I’ve been meaning to check out a few more doujin horror games like this and finally I got around to one. Hopefully the next one I play ends up better than this one.
Mad Father is a game about Aya Drevis and her family. Aya lives in a big mansion with her scientist father and his assistant. On the anniversary of her mother’s death, everything goes to hell. There’s quite a bit told through flashbacks as well as (at least) three different endings. (spoiler: none of them are good)
I’ll be comparing this game to Ib a lot so brace yourself for that right now. I guess that isn’t really fair. It’s more fair than when people originally compared Ib to Yume Nikki though.
While Ib had a creepy atmosphere, this game relies on horror in a more straightforward fashion. There are quite a few jump scares but also some subtle things such as a book falling over and constant laughing or crying from inaccessible areas (well, at first they are), such as the fireplace. I was a little surprised that there were so few extra scares when you were wandering around with your lantern. You can only see a small radius around you and I was also rushing through those parts because I was sure something bad would happen but it seems like it never did. Unfortunately, the scares run dry really quickly. Eventually I was more frustrated than I was creeped out.
A neat (well not really…) thing was that there are a few sections where you have to button mash to escape from an enemy. I was a little confused about it at first because your health decreases until the last bar before you’re let go so it doesn’t seem like you’re doing it wrong until you actually escape.
To be honest, I was following a walkthrough so I could get the True Ending. Only so I knew where to go. The mirrored room and diary puzzles were kind of neat, so I didn’t want to be spoiled for those. However, it seems like at a certain point the game just suddenly got difficult. Was it just me? Do I just suck? It took me like twenty minutes to lure the zombie into those rooms to get the creepy doll. Actually, any scene with outrunning the zombie or her father was just frustrating and took me forever.
So, the True End. I was happy I went for the Promise of a Reunion ending in Ib. This one… well I guess this game has no real happy ending. I haven’t been keeping that up to date with doujin horror games like this but I think that might be a trend now. In the ending I got, Maria killed Aya’s father and they fled as the mansion burnt down. But a few years later, Aya is just as insane and is cutting people up and turning them into dolls despite her promise to the boy and despite everything that happened. So, it sucks for everybody. I thought “well, at least Aya isn’t so bad!” but she turns out just as bad. Maria, in the True Ending, doesn’t seem that pleased by the turn of events but since she kills you in the other ending I recieved, I have no sympathy for her.
Also, what was with the ending if you got all 21 gems? I didn’t actually get it so I went back and watched it on youtube and I didn’t really get it. I don’t see how it tied into anything, I mean. But Ogre was a mysterious character and I still don’t understand his motives all that well either.
I liked most of the art in the game. Most. The zombies at the beginning seemed really cheesy and some of Maria’s art was kind of bleh but I loved Aya’s scared and crying expressions. As well as that one girl who eventually got scalpelled.
If I would have known how disappointing the endings were, I might not have played though. It was a little scary at first but it quickly wore off. The art was cute and I liked some of the music (which I think a lot of may have been free material along with some graphics and stuff so the whole thing is a testament to the usefulness free resources like that) as well. So, not a bad way to spend 2 hours. The main protagonist is cute (but the ending ruined her for me) and most of the characters are unlikable (the mom is ok though) and there isn’t really a good ending but if you’re fine with all that then it’s probably worth your time.
Though this kind of left a bad taste in my mouth. Maybe I should play Ib again.