The Corruption Within – Review

This is a review of the game, “The Corruption Within”, which is a point and click adventure game set in the ’70s. It is developed by the Indie game studio, Rabbit Hole Games. The game puts players in the shoes of an investigative journalist who is interviewing a politician at the hotel after a campaign he won. As soon as they enter the hotel, the game is set up in a way that the journalist has to find out what happened to a young boy that was kidnapped by a gang of people, who are also staying there.

In this review I will be talking about a game called “The Corruption Within”. The game is free and you can download it and play for yourself. I will be using it as a tool to help me explore morality in games and discuss the issues that arise around morality in games and the interactions between the player and the developer.

I’ve always had a soft spot for retro adventure games. For someone who grew up with Sierra’s King’s Quest and Lucasart’s Monkey Island, this isn’t very surprising. So when I stumble upon a book like this, I usually want to read it. Cosmic Void and Dave Seaman’s Corruption Within recently caught my attention with its pixel art style and creepy storyline. What I experienced was a little mixed.

The Corruption Within – Review
The Corruption Within - Review 6

The Corruption Within Review

Like I said before, the principle is really interesting. The Corruption Within is a psychological horror game with gothic traits. In Victorian England, you are enjoying a camping holiday when your wife and two children disappear. Being deep in the woods with no civilization around, you are desperate to find anyone you can. At that point, you come across a dead body in the woods.

A classic horror pattern. Now all I have to do is stumble over something while dodging the enemy.

In addition to this shocking find, you will discover a large mansion on the lake. Having no other options, you contact the estate and ask for help. But the owners and staff seem to have their own secrets. How far are you willing to go to save your family?

The plot is very engaging and kept me on the edge of my seat the entire movie. I felt like the wife and kids were barely addressed, which is surprising considering they are your main motivation in the game. There are a lot of characters in the novel Corruption Within, and I felt like I understood each of them better than my own family. The other characters have a surprising depth and complexity that I didn’t expect.

The Corruption Within review

This type seems quite rich.

Unfortunately, the ending seemed very rushed to me. In this eerily atmospheric adventure, you spend a lot of time solving puzzles, after which the big reveal comes quite suddenly, followed by an insane amount of exposition. It feels like the developers ran out of time and money and decided to stop the game. And for a game that’s only two hours long, that’s no mean feat.

In terms of gameplay, it’s a classic point-and-click adventure game in which you move around by clicking on the directional keys at the bottom of the screen and interacting with random objects. The inventory system is a bit odd, though, as you can’t put all the items together even if you know you need them. Instead, you need to choose one of the required elements and use it on the intended object. If you have more than one item in your inventory that is needed to overcome an obstacle, the game will automatically do that for you when you use it. It’s not a terrible mechanism, just a little unusual and annoying until you realize the game is doing it for you.

The Corruption Within review

I totally agree with you.

However, the most frustrating aspect of The Corruption Within is the way the puzzles are constructed. This does not mean that they are too difficult. In fact, none of them are rigid, and the solutions make perfect sense. The biggest problem is that most require backtracking. Most puzzles require you to walk around (multiple times), find the right person to talk to, go back to where you were to get the item for them, go back to the person who will give you the item or open something, and then go back to where you started. It gets boring fast.

Also, you can’t take certain items until you’ve progressed far enough in the story to need them. There were a few instances where I knew how to get past a certain obstacle and tried to use the required item, but the game told me there was no reason for that action. Then, after a brief conversation with someone, I was sent back to that area, and lo and behold, the device finally worked. With such a setup, most of the game felt monotonous and heavy.

The Corruption Within review

This Bible puzzle was the best and probably the hardest in the game, and I still solved it in about five minutes.

But I have to give Corruption Within credit. Both the art and the sound design are beautiful. It’s made in a low-resolution pixel art style and is reminiscent of the classic adventures of the 80s and 90s. It even retained the 4:3 aspect ratio, which I personally liked. I know this may put some people off, but I think it fits the game well. My only complaint is that the map is not very large, so you end up on the same screens over and over again. There’s a lot of detail, and they did a fantastic job of creating an eerie, moody atmosphere. I liked it so much that I wanted to see more.

I was really surprised by the sound design of The Corruption Within. The game doesn’t have much voice acting, just the narration at the beginning, but what it does have is decent. The soundtrack sets the tone perfectly with its dark and unsettling score. But what really impressed me were the sound effects. From the footsteps echoing on the wooden floor to the creaking of rusty hinges to the sound of the rope stretching and swinging a lifeless body, everything was believable. The music and sound effects heighten the tension and create a sense of impending terror around every corner.

The Corruption Within a review

The sound of the swinging rope is one of the most irritating things in the game.

The Corruption Within may have its flaws, but I recommend it to anyone who likes classic point-and-click adventure games. It’s a short game, it only takes a few hours to play it out and get all the achievements, but it’s a fun game while it lasts. Along the way you can also make various decisions that will influence the outcome at the end of the game. The main story remains the same, but the epilogues are very varied, giving the game some replay value. The puzzles can be tedious because of all the digressions, but the story is compelling enough to keep you interested until the end. For the low price of only $10, it’s worth the trip.

It’s done in an old-school pixel art style reminiscent of the classic adventures of the 80s and 90s.Although this is a point-and-click game, the puzzles and inventory system leave a lot to be desired.
The sound design is excellent, with a wonderfully creepy soundtrack and fantastic sound effects.Despite the short game length and frustrating puzzle requirements, I enjoyed The Corruption Within. The story is so captivating that you are left hanging until the end.
Final decision: 6.5

The Corruption Within is already available for the PC.

The test was conducted on a PC with an i7-9700k, RTX 2070 and 16 GB of DDR4 RAM.

A copy of The Corruption Within was made available by the publisher.