In the BlackChiliGoat Studio video game we control Iria, a young Galician woman who, through her father’s old video camera, must clarify their past. How? Solving puzzles, dodging an evil creature and facing her most thunderous memories of her.
Galicia. The 90s. Iria is a teenager who lives with her mother. Her father is not here; Anxo Vegas was a prestigious horror film director until he was no more. We are not very clear what happened to him. We only know the imprint that he has left on the protagonist, both professionally –the movie-themed mugs, the posters that hang in her room; Iria exudes cinema and feels great admiration for the legacy left by her father-personally – she has grown up without a father figure, she can’t remember much about him, everything is diffuse around her. In a dream, Iria dives into her own subconscious to find the truth about his fatherand it does so with the help of its most iconic object: the video camera with which he recorded. With her, he will try to clarify why he left or what happened to him and, above all, who was anxo vegas.
With this premise starts TAPE: Unveil the memories, the video game created by the national team BlackChiliGoat Studio and that has had the support of PlayStation Talents. I have one thing clear about the work, and it is that it kneels -in the good sense of the word- before the horror film that has defined the genre in recent decades. It is not a horror game, but there is a lot of the theme in it. Through a first-person perspective, Iria will use the camera to retrieve his memory, and she will do so by dodging a monstrous beast that kills just by grabbing. As in Alien: Isolation, but less aggressively. Here the enemy is softer, so to speak: it is a metaphor that is discovered towards the end of the game, and his role is not so decisive. For example, the bug hardly listen or it is not able to grab us if we are crouched between furniture, even if it is watching us. It serves to provide touch of tension necessary that yes, that it flirts with terror, but that it is not; if it appears, you activate the alert, but you don’t fear for your life.
It is not a horror game, but there is a lot of the theme in itIria’s father’s camera is the key and on what pivots the video game. Here he does not discover enemies -because there are none-, but serves to advance the narrative. Some objects in the environment can rewind or fast-forward, and this will serve to unlock the next step that develops events. TAPE: Unveil the memories poses simple puzzles that are solved with this mechanics; place this as it was, move chairs that block your path, put walking boards on them, etc. The camera is easily “loaded and unloaded”, with a toy that I will not say to avoid spoilers. I think this mechanic could have been exploited a little more: on many occasions it is still a kind of trial and error which is used to solve puzzles and little much more.
But it is neither the use of the camera nor the presence of the monster that makes it a tribute to horror films. They are endless VHS tapes, promotional posters and fanzines about the seventh art –this last element is important because it reveals aspects of the diegesis- that are scattered throughout all the scenarios. Iria can read the description of the covers and they are explicit. For example, and to put the most obvious, in “The bright” a writer “becomes the caretaker of the Stanley Inn in Maine hoping to finish his novel” and does so accompanied by “his wife and daughter, who has the power of premonition.” Doesn’t that sound like a famous feature film directed by Stanley Kubrick?
But it is not only these external elements that make it a hymn to gender. It’s the hallway hotel Overlook fully twisted; are the different heights of the scenarios metaphorizing the subconscious, just as it did Alfred Hitckcock in Psycho; are, in short, a conglomeration of references that, all together, result in a homogeneous and successful mixture of what the irruption of terror in popular culture meant and means today.
I do not want to leave without mentioning the technical section, especially the sound. The game is completely interpreted in Spanish, and I liked, although it seems like a trifle, the use of Galician. I’m not Galician, but it never ceases to give me pleasure to see how a game is set in a place and the culture of the land to empathize with him. Lines written in Galician appear on written walls, and in spoken conversations the – boy characteristic. In addition, the soundtrack seems to me very successful, with more oppressed and tense sounds when the situation requires it, and others more calm when the script does not ask for it.
It has plot twists that encourage you to stay glued to the screenTAPE: Unveil the memories is a fun game. It is a short adventure, about 4-6 hours At best, that is what it is going to do, to tell a story. It has plot twists that encourage you to stay glued to the screen and want to move forward. It does not particularly innovate but as a whole it is right; the technical section of him, the story of him without looking for fear or anguish “per se” -although there are tense situations- and his constant references They turn the horror genre into a worked and enjoyable ode, especially if you are a follower of this type of cinema. Ah, one thing: “Real fans stay until the end of the credits.” Don’t forget it.