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Game review: Fobia – St. Dinfna Hotel

By Damian Seeto
Fri 1 Jul 2022

When it comes to horror video games, they usually need to have a good balance between suspense and a little bit of action. One of the best horror games to have ever been released is Resident Evil 4. Not only was it action-packed, but it had lots of jump scares too.

Even more recent games like Until Dawn and The Quarry offered enough gore and violence to keep them interesting. Sadly, not every horror game released is a winner. It’s unfortunate for me to say that Fobia – St Dinfna Hotel isn’t the best that the horror genre has to offer.

It’s worth mentioning Fobia – St Dinfna Hotel came out this year and has nothing to do with another game named Fobia released in 2018. Fobia – St Dinfna Hotel is instead a first-person style FPS and puzzle game that is available now for all modern gaming platforms.

When I first booted up Fobia – St Dinfna Hotel, the game was quite intriguing at the very beginning. I played a character that was trapped in prison, but he was eventually able to get out. However, the game took a turn for the worst when the playable character at the start gets impaled by a freaky scary creature. This shocked me because I thought I was playing the main character at first!

After completing the prologue, you are greeted with the real main character, Roberto Leite Lopes. The character is an amateur journalist, and he has to investigate the disappearances and rumoured supernatural activities that have taken place at the St Dinfna Hotel.

At the start of the game, everything seems normal at the hotel as the place looks fine, and there is even a receptionist that Lopes can talk to. Everything changes when Lopes has a blackout and the hotel is ruined. Not only is the place all trashed, but Lopes sees hallucinations of a young girl and even some monsters walking around the hallways.

What seems to be an interesting premise at the start, the majority of Fobia – St Dinfna Hotel’s gameplay is sadly not very exciting. If you are looking forward to an action-packed game like Resident Evil 4 or Resident Evil Village, you’re better off searching for something else to play instead.

One of the things that make this game so disappointing is the fact that it’s so boring. Most of the time, you are controlling Lopes as he walks around the corridors of the hotel, trying to find little keys to open doors or safes. The game does not give you a map or any clues on where you have to go next.

To make things even worse, Fobia – St Dinfna Hotel is literally the darkest game I have ever played. I don’t mean dark in terms of content; it’s so dark I cannot even see where I am going most of the time if I’m playing on the default brightness. I had to crank up the brightness in order to see where I was going!

Graphically, this game is also nothing special. You will spend the majority of the time in dark hallways, and the character models are shockingly outdated looking. The creature designs are okay, although you won’t get to see them often as they don’t appear frequently.

In terms of gameplay, you will spend the majority of your time opening cabinets and safes in order to find keys to open doors. There are TONS of locked doors and inaccessible areas that you will have to go through the rooms more than once to make sure you didn’t miss anything that you needed.

You will spend a lot of time opening cabinets, corridors, solving puzzles and lots of other uneventful things in this game. I spent most of my time walking back and forth, trying to know what to do next. The game has no waypoints or any sort of map, so you will be backtracking a lot of times trying to figure out how to proceed.

I do, however, admire that this game has one unique feature. Lopes has access to a special type of camera that shows a different timeline. When you are using the camera, Lopes is able to access different areas of the hotel that may have been blocked before in his current timeline. It’s a nice gimmick that somewhat changes up the gameplay a little bit.

Combat is few and far between, but the shooting mechanics and boss fights are nothing too special. As I said before, don’t expect to see a lot of action in this game, or else you are going to be severely disappointed. I do like the fact that there is an option to get extra ammo during boss fights, though, if you need it.

Overall, Fobia – St Dinfna Hotel is just a disappointing horror game that I don’t have an interest in playing ever again. There is not much action in this game, and most of the time, you’re just walking around dark, boring hallways. Even if you like horror games, you might want to give this one a miss.

Verdict: 6.0/10

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