REVIEWS
REVIEWS

April 21, 2024

Andreas Betsche

The Anomalous Hour Review: An eerie version of “Groundhog Day” that traps you in a metro station

April 21, 2024 | Andreas Betsche

Step into the mysterious world of The Anomalous Hour, the newest spine-chilling adventure from Indonesian developers Gambir Studio (Knight vs Giant: The Broken Excalibur). In this review, we’ll delve deep into the intricacies of this horror game set within the eerie confines of an abandoned metro station.

The Anomalous Hour thrusts players into an enigmatic urban legend: the existence of a hidden hour invisible to most. As the clock strikes midnight, players assume the role of an unnamed protagonist trapped within a lonely metro station. 

Tasked with unravelling the mysteries shrouding this peculiar hour, players must navigate through a series of identical platforms, each harbouring eerie anomalies and ghastly apparitions. Armed with an otherworldly instant camera, players must capture these anomalies to exit the nightmare. Failure results in resetting the starting platform, kicking off the cycle anew.

Pros

Immersive Atmosphere: The Anomalous Hour crafts a palpable atmosphere, immersing players in its eerie setting without relying heavily on jumpscares.

Engaging Gameplay: Anomaly hunting demands keen observation and attention to detail, satisfying the feeling of “Ha, I got it!”.

Intriguing Mystery: The game’s cryptic narrative invites players to uncover the secrets within the metro station, adding depth to the otherwise shallow narrative.

Intuitive Controls: Simple and responsive controls allow players to navigate the game world seamlessly.

Cons

Limited Horror Experience: Despite its premise, The Anomalous Hour leans more towards a “Spot The Difference” gameplay experience rather than delivering bone-chilling scares.

Repetitive Gameplay: The lack of variety in gameplay mechanics and environments may lead to monotony.

Lack of Guidance: The absence of a hint system can frustrate players, especially when uncovering the more “hidden” anomalies.

Visual and Audio Quality: Subpar 3D graphics, asset recycling, and sparse audio elements (no music!) diminish the game’s immersive potential.

The Anomalous Hour Review: A Promising Yet Flawed Horror Puzzler

The Anomalous Hour offers a glimpse into a world of mystery, inviting players to unravel its secrets within the confines of an abandoned metro station. While the game boasts a compelling premise and engaging gameplay mechanics, its shortcomings, including repetitive gameplay and technical deficiencies, may hinder the overall experience. 

The Anomalous Hour adds an exciting gameplay twist to the first-person puzzle genre, but it needs to catch up as a horror game. Its time-loop-based gameplay plays like an eerie version of Groundhog Day, but it would be better if it took more inspiration from games like P.T.

The Anomalous Hour is set to be launched on Steam on April 21, 2024. This review is based on a free review copy provided by the developers.


Andreas Betsche

Andreas Betsche founded Virtual SEA in early 2016 after researching Cambodian mobile games for his Master’s thesis. He has a background in Southeast Asia studies and has worked and lived in Cambodia, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Since he has been actively playing games since the early 90s, combing both worlds in Virtual SEA brought together both of his passions.

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