In this title, you will converse with a shadowy nighttime visitor. You can help the visitor build up a picture of itself, or ignore the character and see what happens. Multiple conversation options lead to different story paths.
Interesting story with plain execution
Visual novels, or interactive stories, are a tough genre to do well. Generally speaking, the visual element consists of static or basically-animated screens, with the story taking the form of multiple-choice conversation options. (Don’t) Open Your Eyes follows these conventions to the letter.
Settings and graphics
The game only has one location: a bedroom. Visual novels typically involve illustration rather than cutting-edge graphics, and this game follows suit. The bedroom is a still image, and the nighttime version is a roughly sketched outline.
(Don’t) Open Your Eyes doesn’t need more than this, but it’s still a shame that there’s no way to, for example, look around the room or watch as ambient lighting changes shadows. The monster, too, should be a source of concern but its different body parts often look goofy instead of menacing.
As you’re trying to sleep, a mysterious creature appears and begins a conversation with you. Although your thoughts are presented on-screen, your voice is never heard and only represented as multiple choice answers to the creature’s questions.
The game then reacts to your choices, granting the monster the features you select. Does it have sad or vacant eyes? Claws or incomplete hands? Each option then unlocks slightly different dialogue from the monster.
The creature is fully-voiced and well-acted, with its story and musings changing depending on how you describe it. There are 27 possible combinations of body parts and dialogue branches, which gives the game some replayability.
Spooky, yet rough, visual novel
(Don’t) Open Your Eyes doesn’t quite have the literary chops to execute its basic concept. There’s pathos to be found in the creature’s uncertainty of what it is, but the script tends to be flowery rather than concise. It’s a nice idea, but the the title lacks finesse.
Short but terrifying
(Don’t) Open Your Eyes is a horror game where your only goal is to avoid opening your eyes and looking at the creature whispering details about himself to you.
A midnight encounter
(Don’t) Open Your Eyes is a short yet compelling horror game with fully-voiced dialogue.
(Don’t) Open Your Eyes uses an engaging art style to portray the horror aspect of the creature in your room. Once you shut your eyelids, you’ll only see a black background with white chalk-like drawings of your bedroom and the mysterious stranger that’s by your side.
The dialogue for the game is entirely voiced, adding impact to every word and elevating the level of creepiness felt while playing. The whispers of the mysterious figure convincing you to look at it are even more disturbing—and may cause you to end the game early.
The way the creature in your room looks is entirely dependent on the choices you make while playing. There are three options for the hands, eyes, and mouth, resulting in a total of 27 different possible outcomes for how the monster appears. This makes the game satisfyingly replayable as you attempt to reveal every style of the beast.
However, this game is concise, and an average play-session lasts around half an hour unless you open your eyes early and lose. If you take your time and fully experience the game, you can still complete it in an hour. Fortunately, this makes the title a great introduction to the horror genre due to its short length.
Try to deny your nighttime visitor in this free horror game
(Don’t) Open Your Eyes is a short but free horror-themed simulation video game wherein you must do only one thing: avoid opening your eyes. Developed by Daniel “Via” Cuturrufo, this unique visual novel introduces you to a shadowy creature whom you cannot see in the darkness but you know is right beside you. With great voice-acting and monster design, this little nightmare of a story is one that will stay in your memories.
A simple task
(Don’t) Open Your Eyes takes place in your character’s quiet bedroom, where you start to fall asleep. You know the layout of your room well and so even with your eyes closed, you can tell if something’s changed inside the small space. The dark 3D environment quickly becomes a pitch-black 2D recreation, with shaky chalk lines to represent the room as you close your eyes. Unfortunately, a mysterious figure soon comes to your side.
This black nameless figure starts whispering to you, trying to persuade you to open your eyes and see what it looks like—which immediately ends the game. The longer you decline, the more it talks about itself and why it wishes for people to take a peek. There are three instances wherein you can choose what the creature’s eyes, mouth, and hands look like—with 3 options each, racking up to 27 possible combinations in appearance.
The game is fully-voiced with the mysterious creature, with an amazing and chilling performance by David Acosta. Its different possible appearances are horrifying with the chalk sketch art style, as well, and every choice you make provides a new bit of dialogue—which makes the game replayable, despite its length. The whole horror vibe of the game is similar to sleep paralysis and really plays on the uncertainty of what you can hear but can’t see.