Game Info:

Last Year: The Nightmare
Developed by: Elastic Games
Published by: Elastic Games
Release Date: December 18, 2018
Available on: Windows
Genre: Survival/horror
Number of players: Up to six online
ESRB Rating: Not rated
Price: $29.99

Thank you Elastic Games for sending us a review code!

On Halloween night in 1996, a ragtag group of teenagers find themselves trapped on the East Side High School campus. There’s a killer prowling around and to avoid being slaughtered, they must find the means to escape and do so quickly. The high schoolers range from popular prom king/queen to the normally ignored nerds that are tech-savvy.

There are three maps and each of them have different requirements that have to be met before the escape route is available for any survivors. If the escape gate is opened, the students have only forty-five seconds to get to it. Sticking together is beneficial, but if the killer is near, scattering is your best option unless you have a game plan on taking them down.

Makeshift weapons like hockey sticks, pipes, and flamethrowers can be found or crafted. Keep an eye out for scrap and crafting kits which can be used to make stronger weapons and helpful tools. Gathering scrap could be dangerous as the killer may leave bear traps or poison gas by them.

Last Year: The Nightmare

Strong Points: Plenty of people to play with online; nicely detailed maps
Weak Points: No single-player or bots to practice against; only three maps
Moral Warnings: Gruesome violence and bloodshed; strong language in-game (F-bombs) and even more so provided by players with microphones

There are three different killers and they each have a powerful attack that can instantly kill an unsuspecting student. The strangler can use vents to quickly swipe and choke a player. If the slasher is the killer, he can jump down from skylights and get an instant head-shot. The aptly-named giant can smash through walls like the Kool-Aid mascot. When a student dies, they can respawn in a closed room and rejoin the game after someone lets them out. Until then, they can watch the game from another player’s perspective.

As intimidating as the killers are, the students have methods of fighting back with their various classes. The medic can heal injured students, but can’t do much for those who are instantly killed. Scouts can easily spot and highlight traps so others can avoid them. Technicians can build turrets and barricade doors. While any survivor can attack with a crafted weapon, the assault class is the strongest from the get-go. If you’re not happy with your class, you can respawn as a different one as long as the position is not maxed out by other players.

Last Year: The Nightmare
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 78%
Gameplay - 13/20
Graphics - 9/10
Sound - 7/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 55%
Violence - 0/10
Language - 0/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 7.5/10

Currently, there are only three maps and each of them is nicely detailed and has lots of places to explore and check out. Hiding is a bit difficult since you can see the outline of other players through the walls. To make matters worse, the killers have the ability to turn invisible and sprint really quickly.

Not surprisingly, this game is very gory and the deaths are brutal at times. You’ll see teenagers getting strangled, beaten, and hacked to pieces. As a student, it’s your goal to escape and if you’re voted to be the killer, you don’t want any survivors when the time runs out. Along with the violence, you can expect course language from the characters in-game and from those playing it with microphones enabled. This is not a game for young children to be playing. Sadly, on one of my playthroughs there was a very young child playing. I am guessing that this kid was around 5-6 years old and it really saddened me that they had access to this very gory game.

If you enjoy survival/horror games and don’t mind strong language or violence, Last Year: The Nightmare is worth checking out. This is an online-only game and there are no practice areas with bots to hone your skills on. Thankfully, there’s a quickstart guide available on the game’s website. I had no trouble joining matches with 5-6 players. Hopefully, the online player base stays strong for those willing to spend $30 on this game. More maps would be a welcome addition, but the developers have been busy updating and balancing the gameplay. Currently this title is a discord exclusive, but it will be arriving on other digital storefronts soon.

About the Author

Cheryl Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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