The Convenience Store | 夜勤事件 (Plain Horror)

This is a neat little indie game that I found on the Steam store for $2.69 (actual price is $2.99). The Convenience Store is made by a developer by the name of “Chilla’s Art” they have been (from what I can tell) making games that are remarkably similar to Puppet Combo’s games.

This review is going to be formatted slightly differently from the last one I made. Instead of breaking down the core elements of the game, we’re going to be breaking down what is good and what is bad. The reason why is because this game is around 30-90 minutes long depending on how well you play it.

Several Points That Made Me Lose Interest

Repeatedly Walking To The Store

Now, I don’t think the idea itself is bad. But there wasn’t really anything to build up tension or even happen to you while you’re walking. You’re basically just walking out of your house to the store in the dark every night to the place that’s haunted/cursed (where the gameplay actually is). I didn’t think that it getting darker after the first night or it raining was bad, but there needs to be more than just loud noises in my ears.

Loud Noises

I mentioned this in the last point but there needs to be more than just loud “creepy” noises. Like for example, the weird industrial sounding noise whenever you go outside. You’re in a completely dark and empty neighborhood with nothing around you to make noise and yet there is this loud industrial clanking sound of noise, it really just puts you off because you notice it immediately.

Figure It Out Gameplay

Now there are a ton of video games that are known to be hard enough to require walkthroughs or are so easy it seems like they’re holding your hand through the game, and then there are games that have a perfect balance of both. This game isn’t any of that. You’ll go semi-nicely through the game figuring out what you need to do by your managers notes and customers will walk in to buy stuff. And then — Nothing. You’re just left with nothing. And I realized what I had to do on the “Second Night” of the game when I sat there for 10 minutes just waiting for something to happen next. The game basically wants you to just roam around aimlessly until it thinks you’ve wandered enough to be taken to the next night or something new will happen!

Realism And Horror

Your horror game doesn’t need to be realistic. However, the actions you take as the character you’re controlling, should be realistic. So many times in this game where I was wondering what to do and then I did something nobody would do naturally just to progress the game.  It’s just so unnatural at times.

“Horror” Random Events

Do you like getting locked in rooms for no reason? Do you like being confused as to why you’re locked in these rooms? Well this game has moments like these that you’ll love! This point ties in with my second point about sound. You locked me in a room and made footstep noises. Wow. You made something I expected to move on my screen, actually move. Wow. You made something so out of place and unnoticeable disappear on my screen. Wow. I’m being really harsh here and I’m sorry for that, but it really made me laugh at times or just confused.

Routines And Predictability

After a while you start to get into the routine of going to the store and checking the managers note, and that is a great setup for something else to be different. However, the way they do it is very noticeable sometimes so noticeable you’re thinking to yourself, “something is going to happen to x” and it actually happening but not the way you imagined it, because you were probably imagining something more extreme.

Several Points That Gained My Interest

Sound Design

Sound? Weren’t you just bashing on the sound? Yes I was, however they did it really well at some points.
The rain: I think that using this to walk to the store at night was great, and having the umbrella as well with the water bouncing off of it was really nice as well. There just needed to be more to back up this atmosphere that was set.
The monster/demon/evil spirit: I thought that the sound they made was done really well and could easily scare tons of people when they play.
Walking sounds: I think that these are done particularly well especially with people walking up to the store, in the store itself, and also your own walking. The problem was mainly using them better in other places that were supposed to be “horror”.
The locker: If you played, you know what I mean.
Keyboard typing: It made my brain go “wtf someone is in MY room?” and I rushed there immediately, it was done well.
The sliding door: Whenever it opened my brain was like “Oh a customer” and then when I saw with my eyes I went, “Oh… uhhhh customer?” and it built up tension for what was going to happen next (an unfortunate thing is that sometimes that next doesn’t come quick enough)

TV Puzzle

I won’t be spoiling the puzzle, but I thought it was really really nice when I saw what you had to do. And it’s set up so that it’s not too easy and also not too hard. It was just overall great while still maintaining the horror atmosphere.

Actual Horror

The parts of the game where there is actual horror, it does it super well. Like the CCTV cameras were so properly used and even the customers themselves made you unsure sometimes. The transition between moving beyond the counter and back in were also done very well. I won’t go into some of the other horror details because of obvious reasons, but they were done very well.

Side Tasks

These side tasks were the reason why I went into the areas I didn’t want to go and I think that the ones that were in the game were really cool and built up the scary atmosphere. But again, not much was done with that built up when it happened. Still though, tasks were a good addition.

The Endings

I think that these endings are probably the most realistic endings I’ve ever played in a game. And because of that, it almost redeemed the rest of the game purely in a comical way. But, this game is horror.

Conclusion

Overall, I think that this game had a few good ideas that it had going for itself. But while I was writing this review I kept thinking about what happened in the game and I just had more negative things to add while I had to really think at times for the positives. And even then, my last point about the endings is more negative than it is positive. I thought they were good but in the context of the rest of the game, bad. If you want to try this game for yourself, go ahead I won’t stop you. It’s very short so you’re not wasting time (I wouldn’t consider this game a waste of time by the way). But yeah, overall I’d give it a 4/10-5/10. The positives don’t really push past the negatives, especially for a horror game.

Game on Steam if you would like to check it out for yourself:
https://store.steampowered.com/app/1228520/The_Convenience_Store/

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