By Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee on September 30, 2015
You're Christopher Adams, a reporter who is currently working on a mysterious case of three people gone missing. Today, you travel to the place where the body of a young girl was found, who might be one of the missing persons. And just as luck would have it, this building turns out to be a very old, very abandoned and VERY dark factory. Why is it, that every time I get sent somewhere, it's dark and abandoned. Why is it never: "travel to the sunny meadow with lots of flowers and a few cute and cuddly small animals?" Oh well, the old abandoned factory it is! The first thing you do when arriving at your destination is take pictures in order to collect clues. It's a very cool feature; you can easily switch between your normal view and the camera. You carry around a journal which clues you've encountered, as well as black and white examples of the pictures you need to take in that particular chapter. This means that, at any time, you can check if you have all the photo's you need, before moving on to the next chapter.
The environment becomes more dark as you progress through the game, but don't panic (as I did). You will eventually find a flashlight, but only when the time is right. First, the developers get you on edge by letting you stumble around dimly lit corridors and a lot of seemingly empty rooms. So until you reach the point where you'll find the flashlight, just make your way through the very dark and scary maze of said rooms and hallways.
Another thing that definitely adds to the overall creepiness of the game is the background music, or better yet, the lack of music. Because Stairs doesn't actually contain music, there's just an ever-present sort of humming or buzzing coming from.... I don't know from where actually. I do know that it seems to come from everywhere at the same time and is really unnerving. And if that isn't scary enough, you hear a voice talking to you, begging for help, but you can't really tell if this person helping you or wants to scare and hurt you. Now, I don't know about you, but these things really make the hairs on my arms stand on end.
Don't expect this game to explain every little detail to you. Most of the time it's all up to you to find out what your next step should be, so it's possible that you might get stuck because of that. But don't let this discourage you! Yes, it can be somewhat annoying, but it also greatly enhances the experience. It adds no small amount of tension and the feeling of being lost to this already exciting game. And, let's be honest, if you were in an abandoned building, in search of missing persons, there would be no one to hold your hand and tell you where to go or what to do next.
I had to keep reminding myself that Stairs is actually an indie game. While you can get actually stuck behind some unseen pixels, the overall graphics look really good. Yes, it is true that if you walk into a chair, it simply refuses to fall over. But these are all little things and really don't bother me. However you look at it, Stairs looks good, really good. The story is great and the gameplay is simple and smooth.
I experienced this real life horror game and this one got me so riled up, I actually couldn't sleep at night. I love it when a horror story, movie or game scares the bejesus out of me, especially when most of the time, nothing happens. Stairs isn't one of those games where zombies come shuffling at you from every direction. It's actually quite the opposite of those games; It's all about the atmosphere and the feeling that something dangerous is always there... around you... lurking... in the dark... Damn, I just scared myself! I must say, the developers at Greylight Entertainment did a really great job at designing and building this game; it's dark, it's eerie, it's Stairs.