Released recently, the BlackChiliGoat Studios indie game Tape: Unveil the Memories is the newest addition to the psychological horror genre. This is the first game from BlackChiliGoat Studios, the small independent developer from Madrid, Spain. So how is the first release from BlackChiliGoat Studios? Find out in our review of Tape: Unveil the Memories.
Story: A more human tale from BlackChiliGoat Studios
The player will step into the shoes of the main character Iria, a girl from the small town of Antumbria. After receiving a package containing a VHS tape from her father, Iria will dive into her memories to explore her memories and discover the dark secrets that her family hides. She’ll have to follow her father’s trail, a famous horror film director who tragically disappeared.
The story begins with the VHS tape and continues with the same VHS tape. Playing through the main story will allow Iria and the player to continue the mystery through her father’s VHS tapes. Each checkpoint will earn the player a new portion of the Tape and a new piece of the mystery. There are, of course, more ways to learn more about the family trait past.
As the player progresses through the various areas of Tape: Unveil the Memories, they will be able to find investigation items littered throughout. These investigation items could vary from voicemail, newspaper, hospital records, etc. These different items will give a small look into what happened to Iria’s father and the family’s hidden secrets.
Tape: Unveil the Memories offers a uniquely told story of discovering the secrets of one’s past and the consequences of these secrets. Rooting itself in our humanity’s struggle, violence, and desperation, Tape: Unveil the Memories is a tale set closer to home than dragons or knights, aliens, and spaceships. For that reason, Tape: Unveil the Memories is worth the play.
Gameplay: Interesting features, but can be cumbersome
In Tape: Unveil the Memories, the player’s task is to explore the different areas of your memories to discover more. To aid you during this mission, you’ll use your father’s old video camera. Using the camera, you’ll have the ability to manipulate various objects as you play. Tape: Unveil the Memories is like many other explore and gather games.
The camera is a novel idea that lends a new time element to the game—allowing the player to rewind or fast forward the state of the object, which at times is required to solve the various puzzles. The camera can also be used as a temporary self-defense weapon against the creatures the player and Iria will encounter.
Unfortunately, the camera does make progression slow. In many cases, the player will have to carry the video camera up to see objects that can interact with to solve each puzzle. In addition, the camera’s functionality while exploring is cumbersome. Switching back and forth is slow. Thie especially becomes an issue when dealing with an enemy.
Finally, the puzzles will be the main chunk of what the player will do in Tape: Unveil the Memories. Their puzzles were well executed and not too challenging for the player in most cases. But, a couple, including an early one concerning crayons, offered little guidance on how to solve it, which led to an added hour of unnecessary wondering in a small area. But, even with these issues, the puzzles aren’t unsolvable.
Graphics/Audio: Unique use of the tools at hand
The graphics of Tape: unveil the Memories are not too bad, running on Unreal Engine 4. Walking through the various stages won’t offer anything kind of fantastic spectacle. Still, they also don’t look terrible with the ability to lend themselves to the story the developers are telling successfully. Coming from a small independent developer, the graphics do nothing to detract from the game, and now that the Unreal Engine 5 is out, we may see their next game built in it.
There is something different than the developers BlackChiliGoat did that was great. Using the VHS footage to help tell the story of what happens. Other games like Control have used this live-action cut scene to add an extra layer to their storytelling. In Tape: Unveil the Memories, using the VHS live-action video is not the only way they creatively added storytelling to their game.
Tape: Unveil the Memories also uses its audio as a storytelling tool to help convey more of the secrets held within. When reading, many of the investigation objects will also come with a sound effect to help tell more of the story. For example, when reading a letter about someone who is shot by someone and drives away, you’ll hear a gunshot and tires screeching away. BlackChiliGoat Studios managed to take the tools they had and use them to help deliver the story they had set out to tell in Tape: Unveil the Memories.
Conclusion: A psychological horror indie tale that is worth a try
The BlackChiliGoat Studios game Tape: Unveil the memories offers a personal, compelling struggle about our secrets and the damage they wrought. Tape: Unveil the Memories provides the player a unique mystery, and after our review, it’s undoubtedly worth playing at least once, even with the small number of issues it may have.
If you’re interested in Tape: Unveil the Memories after reading our review, it’s available on Steam and PlayStation 4. More information about Tape: Unveil the Memories, or BlackChiliGoat Studios can be found on the games development page.
- Fantastic story
- Great storytelling tools
- Amazing audio
- Cumbersome controls
- Puzzles can be confusing
- Minor enemy bugs