Just Ignore Them
Developed By: Stranga Games
Published By: Ratalaika Games
Category: Point-and-Click Horror
Release Date: 10.18.2019
Just Ignore Them is a point-and-click horror title created in the style of the RPG Maker games that flooded the internet some time ago. As someone who watched Markiplier play through The Witch’s House, Ao Oni, and Ib I felt a strong connection to this title, but all the reasons those games have their flaws came out in this one as well. With frustrating item-based puzzles that offer you very little help at times and B-tier writing it is something that is definitely crafted for a niche audience. Horror games are made a little more playable in the 8-bit style, so this gamer was happy to be able to participate without crying.
Point-and-click titles always have had a bit of an issue coming from the PC to the console space, but this one does a fine job making the transition. Movement and interaction are done with a cursor, but it gets the job done. Touch screen is also available which is a nice touch (Buh-Dum Tss). I never really felt incumbered by the control scheme as it is so simplified as it is that nothing really gets bogged down. Inventory is accessed by just scrolling to the top section of the screen, and simple button clicks allow you to look at or interact with items in the environment.
As far as gameplay goes this game is so simple that there isn’t much to discuss. As is customary in point-and-click games you have to find items scattered about the area and either combine them or use them on other interactable areas around wherever you are located. The puzzles in this one are super easy, and the writing points you directly where you need to go throughout the whole game, so as long as you are actually reading the dialogue and paying attention to what is in the environment you shouldn’t have a problem. I did find myself having to go back through all the items in an area a couple of times to put it together, but all in all I have gotten way more frustrated at other titles in the genre. That is until you reach a section where you need to find four key cards, and that section is so unbelievably not cool that I have to take note of it here. Consistently fair throughout the whole game until that point. Since the puzzles are so simple you will also be seeing some things repeated for use. The screwdriver, for example, becomes available to you multiple times and functions for similar puzzles throughout the story. This simplicity and repetition are present, not only in the puzzles and items, but in the environments you are working through. I don’t think I have ever seen so many fire extinguishers in a game in my whole life.
While working through these fetch puzzles you are moving through the actual point of the game which is the story. This one is interesting to say the least but is quite odd. It starts out as a basic ghost story and turns into a religious and scientific ritual of the supernatural. The game goes right out into left field at its conclusion, and the last 5-10 minutes of the game doesn’t match with what had been happening up until that point and is 100% not where I thought the story was going. You could call it a twist ending, but I call it pretty bad storytelling. Regardless of whether or not the player comes up with a general idea of where the game is going you usually want some sort of cohesion between the first ¾ of the game and the last parts, but this one acts like they didn’t want anyone to have any idea as to how things were going to conclude so they just came up with something. I was thoroughly disappointed in how the game ended, as I was a pretty big fan of how the game started and progressed early on and it just slowly devolves into a messy mix of themes and ideas.
The premise of “just ignore them” is actually the most pointless mechanic in the title, and probably would have produced a better title without it entirely. These ghosts / creatures are hiding throughout the levels and are marked by either blood or smiley faces. Basically, all these marking tell you are not to open that closet or go into that room, as you will die. This is the only portion of the game that also results in a death state, so it is just a whole thing that doesn’t sit well with the rest of the game.
Decisions you make throughout the game can result in multiple endings. You will find these decisions marked by a two-way choice throughout the game, and you can replay the game in order to retry for the different endings. A save function allows you to jump right back to those points if you do it manually, so make sure to do so if you want to see the different ways it can end.
The art is fine, as far as 8-bit games come. I have definitely seen more impressive use of this style, but there was nothing inherently wrong with how they created this world beyond the repetitive, drag-and-drop items used over and over in rooms and environments. Music is something that seemed almost non-existent throughout the game, outside of a really uplifting section in the plane, but then the music died back down again through the end. I am not sure what the creative plan was with that, but it is what it is.
Overall, Just Ignore Them is a game I am totally conflicted on. The game isn’t very good, isn’t scary, and has a bad story, which is the main reason you are playing it. But, I just have such a soft spot for this specific, very slim margin of the horror space that I can’t help but try to give the game excuses. For that reason, if you are someone who, like me, finds a bit of nostalgia for the RPG Maker horror games of yesteryear then you might want to give this one a shot anyways, but for anyone other than that I would say you can give this one a hard pass.
Buy Now – $4.99
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*The Switch Effect was provided a code for this game*