Dead Secret Review
Dead Secret Review
A classic point-and-click psychological-horror-murder-mystery-paranormal adventure game supporting virtual reality
Posted: 05/15/17 | Category: Review | Developer: Robot Invader | Publisher: Robot Invader | Platform: Mac, Windows

Genre: Classic Point-and-Click Psychological-Horror-Murder-Mystery-Paranormal Adventure Supporting Virtual Reality
Release date: March 28, 2016
VR Comfort: Very comfortable
VR Safety: Mildly threatening

It is 1965 and you just got your liberal arts degree in Journalism. Unfortunately, the only opening for an up-and-coming reporter such as yourself is in Kansas. The middle of Kansas. As in, the middle-of-nowhere Kansas. Your time is split between following the local gossip and making coffee for the boss. But an opportunity just may be around the corner…

A local reclusive professor has just been found dead in his home. The police are quick to dismiss it as death from natural causes, but the coroner’s report raises some interesting questions. Unraveling a murder would be your ticket out of Kansas and into a real job.

Dead Secret is a murder mystery adventure game. 

You get to the old farmhouse and start looking for clues, which seem to be everywhere. But while you are snooping around someone else’s property, it becomes apparent that someone is snooping around you. Someone who thinks your death would make the world a much better place. 

Dead Secret is a psychological horror adventure game.

The professor was working on a headset that would allow the wearers to see what their subconscious was thinking at any given moment. It had the appearance of Augmented Reality as its display was overlaid onto the real world. But even without the headset, doors and windows seem to open onto fantastical environments. Just what is going on here?

Dead Secret is a paranormal adventure game.

While the graphics are nothing to write home about, they serve their purpose. Game play consists of the familiar finding and examining hot spots and occasionally running for your life.

Dead Secret is a point-and-click adventure game.

The game is filled with familiar puzzles. Even if you have played only one other adventure game in your life, you will recognize most of the puzzles. I would rate most of them as easy with a couple of medium thrown in.

Dead Secret is a classic adventure game.

But just being a classic point-and-click psychological horror murder mystery paranormal adventure game wasn’t enough for Robot Invaders. They needed something to set the game apart. So they threw virtual reality into the mix supporting HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and OSVR.

Wow. So, just how well did Robot Invaders do with blending these many sub-genres? Not too bad. The paranormal is sprinkled in with the detective mystery just enough to keep you guessing, but not so much as to get in the way of collecting clues.  In one sense, the horror elements don’t blend well – how do you collect clues while running for you life? But the anticipation of running into the Masked Menace behind every door doles create some crossover.

How did the individual parts do? I found them to be alright, but not outstanding. The mystery element is standard fare. There is little crime scene investigation and no interviewing of witnesses. It's mostly snooping around to find letters and articles. The story plays out well enough, but it didn’t really grab me. Of course, a computer game doesn’t have the room for more than the shortest of short stories.

The paranormal elements keep you guessing. Some “trips” are associated with the Professor’s inventions, but others just seem to pop up out of nowhere. Then again, the defining characteristic of the paranormal is to defy explanation.

The horror elements are almost comical. They are like a slow-motion game of tag with the Boogie Man. If you don’t choose the correct escape route, the Masked Menace will get close and the screen will turn red. End of game.

This is where VR comes to the rescue. With VR you are not just safely watching things happen on the other side of the monitor. You are there in the game. The Masked Menace is chasing you. It makes things a bit more personal. Yes, it raised my heart rate. Movement, however, is very comfortable using click turns and jump moves.

The bottom line is that Dead Secret is a professionally-made game with several interesting concepts that could have been expanded a bit more. It is also a little short for the price, needing only two-and-a-half hours to complete. There is no immediate replay value. But Robot Invaders has shown that it can make a good game. Let us hope that this was just the warm-up.

Grade: B-
 
Classic point-and-click adventure game
+ Classic puzzles
Implied violence without the blood and gore
Safely scary
 
More plot holes than you can count
- A little short for the price
 Logo 
 
Trailer 
 
 

 

System Requirements
 
MINIMUM Windows:
OS: Windows 7 or better, 64-bit
Processor: Intel Core i3 2.00 GHz or AMD equivalent
Memory: 1 
GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 450 or higher with 1GB Memory
Direct X: Version 11
Storage: 400 MB available space 
Additional Notes: VR Version requires Oculus recommended spec machine or better 
 
MINIMUM Mac:
OS: Mac OS 10.10
Processor: Intel Core i5 or better
Memory: 1 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA or ATI Graphics Card
Storage: 400 MB available space 
Additional Notes: VR Version requires Oculus recommended spec machine or better 
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