Decay: A Noose, A Killer, and A Doll

I start by loosening the noose around my neck and crawling off the toilet. What happened? Where am I? Who am I? Why is a doll following me and giving me clues? These are just a few questions you may have as Decay Part 1 starts. Many of you may not be aware of Xbox Live Indie Games. Indie games cost anywhere from one to five dollars, but most of them can be skipped. Rarely, an Indie game comes out that is good let alone great; Decay is one of the latter. The first part is only one dollar, making it very easy to jump in. The other parts are three dollars each, making the whole series only ten dollars.

Being a point-and-click adventure title, I was hesitant to play at first. Decay is on Xbox and not PC, so I was worried the controls wouldn’t feel right, like many point-and-click console games. My worries were quickly slaughtered! You escape a room only to find yourself in a hotel. With very little area to explore (just three rooms and a hallway) you may think it will be a quick adventure. However, just because you have been in a room doesn’t mean you are done with it. In the other parts of Decay you explore new areas and have more/harder puzzles; good luck with the piano puzzle in Part 2.

You do have an Inventory, where you store all the random stuff you find. In your Inventory you can combine, view, use, and even rotate your items. What good is a flashlight when you don’t have batteries? You found a picture of a family but did you see the code on the back? I found it helped if I had a notebook with me when I played and just wrote down the details of each room. In some rooms, there might be symbols and numbers but in another room you’ll find a note with just the symbols. Later, there is a wall safe and you must decode the note for the combination. Being able to write down the numeric translations from all the other rooms was a lifesaver.

The story unravels with so many twists; you won’t know what’s coming until it’s already there. In the fourth part of Decay, more things get added to the gameplay. They allow you to use the thumb stick to look around rather than having to switch from side to side. There are also more mini games to make sure you are paying attention and so many scares, I had to put down the controller a few times. With multiple endings, it’s hard not to go back and find out how else it could have happened.

This game gets a solid B+ from me. With its cleaver use of the controller in a point-and-click adventure and a story that makes you beg for more, I can’t imagine my collection without it. Every Indie game has a trial where you can play the game for five minutes before you buy it. Download the trial and see if you can find the answers to what’s going on before you Decay!