Horror games are a dime a dozen nowadays. Every developer and their mother can string together a series of rooms, have some weird shaped figure jump out at you, and be classified as a horror game. Perhaps we have Hollywood to blame for games like this, with "horror" titles such as Paranormal Activity or Insidious that are more comical than anything. But maybe that's just me, being a horror buff and desensitized to the plight of the woman who runs upstairs and essentially traps herself to escape a killer.

Being a big horror fan, I find I have to subject myself to the utter garbage of certain titles. Some movies out there are really, really horror(ible). Same goes for games. As for In Fear I Trust [$2.99], if you have entomophobia, than you will definitely be scared of this game, just not in the way the developer intended.

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Upon starting the game and being treated to a ridiculous number of splash screens, you're then treated to a insanely long load time. It seems almost as if my iPad Air had to load data off of a disc, it took that long. When the loading is done, 1:28 later (yes, almost 90 seconds to actually get into the game), it opens up with a cutscene, introducing you to yourself, signing your life away, and your adventure beginning. Exiting out of the game to the home screen, for whatever reason, there's a good chance you'll be facing that 90 second load again, even if you're only out for a few seconds.

You wake up in a bed, groggy, and what do you see? Weird lighting and shader effects. Your character's shadow is blocky. Your character himself is blocky. The graphics get better later on, with detailed environments and some crisp animation, but it doesn’t get off to a good start. The game does do well with the psychological aspect horror as opposed to the shock and make you jump horror.

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The game introduces you to its second vision concept, which is required to solve some puzzles and collect some items, and walks you through the control scheme, which is pretty basic; two virtual joysticks, or you can tap to move/swipe to look. Whichever option you go with, it'll feel like walking uphill in heavy snow with the wind blowing against you. The movement speed and camera controls feel painfully slow. And there is no option to change sensitivity. At all.

Aside from typical first-person fare, In Fear I Trust also tasks you with up close examination of objects to gather information, and also has a puzzle mode. Using a key on a door, for example, brings up an interface similar to The Room, where you insert the key and then turn it by circling your finger, to actually unlock said door.

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The voice acting throughout the majority of the game is better than average, the actors portraying their characters believably. The music and sound effects, when they're not cutting in and out, do a decent job. Breathing heavily with some machinery in the background, and then getting complete silence due to the sound just stopping, does a tremendous job of taking you out of the environment they've tried to create.

As the story unravels, you'll probably be confused. But that's okay. I'm sure somewhere, at some point, everything will be explained. Perhaps they'll explain why the characters are Russian but have perfect American accents, or why signs on walls are sometimes in English and sometimes in Russian. And in what is clearly a Russian lab of some sorts, all the recordings are also in English. In Fear I Trust is an episodic game, so there's plenty of options to further delve into the story, It just doesn't know what it wants to be.

The atmosphere presented is pretty spooky. Rooms are woefully dark, there are tape recordings and notes to find, which provide valuable background information. There are ghosts to catch glimpses of, and random noises meant to shock you. It seems to have a great flow to it, but it's marred by a myriad of bugs. It almost seems like a late stage beta as opposed to an actual release. You'll encounter things like no sound when you open a door, or a leaky faucet making drip noises, but not seeing anything come out. Sometimes pinching inward won’t trigger your retrospective vision, requiring a game restart. Better still, you may not be able to stand up from the bed at the very beginning, which requires you to again restart the game. Not a big deal, since you haven't done anything yet, but having something like that at the very beginning is pretty indicative of what's to come.

Long term, In Fear I Trust has great potential with an awesome story- Particularly as they figure out where the plot is going in future episodes. In its current form, it's pretty buggy, and would have benefitted greatly with even a little bit of extra time baking inside of the proverbial development oven. The developers have mentioned on our forums that bugs fixes and control tweaks will come in future updates, but until then it's difficult to recommend this game to anyone as is unless you absolutely love horror games and have a considerable amount of patience when it comes to bugs and control clunkiness.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • LarryWP

    Get the game out now, fix bugs later. I'm fed up with this pathetic developer mentality and refuse to support it.

    • houseofg

      It really does feel like the App Store has become a beta testing farm. Highly advisable these days to wait for one or two updates before purchasing.

    • wim

      You sir did not play the game
      Its not that buggy
      I played treu the 2 chapters end did not crash one time with a ipad air.
      Sound somtimes fails
      End joystick really needs to be improved
      But its a verry good game really good

      • LarryWP

        Yes sir I read the review.

      • LarryWP

        Sound sometimes fails is not buggy?!

      • James Cameron

        I, personally have never seen such a buggy app. Not one thing in it works. It should not have been released. I've got a refund so I'm happy

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      Yeah, this game sort of has it all. Half baked controls, weird bugs, and the overall feeling of buying/playing an incomplete product that comes with all episodic games... Still, it's really cool, and despite all the issues I still had a good time with it.

      It's definitely worth supporting to tip your hat at more "full" games like this on the App Store. I mean, people love complaining about how the App Store is filled with what essentially amounts to bite sized junk food video games, then when a real game comes along we refuse to support it because it's got a few bugs?

      What a world. :)

      • LarryWP

        I've supported too many games that were buggy starting on the PC since 1986, and too many of those never got fixed. It's gotten worse and seems to be the current mentality of many but not all developers. The ones that are known to me to fix their created bugs, I support. I don't blindly support an indie developer for the sake of being an indie developer, like so many gamers do now. The larger companies have less of an excuse. What surprises me more now than anything is that gamers make excuses to support buggy games.

        We as consumers have the ability to curb this kind of behavior by refusing to purchase buggy games until they are fixed. I'm of that kind.

        Eli: Love watching you on Twitch every afternoon. Thanks!

      • MrAlbum

        That is a good mentality to have. However, it is good to temper that with some practical facts:

        Not all developers are equal in skill or creativity, whether AAA teams or a lone indie. There are devs out there who have a lot of creativity, but don't have the skill to make their vision as polished as they may want.

        Not all bugs are due to laziness. Many devs need to make a LOT of games in order to make a living, because getting exposure on the App Store or any platform is hard. On a separate note, no game is ever perfect or bug-free; there comes a point when a dev has to decide to release their game in its current state and start generating money, or keep polishing it and risk not having an income for a while (or a lesser income, for devs who have already released games).

        We all want a perfect world for everyone. Sadly, that's not what we have. We have to make it "perfect", and what may be "perfect" for one person or group may not be "perfect" for anyone else.

        Logically speaking, you need to see the issue on a case-by-case business in order to make an effective judgment. Make of my thoughts whatever you will.

        -Mr. Album

    • derkoi

      Maybe some developers have to release a game by a certain date, you know, so they can start promoting it and such. They run out of time and so must fix bugs after launch.

  • CzechCongo

    Now an Editor's Choice on the App Store.

    I wonder how much you have to pay for that?

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      $0, Apple's editorial team is highly guarded and they don't accept any payment from anyone for any featuring, Editor's Choice or otherwise.

      • CzechCongo

        I believe you, Eli. It just seems weird that they'd highlight this game if it has bugs and performance issues.

    • Boris Nguetie

      all chillingo annual budget wouldn't be enough for apple to compromise their enormous pride so i'll say it was deserved...probably..

  • koryc

    Cool

  • WhereTheGoodGamesAt

    This game will be free eventually and I never buy games that cant even design a half decent looking icon.

  • bigjack66

    At least you guys got a game I got nothing!

  • Adsinjapan

    This is a really unfair review!

    Does it have a few bugs? Pis the control scheme a little wonky? Yup.
    However both of these things can be address by a fix.

    I find the game to be very well designed, with great atmosphere and sound.
    The loading times never bothered me.
    To be honest, this review sounded immensely biased against the fact that it didn't run well on your iPad Air. Boohoo!
    It runs fine on my iPad 3 without any problems.
    There was very little impartiality and most of the review felt more like personal gripes than objectivity.

    Someone else might want to take a closer look at the game for what it is before it's relegated into TA obscurity.

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      So you're looking for an objective review? Isn't that what the iTunes description is?

  • http://methylblue.com/ Max Howell

    Not sure I can trust the opinion of someone who claims to love horror but found the original Paranormal Activity and original Insidious more comedic than scary. Scared the crap out of me. Bar the dumb nail sharpening scene. The sequels suck though. PS I love horror.

  • Chris1a

    Lots of words in this review. But I still don't really have a clue what it is, what kind of game genre(s) it belongs to, what gameplay mechanics there are, what kind of puzzles you'll be doing (if any, this article mentioned something about opening a door by turning a key, that is not a lot of info to go on). A review really needs at least 2 sections, the one above where a reviewer talks about the experience and his/hers feelings and opinions on this and that. And one section detailing the actual game (what kind of gameplay mechanics there are, presentation, sound and so on). It's a game, not a movie or a bacon sandwich. :)

    Don't take it the wrong way though, it's a good read and all.

    • xander134

      I completely understand the desire for a well-detailed and comprehensive review. In this case, I'm pretty sure Eli covered everything from visuals and audio, game mechanics, story elements, and the overall tone of the game. If anything, the take away could be that the game does most or all of these things well, but that (as the review clearly indicates) their merits are overshadowed by the poor controls and numerous bugs that were overwhelmingly distracting.

      Again, you're not making an unreasonable request for a more comprehensive review, but I would recommend supplementing the written review with the posted TA Plays video in which Eli actually plays the game. Doing so might answer many of the remaining questions you may have.

    • James Cameron

      The point is, just avoid it like the plague. It's so buggy it's actually unplayable

  • rewind

    Everyone is so negative on the reviewer. 'The Room: Halloween Edition' isn't the greatest game. It's buggy, has awkward controls (although I felt the same way about The Room) and, well, it's just not outstanding. I would've given it four stars, but the reviewer felt it was worth 3 and I respect that.

  • WhereTheGoodGamesAt

    Your next, cabin in the woods, evil dead remake all good horror movies.

  • James Cameron

    AVOID THIS CON!! I wish I didn't buy this disgraceful excuse for a game. I have never seen such a buggy program, it should never have been released in this state. Not one thing works. The game for me started after a ridiculously long loading time. The sound kept cutting out. I went out of the game for a second and the game restarted, this time the character refused to get out of bed!!! A note to devs. Test your bloody games - I want a refund!

  • http://www.AppUnwrapper.com App Unwrapper

    Sadly, it is very buggy. I have been hitting huge game-breaking bugs that forced me to start over twice. First, I was almost through episode 1. I started up the game and it gave me the choice of episode 1 or episode 2, even though I didn't finish ep 1 yet. So I chose ep 1. I was back at the bed. I made it back to where I was, but then the next time I opened it it would teleport me back to the bed after a second, and I couldn't move. Had to restart. Then I made it all the way through to episode 2. As it's loading episode 2, the game crashes. I start it up and it puts me back at the very end of ep 1, only this time solving the last puzzle doesn't do anything. I'm stuck, having to start over yet again. And I'm not the only one. Several people are complaining of the same issue.

    Even the "Settings" button in the main menu doesn't work -- it just starts the game. How could they miss that if they did even the slightest bit of testing?

    I really want to play this game to the end, but it's simply too buggy.

  • xander134

    It's a real shame that so many players are experiencing these game-breaking bugs. It looks like it could be a great game with cool and challenging puzzles. The fact that these bugs are essentially ruining its launch is just too bad. I too wonder, as others have asked in this thread and so many others, what causes devs to release apps with such debilitating flaws?

    • witedahlia

      Agreed. Especially since it's now Editor's Choice...

  • Yug Nivek

    Yes indeed the bugs are the death of this game... I am sick of trying to get anywhere, the only way it plays well is if you begin at start and play without break and never shut it down or come back after a break of more than a minute or two. I have reached the end of episode 2 several times, each time I have had to restart game at beginning because otherwise it invariably starts at end of episode 1 and will not allow you to advance unless you restart loosing all achievements. Big zero for this as a playable game.

    • http://www.AppUnwrapper.com App Unwrapper

      Try a third-party program for making manual backups. It's the only way I was able to complete the game. Otherwise I'd have been stuck in a perpetual restarting loop. There's also the added benefit of being able to delete the 2.4gb app when you're done, instead of keeping it on your device until the next chapter is released.

      I explained how to do it on my site, but I can't post links here.

      Good luck!

  • tamon76

    Maybe it's been updated since the review, but it runs flawlessly on my iPad Mini Retina.

    Very cool game getting a lot of needless hate.

In Fear I Trust Reviewed by James Paterson on . Rating: 3