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Parents' Guide to

Fobia: St. Dinfna Hotel

By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Hotel horror serves scares, gore as room service.

Fobia: St. Dinfna Hotel packshot

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 12+
age 16+

Atmospheric Puzzler. Weak Horror.

Relatively lax on violence for the genre. You exclusively fight vaguely humanoid Draugr type enemies with blood splatter. But no elaborate gore. Parasite nests have red meaty fungus/membranes line their halls but its not real gore. Despite the apocalyptic scenario there are minimal signs of carnage or human remains. Stray bloodstains, a couple of lab subjects, and a severed arm is the extent of the gore. There are 2 stabbings in cutscenes but they arent graphic. F words semi-regularly. The game features gorgeous and immersive production value and some creative puzzles (alongside fluff). But it lacks the thrill/intrigue balance that makes Resident Evil click. The game just dumps puzzles upon puzzles (some of which mistake convoluted tedium with cleverness) upon the player with very sporadic and low stakes combat against dull enemies and bosses with sluggish controls and a slightly overgenerous ammo and health pool. Top that with a middling story, corny voice acting, and tepid pacing; youre much better off playing Torment Souls or Cry of Fear instead.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (2 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Fear is a primal emotion, which is true whether you're a fan of getting chills up your spine or someone who cringes at the slightest bump in the night. And a lot of the fear that comes from the horror genre has to do with atmosphere, something Fobia: St. Dinfna Hotel isn't lacking. From the opening prologue to the final chapter, the game manages to frequently build an overwhelming feeling of dread alongside some imagery that will serve as nightmare fuel for players. It's in these moments that Fobia is at its best. The problem is that what seems like a great horror story tends to get tripped up in both its gameplay and its identity.

Fobia is, at its core, a great horror story. Unfortunately, the delivery of that story tends to get muddled by trying to be a little bit of everything else as well. There are puzzles stacked upon puzzles that the player needs to solve to advance the plot. Many of these feel contrived and forced, like players are trapped in a string of escape rooms with tidbits of story offered as a reward before moving on. These sections of the game aren't remotely scary and kill the building sense of terror. In between these puzzle filled areas are some basic action sequences, with players shooting their way through or hiding in the shadows from the creatures, cultists, and other dark forces hunting them down. The shooting feels basic, but at least there's tension as players have to choose between fight or flight, risking being ill-equipped for what may lay in wait around the next corner. Finally, layering all of this over a strange time-hopping framework makes it all the more difficult to follow any flow to plot. None of this keeps Fobia from giving players a good scare, but the thrill doesn't linger for long.

Game Details

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