Average Playtime: 4 hours

Ikai

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About

Ikai is a first-person psychological horror game drawing inspiration from Japanese folklore. Live the horror by the hand of its defining yokais and submerge into the superstitions of the past driven by a unique story and exploration.

Ikai embodies the spirit of the classical psychological horror genre with a defenceless main character incapable of attacking the evil creatures. However, it explores a new sense of horror by making the player face the threats directly neither fleeing nor attacking.
Every mechanic of the game is meant to raise this relatable feeling of helplessness and create a tense atmosphere. The slow, precise and natural movements as a way of interaction resemble real life’s to foster immersion in the uncanny world of Ikai.
STORY
Rumors have spread even through the most sceptical villagers, giving way to fear and hysteria. It’s not just a matter of gossip this time. The blood-stained leaves indicate that evil creatures are getting closer and closer to humans. It is believed that a new demon has turned up in the underworld. Its will is to cross the doorway into our world as soon as it finds what it is looking for. Such a situation requires the priest to head to the village, leaving the shrine under his niece’s control, the priestess.

The crowd’s fear hasn’t reached the shrine far away in the mountains, where the priestess, Naoko, works as usual, too busy to worry. Sweeping and sweeping, time goes by, with or without the priest. Without giving much importance to this sort of demon and ghost stories she ascribes to fearful children, Naoko leaves the shrine to get to the river before it gets dark. Villagers’ dreads seem to take shape in the gloomy forest. She keeps walking, increasingly tense, until her doubts are dispelled; but not her fears.

She soon loses consciousness of her soul and body and falls to the ground; almost dead, almost alive. The shrine’s bell screams for help, but it is no longer a sacred place. All Gods have gone, giving way to monsters, ghosts and spirits.
GAMEPLAY
FEAR: Experience the horror in first-person by the hand of Japanese spirits, monsters and yokais
EXPLORATION: Wander around a feudal shinto shrine and explore to unveil the story behind Naoko, the main character
DRAWING: Concentrate on drawing protective seals over the strange sounds and events happening around
PUZZLES: Pit your wits against the several puzzles that will try to stop you
STEALTH & RUN: Be silent, do not disturb the evil… Or just run, run away from it all, if you can…

Platforms
Release date
Developer
Endflame
Publisher
PM Studios
Age rating
Not rated
Website
https://www.endflame.com/ikai

System requirements for PC

Minimum:
  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Windows 10 64-bit
  • Processor: Quad-core Intel or AMD, 2.5 GHz or faster
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 760
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 5 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX compatible
Recommended:
  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Windows 10 64-bit
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-4770k or AMD Ryzen 5
  • Memory: 16 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Ti
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 5 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX compatible
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Last Modified: Mar 30, 2024

Where to buy

Steam

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iBarin

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Ikai reviews and comments

The story is not gripping. You're just told to do something to get rid of a haunted object. There is an attempt at some backstory towards the end, but then it's too late and sudden.

Weak gameplay. Puzzles don't feels like they are part of the world, but merely game elements. The puzzles are either very obvious, with the exception of one very cryptic drawing puzzle. But I do like that there is no objective marker, you're allowed to figure out where to go on your own. The area is very small so it's not difficult to stumble into the right place eventually. In any case, the gameplay feels very basic, like what you would expect in a walking simulator (which I don't consider this game being).

The horror part is also lacking. The game is not scary, but relies on crude jump scares instead of building up any tension. There's even a cheap in-your-face jump scare almost every time you die.

The graphics are a bit dated, but serve their purpose. Some sound effects are a bit creepy, but these are repeated too often and lose their power. Was there any music? I can't remember.
«Waste of time»
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