Thy Creature Review

Thy Creature opens as an unnatural horror abandoned by its creator comes crashing through the lobby doors of a dark gothic tower. However, unlike Mary Shelly’s classic this contemporary tale leaves the pitchforks at the door and before delving deep into an entirely different type of narrative. While Thy Creature might begin with a painfully familiar chase through the woods, Growing Seeds Corporation doesn’t follow the likes of The Evil Within and Resident Evil into a quagmire of terror. Instead this cute animated adventure take us on a gloomy tour of a haunted house full of lost memories and broken psyches.

As serious and emotionally wrenching as this description might sound, Thy Creature is a relatively light hearted horror escapade. From the moment said nameless entity comes panting into the main entrance of a dank manor house, it is obvious that this isn’t aiming to scare the wits out of players. The primary protagonist of this tale is set to spend the next few hours clawing their way through a seemingly warped tower, filled with odd entities and dangerous puzzles. Accompanied by a trio of sot explorers, you’ll piece together their lost memories to tackle the challenges that appear before you and uncover the mysteries f your own existence.

thy creature monster

 

A gorgeous, inked art style awaits in the opening animation. Landing somewhere between a chibi manga and visual horror novel, Thy Creature calls on plenty of dark ideas but never falls into the reals of visceral gore. Dimly lit hallways, subdued tones, and odd oversized shapes make the 2D backdrop to this adventure feel unnatural without being overtly scary. Whether it’s oversized attack ravens, creepy teddy bears, or the big bad Nepe, the entire title plays like a light hearted Little Nightmares.

Navigating this mix of 2D RPG and top down boss battles is potentially the biggest nightmare players will face. You’ll want to grab a gamepad to start exploring. While the controller is an intuitive fit for the top down shooter styled boss battles, the keyboard experience is awful. Keyboard options simply cannot be remapped and somehow the default decision to map movement to the cursor and actions to the other side of the keyboard makes little sense in the days of WASD.
This odd omission doesn’t just extend to the keyboard mapping either.

 

thy creature options

Options are glaringly sparse, and there is a total lack of anything like a tutorial. That lack of an introduction to actions and operating in the tower makes the first few steps a little unsteady. Thankfully, things do pick up. Fumbling into a trio of explorers with lost memories, you’ll find a tower full of tortured entities, and very visual manifestations of a broken human psyche. Twisted tea parties, Eldritch ideas, and red threads are all front and centre as players push through a series of text based narrative interactions, searching for locks, navigating mazes, and recovering the memories of these lost explorers. This is all implemented well enough. Character dialogue can be a little repetitive, but does drive things along. Puzzles are repetition on a theme, r4counting a persistent mechanic across each floor, although things could be more consistently telegraphed through dialogue or tooltips.

The fallout from tarnished memories is, however, more than just a spooky manor house. Roaming monsters need to be taken out or they will consume you and your new friends. These Nepes are the embodiment of the desires of a person, stolen and contorted into a ghoulish travesty. They twist the point and click logic of this 2D RPG into a Binding of Isaac inspired top down shooter without the ability to fight back. Across a range of repetitive maps, each type of Nepe is a different test of skill and speed, leveraging the same sort of puzzle mechanics that are presented in the wider world. This mix of ideas is interesting, and gives Thy Creature a pleasant change of pace without over staying their welcome. Whether you’re having a chat with your adorable new friends or scooping up dark memory fragments to trade in for some in game upgrades, there are all the core mechanics for a fantastic game.

thycreature thread mechanic

 

In the end, this very visual exposition on human frailty does a decent job when it comes to presentation, narrative, and a delightfully eerie soundtrack. It is, however, a little light on depth. Granted, there is plenty of variety and lots of interesting ideas, but this isn’t going to engage anybody looking for something like Little Nightmares. Thy Creature brings the charm and ingenuity of Yomawari Night Alone to the table but could just use some work to give it more difficulty, options, greater replay value, refined setting, better telegraphed mechanics, and animation bugs that don’t block progress for an entire day.

If you’re looking for an entirely enjoyable and totally charming horror without any real teeth for a gloomy Winter evening then check out Thy Creature on the Steam Store now.

Summary
A solid if a little shallow attempt at brining a bloodless horror into an accessible format. Wonderful aesthetics and soundtrack could have made this a wonderful visual novel. Instead Thy Creature is a far more interesting proposition that stiches together more themes and ideas than the titular monster. Great for easy going gloomy in the dead of night. Fun but not frightening.
Good
  • Interesting aesthetics
  • Enough variety
  • engaging without being awfully difficult
Bad
  • no real difficulty options
  • repetitive mechanics
  • narative is a little thin
7
Good
Written by
For those of you who I’ve not met yet, my name is Ed. After an early indoctrination into PC gaming, years adrift on the unwashed internet, running a successful guild, and testing video games, I turned my hand to writing about them. Now, you will find me squawking across a multitude of sites and even getting to play games now and then

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