Genre:   Horror action adventure

Developer:  Sen (Miscreant's Room)




by flotsam


Mad Father

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 those choices.

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 here.


GameBoomers Review Guidelines

March 2014

design copyright© 2013 GameBoomers Group

 GB Reviews Index