Hysteria Project in Review – Interactive Horror to Get Your Heart Racing

review-game-hysteria-hysteria1I’m an extreme horror fanatic who I grew up watching the Twilight Zone and corny horror movies. Who needs “Saw” when you have “Attack Of The Man-Eating Spiders!” (including sequels 2-800)?! Over time, being exposed to such “gruesome” horrors such as “Night Of The Living Dead”, I eventually became desensitized to all things creepy and spooky. How then did I react to an adventure horror game on the comforts of my iPhone? Well, Hysteria Project has exceeded my expectations and brings a unique experience that is quite enjoyable.

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Hysteria Project plays out like those old Goosebumps books where you choose your path then jump to a specific page number to either continue or end your journey depending on your decision. In Hysteria Project, you start out as the hero who gets tied up in a cabin. The villian is some deranged lunatic in a cloak who wields an axe. While it’s uncertain how you ended up in this predicament, it’s obvious that you must do your best to escape. This is where you, as the player come in. You make all the decisions for the hero in his journey to escape the madman. Throughout Hysteria Project you must make decisions by choosing the hero’s path such as “turn right” or “turn left”. Then, (kudos to Bulkypix for going the extra step) the scene actually plays out with real people in a real environment. Yes, that’s right, no stick figure animations! By incorporating actual human beings instead of stick people, Hysteria Project is much more involving and scary than it would have been if it was animated. The sounds and music add an entirely new level to the game which, I found, are best experienced with headphones in the complete darkness of my room. The high pitched screeches are best heard through headphones, not speakers. Heart beats and extremely deep breaths (that almost begin to sound like Darth Vader) are accentuated to increase the dramatic vibe that is expressed throughout this thriller.

Since Hysteria Project is not animated, but filmed, there are many limitations. For instance, there’s no accelerometer function – controls are 100% touch. The hero’s actions are completely tap-driven from choosing a path to tapping bloody handprint logos to complete minor tasks (such as moving branches or brushing leaves away). Time is tight and you are given only a few seconds leeway to make a decision. Otherwise, it’s “Game Over”. While I wasn’t kept on the edge of my seat throughout the game, there were a few moments that sent chills down my spine. Sadly, I expected Hysteria Project to end fairly quickly and it did. I managed to finish it in about an hour even after dying a few times. There’s only 1 correct path to follow, so if you die because you made a right instead of a left turn, then by the process of elimination, you can quickly figure out the proper path. Hysteria Project falls short in variation because of its lack of features and plot choices to follow. There isn’t much replay value other than to retry it just to complete it without dying or to follow other paths to see how they lead to your demise.

For a completely filmed and interactive horror game, Hysteria Project well made. To be honest, there isn’t much that could be done to make Hysteria Project any better. My only complaints are that it’s fairly short, and that there’s a lack of variation and few things to do. I would like to see an update that increases game length and, if possible, new episodes ie., a deranged lunatic madman chasing you through a mall. Overall, for only $1.99 it’s definitely worth picking up for a few chills and thrills. Next time you’re with your friends camping out and don’t have any scary stories to tell, just whip out your iPod, load up Hysteria Project and prepare for some screams.

Hysteria Project earns a Grab It rating – don’t let any cloaked lunatics wielding axes tell you otherwise!


App Summary
Title: Hysteria Project (v. 1.0) Developer: Bulkypix
Price: $1.99 App Size: 116 MB
  • interactive horror game
  • fully filmed using real people/ environment
  • eerie sound effects and music
  • short
  • not enough variation and gameplay


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