The easiest way to tell a mystery is having the main character wake up and not know where they are or how they got there. This allows for the audience to learn right a long with the character and most times helps keep them interested. Dying: Sinner Escape does just that, however, the game is plagued by bad dialog that is preformed by horrible voice acting and while the puzzles are interesting and satisfying, everything else is lacking.
Basically just as stated above you play as a character that wakes up in a strange room and must find the way out, doing so can be tricky to say the least. Dying is broken down into five separate episodes (only two have been released at the time of this review) and each one takes place in its own room, each room seems pretty barren except for junk here and there and within that junk hides pieces to the puzzle needed to get out.
The mechanics of Dying are pretty simple, most of the time you are just taping and touching the screen and once in a while you have to swipe your fingers around usually happen for looking around the room. There are icons on the right side of the screen such as memos that you pick up in the rooms and a couple other things. This can get in the way at times when sliding your fingers around the screen and touching these icons causing something to pop up and get in your way.
I played Dying on my iPhone, I do not have an iPad and it is clear that this game was made with the iPad in mind and not the iPhone. Everything about this game is too small for the iPhone, most importantly the text on the screen. It was a nightmare trying to read anything at all. More than a few minutes at a time of playing this game started to give me a headache and I had to put it down for a while. Then were moments when I accidentally touched other icons on the screen when moving my fingers around. I am quite sure iPad owners will not have these types of problems, but on iPhone it is more of a hassle than it is worth, it’s as if Nekcom Entertainment took no time to play test this game on the iPhone.
The one shinning light in Dying is the puzzle solving. Finding things, putting things together and really paying attention to your surroundings makes figuring everything out every step of the way very satisfying. Some of the things you have to figure out can be pretty tough and there was only one in the first episode that came off completely obnoxious, unfortunately the depth of the puzzles makes it clear that those were the main focus of the game and nothing else.
The rooms are meant to be creepy to the player and some of the camera angles do convey that element at times, although it is hard to get sucked into the game. The game is completely first person so visually you having nothing else but extreme camera angles to show tension and what is done with that is all but taken away thank partially to the awful voice acting. There are a few times when the character you play as speaks out, but each time there is literally no emotion behind what they are saying. You can actually visualize them reading from the page with their dialog written on it, it is so bad that it forcibly removes you from the game.
As I said the puzzles can be tough, especially the puzzles that you have to figure out by paying great attention to your surroundings. However you can buy hints for the game and I don’t mean with points that you earn or anything, no you can buy hints with real money for the game. Now I can not say how these work because I did not buy any, but it is there as an option, when I found out about buying hints I was not surprised at all. Dying simply drops you in the game and leaves you to do everything on your own, there is no hand holding what-so-ever, now the game does offer clues for some things, but they are vague at best and one may need to be a veteran puzzle solving genre loving gamer to really be able to pick up on them. So it is easy to assume the games puzzles and the way they throw players at them are set up in hopes for people to plunk down extra cash for hints, although why bother when there are walkthroughs to watch?
Dying: Sinner Escape could be seen as a good game to those that are hardcore puzzle game fans that want something different from the normal puzzle games and wants something that will remind them of the Saw movies, outside of that there really isn’t much here worth checking out.