Review: Night Book
Night Book is an interactive FMV horror/thriller game by Wales Interactive which puts you in control of making decisions for Loralyn; an online interpreter who is tasked with either brokering a book sale between 2 guys, or building a hitherto broken emotional bond between a mother and her son.
You also have to deal with a pushy partner who is working abroad, a boss who monitors your calls, and a dad who is in the apartment with you…and who is possessed by evil spirits!
Filmed during lockdown it means that none of the actors are together, which makes sense in relation to the narrative and gives every character that little bit more vulnerability, which in turn makes you think that little bit more when making decisions which will affect their future, and indeed if they survive or not.
Decision making is time based, which adds a sense of urgency while faced with what path to take. Though the time limit can also be turned off, which I did on playthough’s with Tina sat by me. That way we could pause the narrative and discuss between us what we should pick.
The 1st playthrough took a little over an hour, but that can be reduced on subsequent runs through the story as you can skip through any previously viewed scenes…a welcome addition to stop repetition.
The acting, while not Academy Award winning, is good enough to immerse you into its world, with Julie Dray as Loralyn being the highlight. Though Mark Wingett comes across as more “panto villain” than possessed father.
With 15 endings to be discovered and 223 scenes to watch, Night Book has enough content for any completists to try and get through, but I have to admit that after watching half of the endings and 2/3 of the scenes, I had seen enough of Loralyn to be done with it, even with the ability to skip scenes.
As an experience (I’m hesitant to call it a game) to sit with someone and play through a few times while discussing your choices, it is definitely a pleasurable enough time, but unfortunately that time is short-lived as you have soon seen everything that interests you.
Night Book is available on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, macOS, Macintosh operating systems, Xbox One.
Review by Dave from a PS4 code kindly supplied by Wales Interactive.