It lurks in the dark, your inner demon, the vile beast eager to devour your soul. You are stuck here in the darkness with hogs, guts and chewed bones. In the palace of Papa Sangre you are in desperate pursuit of your loved ones soul. As a soul yourself you have only your hearing, and ability to move left intact.
Papa Sangre is a first person avoid ém up without graphics. Instead the game is presented in binaural audio. This is audio recorded to give a surround effect, and it works brilliantly. You have to locate, and pickup different items and markers using your ears. The touch controls give you a wheel to navigate with, and two feet to walk with. To walk you have to take one step at a time, and to run you simply speed it up. Run to fast, and you will fall.
The different rooms you encounter have different occupants, and you can locate those too using the audio. Snarling hogs moving about distract you, and if they catch you they eat your soul. The floor is at times covered with guts and bones. When you step on anything you alert the hogs, and have to run away to survive. After you have picked up a number of items the exit opens, and you have to navigate to it.
Papa Sangre is not an easy game, and the tutorial is somewhat of a help. I would have liked to have a visual map for the first couple of levels to get a feel for the room sizes. In my opinion it is hard to navigate when rooms are hard to understand the size, and shape of. At times I get stuck against walls, with the sound indicating that I am going in the correct direction. This can of course mean that the exit is behind me instead.
The sparse graphics in the game is excellent, and really set the mood. I have been intrigued by the theme of “day of the dead” since playing Grim Fandango.
The most important part of the game is the audio, and it is really good. Crank up the volume, and those hogs and beasts will scare the crap out of you. The female follower helping you out is well voice acted, and so is the male voice. When running for the exit with a sobbing baby clutched in your embrace chased by a grim beast the game gets really intense.
Worth noting is that you need to have proper stereo hearing. Trying to play using speakers is impossible, and the game clearly states that this is headphones only. You don’t have to use the absolute top of the line headphones. If you get a good fit with the stock Apple earphones they work well enough. To me they tend to fall out, and thus are worthless for me. For maximum pleasure some proper noise isolating headphones or wicked bass headphones are recommended. I have been using the Bose MIE2i that provides bass beyond belief for Papa Sangre. Also make sure to play in the dark, or at least in a moderately calm setting. Playing this on the bus is not as immersive as in your own bed. It is a good way to set you up for some wicked nightmares.
Papa Sangre is an engineering marvel, and it is a game that should be experienced by every iOS gamer out there.(if you have a 3GS/4/iPad) I really think that the price is far from right. I hope to see a price cut down to about $1.99 to allow the game to become a hit. At the current price it is more of a niche product. I recommend you to keep Papa Sangre on the short list of games to buy as soon as the price drops.
Papa Sangre $6.99
Seller: Somethin´ Else