Can you escape the clutches of a mysterious crypt before your oxygen runs out? That’s the terrifying premise behind Buried Alive: Breathless Rescue, the latest horror title from indie studio Geekon Games. As soon-to-be-married couple Jack and Hannah, you’ve been plunged into darkness with no memory of how you got there. All you know is that Hannah’s deranged ex, Mike, will stop at nothing until he tears you two apart.
In this review, I’ll guide you through the nightmare one shovel of dirt at a time. We’ll dig into Buried Alive’s panic-inducing gameplay, sift through its creepy visuals and sound design, and examine if its short length leaves the experience feeling a bit shallow. You’ll also get the dirt on some nasty bugs I uncovered that hampered parts of my escape.
By the end, you’ll know whether this rescue mission is worth the claustrophobia or if it would’ve been better off left for dead. Now grab your flashlight, steel your nerves, and let’s crack open this coffin of tricks. Just be warned – Buried Alive gets under your skin and stays there long after you’ve clawed your way to freedom. Enter at your own risk.
Digging Your Way to Freedom
Right from the twisted start, Buried Alive throws you headfirst into a panic. After a trippy opening cutscene, you wake up trapped under piles of dirt inside a coffin. Your lighter and almost-dead cell phone are your only tools for survival. As a timer ticks down showing your quickly-dwindling oxygen supply, you’ll scrape, kick, and claw your way through rotted wood into the wider crypt. Talk about trial by fire.
With little guidance besides prompts to interact with objects, Buried Alive’s introduction mirrors old school survival horror games. Yet while most tutorials nowadays hold your hand, the lack of any directions here heightens your terror. Each new room presents environmental puzzles to solve before you suffocate. But don’t worry too much. Most activities, like lock picking chests or accessing your inventory to combine items, have clear visual cues. Just click on flashy objects and you’ll figure things out.
After escaping your premature grave, Buried Alive settles into a steady tempo. Your main goal stays constant – find Hannah before Mike murders her. Along the way, you’ll pick locks, dodge homicidal zombies, sneak past a sledge-wielding groundskeeper, and explore everything from mausoleums to cemeteries. The game tries sprinkling in a few diversions like loading cassette tapes into a radio for audio logs or briefly making you insane to alter puzzles. But most tasks boil down to predictable item hunts and hidden object scenes. Environments and clues eventually become repetitive. Buried Alive rarely innovates, instead relying on jump scares galore to carry you through.
Despite some clunky quick time events, Buried Alive controls well enough with keyboard and mouse. Movement and camera control feel smooth once muscle memory kicks in. The real challenge comes from unrelenting enemies that spawn constantly to chase you down. Get ready to run…a lot. Midway through, your hunter becomes invincible, forcing players to flee versus fight. This cat and mouse dynamic ratchets up déjà vu while you search crypts top to bottom repeatedly. Buried Alive builds atmosphere yet misses opportunities to truly surprise.
“Uncover the Dark Secrets of Ireland’s Past”: Step into a gripping narrative that intertwines personal trauma with historical injustice. Read our in-depth review of ‘The Woman in the Wall’ and explore the haunting tale of Ireland’s Magdalene Laundries.
Sights and Sounds from the Crypt
While Buried Alive’s gameplay grows stale underground, its disturbing sights and sounds immerse you in dread. Flickering candles and moonbeams piercing stained glass windows reveal environments brimming with gothic character. Each creaky door and cobweb-covered coffin oozes atmosphere. The lighting shifts from faint brighter spots that instill hope to almost pitch black hallways. Murky shadows conceal horrors lurking behind every corner.
Most assets like detailed wall textures and broken, dirt-smudged furniture look professionally designed. However, occasional unity store models stand out, breaking immersion briefly. Some character faces also appear blurry in key emotional cutscenes. But on the whole, Buried Alive impresses visually, capturing the look of age-old structures and decaying corpses.
The audio proves even more unsettling. Eerie background music fades as you explore, letting ambient noises take over. Dripping pipes, howling wind, and strange whispers pervade the crypts. Enemy growls and screams pierce stillness without warning. Often the scariest moments happen when everything goes dead silent until a loud crash makes you jump from your seat. Buried Alive weaponizes subtle, positional audio cues to keep your heart racing as you expect attacks from the shadows.
While textures and models hold up, I did battle some instability. Certain triggers during sneak sequences glitched NPC pathing, giving me easy openings to evade pursuit. The final boss fight also suffered major issues, with the enemy clipping into objects and losing the ability to properly fight back. These hiccups hamper the finale’s impact. Some extra polish could have prevented such immersion breaking flaws. Still, Buried Alive creates a convincingly creepy backdrop for its puzzles and chases. Just mind the occasional coffin-trapped bugs marring your experience.
Discover Gemma Arterton’s Standout Performance: Dive into the vibrant world of 1960s comedy with our in-depth review of Funny Woman. See how Arterton brings her character to life with wit and charm.
A Tale of Love, Obsession and Revenge
While Buried Alive’s moment to moment survival thrills fade over time, its central tale of a twisted love triangle gone wrong anchors the experience. As Jack, you wake up six feet under, desperately trying to rescue fiancé Hannah from her murderously obsessed ex, Mike. Through journal pages, ghostly visions, and environmental clues, a tragic romance emerges. Ten years before, Hannah rejected Mike’s controlling affection. Now deranged, Mike has kidnapped Hannah to make her his eternal “bride”, forcing Jack to traverse the giant cemetery housing his ancestral home to save her.
Most characterization gets told rather than shown. But the central cast still compel, thanks to some strong voice acting. Jack comes across as an everyday guy driven by remorse and love to extraordinary lengths. Hannah exudes a mix of defiance towards Mike and faith that Jack will find her. And Mike steals scenes as an entitled incel whose rejection curdled into violent entitlement. Their dysfunctional dynamic haunts each location, from the altar where Mike plans to forcibly marry Hannah to the mental asylum holding his lobotomized mother.
While the premise intrigues, Buried Alive struggles sticking the landing. Mike and Jack’s final confrontation lacks catharsis due to some glitchy choreography. Key story beats also get rushed, leaning heavily on texts to fill gaps instead of smarter environmental visual narrative. Still, Buried Alive conjures up a brooding, bleak vibe through its creepy cemeteries, dilapidated hospitals, and recurring raven motifs. The climax falls short of expectations. But the journey through darkness offers some solid scares.
“Step into a Chilling 90s Call Center Adventure with ‘Home Safety Hotline'”: Immerse yourself in a unique horror game experience. Read our in-depth review of ‘Home Safety Hotline’, where you navigate a spooky switchboard puzzle, guiding callers away from supernatural threats.
A Short Yet Sweet Escape Room
Horror games often overstay their welcome, drowning effective scares in repetition. Thankfully, Buried Alive makes decomposing brisk with a sub-90 minute runtime. Most players should unravel the main mystery in under two hours. While light on content, the concise playtime maximizes tension. There’s no chance to get bored when you’re constantly gasping for air and sprinting away from Shovel McSledgeface.
Generous checkpointing also minimizes frustration, usually saving right before major new areas. I never lost more than a few minutes of progress after deaths. Buried Alive wants you digging feverishly ahead, not buried under redundancy.
That said, the brief run does limit reasons to replay. Collectibles remain sparse, mostly offering small story bonuses. Buried Alive lacks difficulty options beyond an unlockable madness mode altering some puzzles and enemy patterns slightly. You’ll face the same solution order across multiple runs. However, branching story moments based on dialogue choices or sequence breaks do promise some variability.
Ultimately, Buried Alive shines best as a single-sitting horror rush rather than a deep puzzle platformer to grind. Its brevity lends genuine thrills through an unrelenting gauntlet of ghosts, villains, and Saw-style challenges. But once you’ve unearthed all the surprises, the scares get diminished returns on replays. Treat Buried Alive like an intense, one and done escape room rather than a sprawling masterpiece and you’ll enjoy clawing to daylight. Just don’t expect many reasons, beyond achievements or collectibles, to willingly tumble down the rabbit hole again after escaping.
“Get ready to dance along with Gunvolt’s musical muses in our GUNVOLT RECORDS Cychronicle review. This rhythm game brings the series’ iconic tracks to life, challenging players to keep up with the beat in a visually stunning musical adventure.”
Escape This Coffin If You Dare
Buried Alive: Breathless Rescue digs up some serious scares across its brief runtime. Dropping players in extreme danger from the start amplifies its horror premise. You’ll constantly scramble to stay alive in striking iffamiliar gothic environments. However, Buried Alive’s strong atmosphere outpaces its actual gameplay and story delivery. Flat protagonist dynamics, repetitive item hunt sequences, and too frequent chase fillers undermine the unique potential.
In the oversaturated horror genre, Buried Alive’s initial coffin conceit stands out for sheer shock value alone. Yet as the journey continues, the experience fails building on that foundation with smarter puzzles or character choices. Veterans of classics like Silent Hill may find Buried Alive too shallow rather than comfortingly familiar. It lacks the complex symbolism and layered storytelling of esteemed horror benchmarks. However, newcomers who want a tightly packaged, accessible descent into madness will enjoy the ride.
Problems with uneven asset quality, plot holes, and significant end fight glitches do leave cracks in Buried Alive’s facade. A little more time to smooth technical and pacing issues may have unearthed a horror gem instead of a diamond in the rough. As is, around $15 feels appropriate given the length. Wait for at least a 25% sale before taking the plunge.
In the end, Buried Alive: Breathless Rescue succeeds more on atmosphere than actual depth. If you crave something spooky you can finish over one or two intense gaming sessions, it scratches that nightmare itch through style over substance. Just temper expectations on complexity underneath the chill surface for maximum fun during this short yet scary detour into darkness.
Buried Alive: Breathless Rescue
Buried Alive: Breathless Rescue delivers a terrifying premise that immerses players in panic from the horrific opening moments. Unfortunately, the initial shock value and dread slowly give way to monotony as the game relies too heavily on repetitive hunts and chase sequences without enough variety or innovation. Strong atmosphere and visuals do maintain tension even when the gameplay grows stale. For fans of shorter, old school horror adventures, Buried Alive brings nostalgic scares. Yet numerous technical issues hamper the finale's impact. In the end, this rescue mission exhumes some solid jump frights but stays disappointingly shallow.
- Terrifying and immersive opening sequence
- Strong horror atmosphere throughout
- Striking gothic visual style
- Creepy audio design and ambient sounds
- Smooth overall gameplay feel and controls
- Repetitive hunt/fetch quest and chase sequences
- Occasional unity asset quality discrepancies
- Underdeveloped protagonist and antagonist motivations
- Technical glitches, especially in climactic finale