Gather round children as today’s review will examine one of the most puzzling games I’ve encountered in a long time. This is a beast of much complexity, rough edges, and charm that seem to have been blindly put together within someone’s coffee break. I’m confused, this game nearly broke me and yet, I can’t shake it off. What am I talking about? Well just read on about my experience with 1166.
1166 is a strange being, to say the least as it could’ve been utterly brilliant if it weren’t so massively flawed. This is among the many games that focus on extreme, psychological horror with a colorful pixelated art style. 1166 hopes to be placed among games such as Lone Survivor, Claire, The Last Station and Uncanny Valley. But what those games had was an interesting concept and while flawed in some way were strongly build and had a compelling nature. 1166 is just all kinds of what the f***.
The story is about a cop who returns to active duty to investigate a kidnapping of a young woman. After meeting his new partner, they’re both soon enough thrown into a surrealistic nightmare filled with demonic creatures. As you progress through the story the perspective changes from one of many characters until its climax and the big reveal. This is pretty interesting yet the problem is that the mystery itself makes little sense. I can gather this uninformative approach may be appealing but for a compelling mystery, there needs to be some logic and a core. Not just random thoughts that are thrown into a melting pot. If we can’t follow the mystery or if it changes without reason it’s difficult to grasp and then you lose interest from the viewer. A show like Twin Peaks would be a good example at clever yet very complex mystery writing. Here it’s difficult to grasp the plot on the whole as it’s never really sure what the mystery should be. One minute it’s about a missing girl, next there’s someone experiencing horrid nightmares then it’s a homeless bum who sees monster’s all the time with an end that ties little together.
It’s not helped by the cringe-worthy dialogue and the lack of any interesting themes to engage you into the “story”. But we get pixel boobs! I mean, I love boobs but one of the game’s main selling points is pixel boobs and they’re not even that good.
This I could forgive but what lets 1166 down majorly is its poor presentation and the lame experience it offers for players. The controls are awkward as hell, with interactions not registering most of the time; attacks not hitting the target even when you right next to them and just the clunky and pacing makes everything feel sluggish. While there are some cool monster designs and backdrops, overall the game world feels poorly build with object baffling sizing, lazily executed animations and graphical glitches popping up too frequently. It didn’t help with the dull monotone soundtrack filling the background as it looped the same few notes over and over again. It was needless and annoying, to say the least.
There was also a strange glitch that removed my save file and attempting to continue the game just brought me back to the menu. So it meant that I had to slog my way through most of this game all over again with the tedious gameplay, clunky controls and the lack of any interesting gameplay elements to break up the dull combat, mindless exploration and shallow story. The only thing I really liked was that there are cats in this, I’m a cat person and I liked seeing cats roaming the level and speaking to one of the protagonists’ cat during dream segments.
1166 was clearly a labor of love, a passion project just without the passion or creativity. I don’t mean to sound harsh but this is not worth the time, effort or money considering the lack of anything really enjoyable. While it’s not totally awful I can’t recommend this as there are far better games to play for free online. This doesn’t even amount to some of the stuff you could find on Newgrounds.com.
A Steam Review Key for 1166 was provided by Predator The Cat Productions for the purpose of this Review