Penumbra is an independently made suspense-horror game. It is very well executed, and looks quite professional. According to the designer, it is scarier than FEAR. Since I haven’t played Fear, I can’t say one way or another whether or not that is accurate. However, it is creepy and scary, so I’ll let you be the judge of that.

Graphics: 9/10

One word: WOW. The graphics are beautiful. The shadows are great, the lighting is realistic, just about everything about it is superb.

Game play 18/20

The plot boils down to exploring an abandoned research base. While this may sound like a cliché, it is executed so well that I didn’t care. The game does succeed in its goal of being scary. While there are only 2 enemies in the entire game, the entire game is scary, due to lighting, sounds, and the general suspense that it builds. Most of the puzzles involve moving things around so that you can climb up to higher places, using objects to kill or trap the monsters, and that sort of thing. What makes this unique is its execution. When your crosshair or cursor passes over an object that is close to you, it switches to a hand style icon, and then you can click and drag it around. So, to open a door, you click on the door handle, and then pull or push it based on which way the door is facing. This, in my opinion, is the coolest thing in the game. The monsters in the game are creepy looking to say the least. Fortunately for the player, they don’t have ranged attacks. Oh, did I mention that you don’t get any weapons? The monsters have to be killed or trapped by using the environment in the level.

Sound 10/10

The Sound is great. The Monsters sound creepy and the music is good. The object sound effects sound right. All in all, a perfect 10 out of 10.

Stability 5/5

The game crashed once because it didn’t like 2 monitors.

Controls 5/5

Generic FPS controls, so no problems here.


Minor language is used 3 or 4 times. Some blood on the walls. Minor violence against 2 monsters.


Penumbra is an incredible game, that breaks the “independent games either are stupid or have bad graphics” stereotype. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants a good puzzle game with a ton of suspense. Hopefully, the team will finish up their game, and release some more content for it. Right now, the game is kind of short. Appropriateness: Killing non-human, fictional beings (Ex. Robots or Aliens) (-3.5 pts) Blood sprays on the wall and everywhere else (-2.5 pts) Minor Swear Words are used once or twice (-2 pts) Appropriateness Overall Score = 45/50 Game play overall score = 47/50

Overall score = 92%


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