Sen (translated by vgperson)
Hailing from Japan and made with
an RPG editor, Mad Father is a freeware game that offers a roller
coaster ride of slasher dolls, biting zombies, mansion exploring, key
mashing and some brutal timing puzzles, which, if those sorts of things
are your thing, can’t help but entertain. And all for free.
There is of course a Mad Father,
father to an 11 year old Aya, who, like all little girls, loves her
father. Even if he is mad. Not cranky, angry mad, but certified,
horrible experiments in the basement mad.
Seems everyone knows he’s mad,
mummy included, but love conquers all. Except perhaps for how daddy
feels about the assistant, and how mummy feels about how daddy feels.
Except mummy is dead, and there seems to be a curse, and things that
shouldn’t wander about are doing just that, and Aya has to explore the
mansion to save father.
As she does, she clings to the
belief that he is worth saving, all the shambling and icky and squishy
things notwithstanding. You of course get to decide eventually exactly
how things go down, and the endings will be better or worse depending on
If you stick your tongue in your
cheek and leave it there, and fancy a bit of B-grade dungeony
grisliness, there is an afternoon of fun to be had. Unlike most
protagonists in games like this, Aya doesn’t do a whole lot of mayhem
creating. Plenty is going on around her, but she pretty much tries to
avoid it/foil it/hide from it. Even when she gets the mini-chainsaw, all
it’s good for is cutting up barrels and enlarging openings. Oh, and
cutting a rope to drop a chandelier on a bitey thing.
Find a crow and save, and save
often. You will die, more so towards the end. You can get away from some
things in the earlier parts of the game, a health bar diminishing as you
struggle and kick free, but if the things in the latter parts get hold
of you, it’s all over baring the piercing scream.
There are some fairly brutal
running away sequences at the end which have miniscule margins for error
and which will kill you (lots) and likely frustrate you. I already had
one end (not a good one) by the time I got to some of these, so if the
failing gets you down you could call it quits and watch the other ends
on you tube.
Mad Father plays in a small
window, with a top down perspective and characters the size of your
little fingernail. There is almost no spoken word, dialogue being in
subtitles, but musical pieces and plenty of sound effects provide the
auditory accompaniment. When there is dialogue, large anime images of
those involved pop up alongside the game world, and provide a very
Japanese “look” to the events. If you are familiar with any mainstream
anime, you will know what I mean.
Flashbacks fill in the back
story, and add a bit of emotional depth to the current situation. Aya’s
blind faith is being challenged, and how much is too much? Is it giving
eyeballs back to one poor soul, helping another find its head, or is it
something far more mundane, namely the betrayal of mum. Or will love for
a father, mad or not, conquer all.
It would be wrong to put too
much weight on these things. They are there, but as adjuncts to what
this game is really about.
There is some mainstream
puzzling, and some (very) non-intuitive interactions. Back track and
explore well, but there are walkthroughs a plenty if you get stuck.
I stumbled across this looking
for something else and I confess I had fun with Mad Father. It is what
it is, and isn’t trying to be anything else. There are lot more
elaborate and less enjoyable horror outings out there, and this one is
free. You can’t really argue too much about that.
I played on:
OS: Windows 7
Processor: Intel i7-3820 4GHz
RAM: 12GB Ripjaw DDR3 2133 Mhz
Video card: AMD Radeon HD 7800 2048MB
The game can be downloaded for free
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