Living in a haunted house may sound bad but being dragged into a supernatural investigation because your parents knew a guy from a cult sounds more damning. “No70: Eye of Basir” is a first-person horror adventure that has you look into a religious group called the Brotherhood of Basir while closing the doors the forces of darkness are seeping from. To help you use an artifact called the Basir (which to my understanding means “All Seeing”) to look through for finding clues and see things that can’t be seen by the naked eye. This is a neat mechanic, but it feels underplayed on the psychological horror theme.
The puzzles are a mix of “Myst” and Spencer Mansion: find clues or items to solve them. The item-related ones will have you often backtrack because you either didn’t see the icon of an item you can pick up or the place to insert one. In any case, while they’re effortless to do, there are a few well-made puzzles that you have you think to solve. Between puzzle solving, you’ll be collecting notes for your codex to get the full story. Despite a few typos, the backstory in the codex is an interesting read and worth completing.
“No70: Eye of Basir” has a psychological horror theme the developers said they’d use, but this is interrupted by jump scares. Most scares are not subtle as they just pop out of nowhere accompanied by a loud sound. There a few good ones, though, that have some ghost either seen from afar or just crossing your path. The psychological sights are eerie and disturbing to see, but some instances would have been perfect if they were implemented with the Basir. Essentially the gameplay has some good ideas. However, it could have been executed a little better.
The three locations, the house where one of the protagonists lives (at which rooms come out of nowhere), the abandoned village where they came from, and the No70 House, a sense of solitude with no immediate horror until you progress. As you play each chapter items and sights add to atmosphere, which works until the jump scares throws off the mood. The Basir’s monochrome view assists with setting the mood, while having glowing clues to help you. However, since the more scary imagery manifests within normal view, it’s underplayed. The ghosts have this Grudge-esque but you rarely see them up close. This is good because aside from a few occasions they go pass your field of vision, leaving you to wonder “what am I getting myself into?”
The only serious problem that I have with the graphical presentation is within the main menu and the resolution. During my playthrough my cursor didn’t line up with the selection until I set the resolution to 1680×1050 (what my monitor supports). Everything works fine but when I boot up the game or exit to go back to the main menu the resolution resets to default, leaving me to set it every time I played.
The music leaves a sense of wonder and dread, setting the mood depending on how far you go down the rabbit hole. In the sound department, you have enough eerie sounds to add to your uneasy feeling, such as whispers and subtle ambient noises. Even so, there’s an annoying issue in sound effects where for every jump scare the game plays a loud cue to indicate you should jump out of your seat. The voice acting is fairly good and only plays whenever exposition is needed. I have to admit for a character that went through something that could be traumatizing the narrator sounds very calm and collected like it was “A Story About My Uncle”.
Under controls, we have a variety with the mouse and keyboard, gamepad, and VR equipment. Naturally, I went with the mouse and keyboard (tried a gamepad to see if that fairs a bit better), and the controls work well for this adventure game. There are, however, no ways to reconfiguring the controls, including no toggle to invert the Y-Axis. However, since this is an adventure game where you can’t be killed an inverted Y-Axis isn’t a necessity.
+ Presentation sets the mood for a horror adventure
+ Fair amount of puzzles with some well implemented ones
+ An intriguing story to piece together and discover
+ The Basir artifact has a novel mechanic for finding clues and seeing a different view
– The Basir feels underplayed
– Jump scares upset the psychological horror mood
– Resolution seems to cause a misalignment with the cursor and menu if not set correctly
Replay value: 3/5
“No70: Eye of Basir” has a good concept going for it. However, while some executions was fair there were some details that could have been better, even the Basir that the game revolves around. That is not to say this isn’t a good game, beacuse No70 has a fascinating story with room to add to it. Furthermore, it’s said that more content will be added to the title (it’s based on the ending I saw(. So I’m curious to see what will happen next.
Title: No70: Eye of Basir
Developer: Oldmoustache Gameworks
Genre: First-person adventure/puzzle game
Release date: 2017-06-28
Spent time: 4+ hours
Average grade internationally: 47.50% Gamerankings.com
PEGI/ESRB age rating: PEGI16/Teen
Robin Ek – Editor