking Helene’s shoes, you’ll just sit there and wonder "…Huh?"
But surely if you discount that, the game is still scary, right? Well, no, not really. The soundtrack consists of one tune repeating over and over again, and the environments, while they are all different, still don’t boast much variation. There aren’t even rats, birds, or spiders that scurry or flutter around to give a quick and easy scare. The only thing you will encounter on less than a handful of occasions is a mannequin falling out of a closet or locker with a scream.
Many of the game’s puzzles and areas just seem absurd, like having to reassemble and dress up a mannequin (male in female attire) and adding lipstick to it, or wash the clothes of the kidnapper in a coin-slot laundry room. It feels like filler. Furthermore the areas seem repetitive, since for example, in every area the door knob is missing and you’ll have to find it. The fact that the killer repeats himself so often really makes him much more annoying than threatening, to the point where whenever he talks you really start to tune him out. The game also ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, so story-wise, it’s not satisfying.
Overall, Trapped: The Abduction really doesn’t offer the horrifying experience the title suggests. The hidden objects aren’t even that hard to find. With quirky items and tasks littering every scene and failed attempts at increasing the drama, you’d be better off investing in another title for your Halloween scares.