Trenches offer players a unique and frightening experience as they find themselves lost in the trenches of the First World War. Starting the game, dazed and confused, You wander the labyrinthian corridors looking for soldiers or reasons why the Trenches are quiet and empty. From crashing lightning to giant bugs hitting your face, there are a lot of things to scare you, many of which are unashamed jump scares. These can be turned off, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Bloody scrawls inform players of the main goal; collect nine creepy dolls, which can be heard crying when you are close or summoned using by using your trench whistle. The problem, however, is that the whistle also attracts ‘the thing’ that stalks the ever-changing trenches. The harrowing baby cries lead players on a creepy journey through deserted trenches while all the time, being pursued by an unknown creature.
The graphics in Trenches aren’t great but actually work. The repeated assets support the feeling of hopelessness with the ongoing trenches feeling repetitive and confusing. The fogging may get some complaints, but it keeps your focus on what’s right in front of you. Some objects and textures pop in from time to time but these are a minor niggle. Considering the game was created by a single developer, the weaknesses can be overlooked. Along the way, you will find messages scrawled on walls, mutilated bodies, and a selection of story-building artifacts that in many cases use real-world photography from the war adding to its harrowing nature.
The audio is really strong, with no music to distract the player, instead just the sound of raindrops and footsteps add to the atmosphere. The setting of the trenches, though monotonous, is still able to build suspense with limited vision and random jump scares. Some minor effects, such as slow blinking and blinding lights, feel intentional and I suspected that the blink was added to change the layout of the map without the player realizing. The limited vision only adds to the game’s eerie atmosphere.
In terms of gameplay, Trenches is a game of cat and mouse, with players exploring the trenches, collecting dolls, and avoiding the unknown creature that’s pursuing them. The mechanic of relying on your trench whistle to track down the dolls is a unique twist on the genre and the blend of stealth and survival creates a thrilling experience. SteelKrill Studio has done an impressive job in creating a game that’s both tense and creepy, with jump scares that will make your heart race.
Overall, Trenches is a simple yet well-crafted game that’s well worth your time, especially considering it was made by a single game developer. The game’s mix of jump scares, stealth, and survival, combined with its eerie atmosphere, makes it a horror game that will keep you on the edge of your seat. So, if you’re looking for a new game to play and are a fan of the horror genre, Trenches is definitely worth checking out.