I’ve lost track of the games I’ve played where I’ve been in a car crash, ended up in the hospital, woken up to find myself in a deserted town and had to do everything I can to find and save my family. Small Town Terrors: Livingston revisits that tired old story and not particularly well either. It’s not scary, it’s not unusual (except for one bit where you have to find medical kits to replenish your health) and it’s not fun. In fact, Small Town Terrors: Livingston was one huge bore.
To go along with the tedious storyline though, you’re also subjected to dismal HOG scenes that are the standard junk piles, depressing artwork that’s supposed to be “gritty” but in reality is just not very well drawn, particularly in the HOGs, and lots of going backwards and forwards with little reasoning behind it. In fact, what could have been a quick 3 hour game easily becomes 5 hours, just because you spend so much time revisiting places you’ve already been.
Of course, the developers, Gunnar Games, did include a map, but as you can’t use it to take you from one scene to another, it quickly became pointless to even look at.
The game also avoids voice overs, which could have made it more appealing, so I found I had little connection to the character or the story because of that. Just constant reading in every cutscene and reading of hints throughout the game. Blah.
Even more oddly though, the developers have decided to designate certain ‘color schemes’ for different sections of the game, so in one chapter it all has a red tinge to it, in another a green one, and on and on. Very ugly and completely unnecessary, as it doesn’t add anything to the gameplay just detracts from it and causes (me, at least!) severe annoyance.
Oh and, spoiler coming up just in case you don’t want to see it………….the “zombies” are silly, not remotely frightening. I mean, come on, if you’re going to sell it as a ‘scary game” please at least try to make it so.
There is one saving grace in Small Town Terrors: Livingston — some of the puzzles are fun and a bit different than the standard fare but, as they’re also too easy, they also quickly lose their appeal.
Overall, I didn’t enjoy the time I spent playing Small Town Terrors: Livingston and, unless you enjoy playing the same types of games you’ve played 50 times before, you may not either.
Meanwhile, if you want an idea of Small Town Terrors: Livingston gameplay, this video covers the first 11 minutes.
I'm a former radio DJ, an ex non-profit Director of Development, and a left-wing human rights advocate with a 20 year background in gay rights and HIV/AIDS rights advocacy. I'm also an avid video game player. Minecraft is my obsession.