Point and Click style games really don’t click with me. As a player, I usually just get frustrated with them when I can not figure out what I need. Which then causes me to just go scene to scene spam clicking until it moves the story along. So at first, I was naturally apprehensive about starting up Decay- The Mare. From the get-go through the game felt different from other point and click style games. It’s melding of horror and puzzle solving worked surprisingly well and even at parts where the game didn’t particularly shine it still didn’t fall to pieces like other point and click games.

Intrigue

One of the aspects that I felt helped keep this game from suffering the same level of agony that another point and click games do is the game’s atmosphere. The entire story is framed around a man in an asylum who hears voices, one of which seems to be crying out for his help, while the other is seeking to destroy him. Each one is seen within the level design to the game. While the story appears to flip between both the real and the dream world both voices appear in different ways. The one seeking to harm the main character is seen in instances like the room where pictures of the same woman appear over and over covering the walls entirely, on the flip side of that the very door to that room reeks of the perceived innocence of the whoever is crying out for help as the door is covered with little doodles of dogs.

There so much more to that, this game oozes with how well it was constructed. There are these simultaneous feelings of isolation coupled with the feeling that something is always lurking, watching always keep the player’s attention. The game also brings forth some stellar puzzles and some moments that make the players skin crawl in a very fantastic way, but let’s talk about some of the game’s shortcomings first.

Minor Setbacks

None of the above is to say the game isn’t without its faults. There was one puzzle in particular that stands out as rust in Decay: The Mare‘s armor. It involved finding out a code that would start a fan’s generator and blow a piece of paper over to the player that was needed for later. I tried every puzzle trick I could think of: counting the eyes on the wall and the ones crossed out in pictures, the number of pictures on the wall. There was a spot with four posts on it and two eyes and a ring on the floor. I tried extracting possible number combinations from every aspect I could and in the end had to look up the combination. It still eludes and leaves me in a kerfuffle as to how the player was supposed to figure out that combination. They were in no notes that I had found nor were they written anywhere I had been at that point. It was instances like this that sort of brought the game down.

This being a horror game there were also some notably cheap feeling attempts at trying to be scary. In one location at the top of a staircase the monster slams against a window and a loud sound play. It didn’t even make me jump I was really just indifferent to the whole experience. Thankfully instances like that are few and far between.

Standing Out

Minor issues like the above aside there were so many components that make Decay: The Mare a unique experience for those looking for a solid horror title. For the one problem with a puzzle, there were so many rewarding and enjoyable ones implemented. At one point there were two pictures that had eyes that blinked out a code to the player they tied into a mannequin head puzzle later and correlating the two left me with a level of mental satisfaction that a few AAA titles of late haven’t even matched. Further instances of this title making itself stand out were another puzzle.

At one point the player finds a series of papers with direction symbols and written on one it says “come find me”Later on, without a prompt, a door lays in front of the player and if they go through it there stands another, if the player does not see that they can turn to the left or right and the player goes through the door ahead they revert to the first door. Correlating the paper with the puzzles rewards players with a room that starts another standout puzzle involving four locations that make players set certain drawings in the specific locations in order to proceed. There was also this super creepy interaction with a bleeding bag in a closet that I really enjoyed because it throws the player off entirely to open a closet and see that.

In an attempt to close out this spotlight article, Shining Gate Software has made a truly stand out episodic point and click horror game. Decay: The Mare features an unceasingly interesting story and despite its small scale shortcomings, decent and rewarding puzzles that help build the intrigue of the game’s setting. You can grab the complete set of episodes on both PC and Xbox One, as well as on the Google Play Store now, for as low as ten dollars.

About The Author

Allen S
Editorial/Reviews Team, Manager

I started gaming when I was seven years old. I started my own game studio when I was twelve, went to school for game design. Now I work here and also on my own YouTube channel