Rise of Insanity Early Access
Reviewed by Didi Cardoso
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2017-08-28 PC Survival/Horror M (Mature) Red Limb Studio

Psychological horror has been getting my attention lately. What can I say, I like a good story and spooky environments, and I even like the adrenaline rushes from being scared - as long as I don't suffer a heart attack in the process - which always make me laugh at my own reaction afterwards.

Rise of Insanity is an exploratory horror adventure by Red Limb Studio, in which we step into the shoes of Dr. Stephen Dowell, a psychologist unveiling the truth behind the events that relate to a former patient.

Edward was the neighborhood's gardener, someone Dr. Dowell has known for years. He suffers from constant nightmares, sleep problems, and has pockets of memory loss. While you revisit the doctor's memories regarding Edward and his treatment, you uncover two gruesome deaths and a bizarre series of hallucinations, confused thoughts and strange events that will leave you scratching your head attempting to piece everything together.

For the most part, you walk around exploring your surroundings, until you find a clue that lets you progress. The puzzles are fairly straightforward, and nothing that requires a crazy amount of overthinking to solve. There are also collectibles to be found that add to the depth of the story.

Although the main story developments were a no-brainer (or maybe my powers of deduction are so good that they don't surprise me anymore), it was very interesting to see what was happening all around. The way certain things happen can be quite subtle, where you wander if you actually did see something or not. And then there are the blatantly obvious in-your-face moments, plus the occasional jump scare.

I loved the atmosphere throughout, which is well delivered through both great visuals, excellent music and fantastic sound. I lost myself in the hospital admiring every little bit, including giving myself an eye exam and checking out the drawings regarding eye surgery. Quite ironic that I have been seeing a neuro-ophtalmologist for months to check for damage to my vision and here are some optic nerve images on the walls that looked like one of the exams I had to do... it actually amused me, and I was very pleased with the level of detail in that particular room.

The voice acting is fairly good, except for whoever voiced the little boy. Personally, I would try to find someone else to redo those lines, as the delivery was rather bland and what I felt should have been a few powerful lines was just... meh.

There were also a few spelling errors here and there that will benefit from good proofreading before the final version is released.

There is definitely inspiration from Layers of Fear, especially when it comes to the written notes and drawings, as well as the mysteriously ringing telephone that usually triggers what comes next. There is also a fantastic tribute to a memorable scene from The Shining (which I love), and the ending scene just before the credits reminded me a lot of Albino Lullaby.

There are things left unexplained, some that I can't make any sense of and others that I do have my theories about. But they definitely make me think this could be the first of a series of episodes. After all, the good doctor wasn't only treating one patient, and was certainly running experiments on others...

Rise of Insanity is still in Early Access on Steam, but it certainly shows promise. I can't wait to see where it goes next.

Watch the full playthrough of Rise of Insanity in its current Early Access form in the playlist below: