White Night Review
 CHEATfactor Game Review by:  Joe Sinicki Reviewed on: PC 

Welcome to our CHEATfactor Game Review of White Night. We review the game and then factor in how the available cheats affect the overall game experience. For better or worse, our reviews will help you decide whether or not to use cheats when playing the game.

It took a few minutes for me to realize I had control over White Night when the game started thanks to it's superbly unique visual style. Right from the start, the game does a great job pulling you in with Noir style visuals but unfortunately that's all it has. For every gorgeous cinematic shot there's a design decision that makes absolutely no sense and takes you out of the experience. White Night's biggest problem though?It's just plain boring.

In true classic survival horror fashion...
White Night Review Screenshot

White Night starts out interestingly enough. Our fedora wearing hero leaves the bar after having a bit too much and ends up crashing his car, possibly running into and killing a mysterious girl who darted out in front of him. He stumbles out of the car and begins to head towards an old seemingly abandoned mansion with graves and weird marking carved into it because you know, that's always the best idea. In true classic survival horror fashion, there's more to the house than is initially apparent, and it's content will bring our hero to a night that he won't soon forget. This much White Night does well.

One look at the game and it's apparent that White Night's strength is built firmly into it's Madworld and Sin City style visuals. 90% of the game is either black and white, playing with the idea of shadows and light and using them to create a remarkably moody experience. These visuals, combined with the classic survival horror camera angles creates a unique identity for White Night, even if the game tends to rely on it a bit too much (more on that later though). I also couldn't help but feel like the game was using the light and shadow mechanic to hide some pretty rough textures and designs. Just take a second to look around an area that the game isn't trying to push you towards (or the main character's face, it just never looks right).

Your main job in White Night is to explore and find out the truth behind the mystery of the old mansion, and if you really killed that girl. This means wandering around slowly and reading useless things you find scattered around until you actually find something that moves the game forward, and I mean that in the most literal sense, most of the game plays out the same way - you move into a room, look through things until you find what you're supposed to find and then, and only then does the game let you move to the next room. The biggest problem with this is that there's just so much useless tuff to sift through. I got pretty tired pretty quickly of finding random newspaper clippings about restaurants and jazz singers that had nothing to do with anything in the game, and I don't mean "oh these may be useful later," they just plain have nothing to do with anything.

It's a bit annoying...
White Night Review Screenshot

Most of the mansion is pretty and it's up to you to find light sources to keep you moving (if you don't, you may as well just reload your last save since the game is almost unplayable without them). You'll mostly be using matches that you find throughout the game and you'll have to relight it almost every thirty seconds. It's a bit annoying, especially when you'll find yourself using matches for a good portion of the game's puzzles, but only to find another light source. I seriously couldn't tell you how many times I was just supposed to find a light switch to clear a puzzle, as if I wouldn't look for that first. It was also disappointing to find that a lot of the puzzles were so pedestrian that they were almost laughable. Quite a few times I walked into a room and tried to interact with an object that's clearly visible, but the game won't let me do anything with it until I find the light source then acts like it's a big reveal when I do find it.

Then there's the ghosts. They'll flicker in and out of certain rooms and you really have no way to protect yourself from them since the game has no combat to speak of whatsoever. Not to worry though, anytime you run into a specter, the game goes into this weird Scooby Doo style animation where the camera zooms out and you're you're running through a long corridor to get away. Even if you do get caught by one you'll have time to escape since all the ghost does is slap you until you pass out. Yes, the ghost will slap you. The game is filled with strange decisions like this, like the fact that you save your progress by resting in arm chairs throughout the mansion, but only certain arm chairs. Find another piece of furniture? Keep on moving. This is exceptionally frustrating because the game is pretty unforgiving with it's saves and there's a good chance you'll be going back a pretty big chunk of time when you die.

I really wanted to love White Night. I wanted it to be the next Limbo or Braid, a game where a remarkable art style combines with solid mechanics to create something special, but it'a far from that. It's noir style visuals can only mask serious design issues and boring gameplay for so long. Fans of old school survival horror may find something to like here if they look hard enough, but most will just want to drive past the mansion without stopping.

Overall:  5/10 Presentation: 8 Gameplay: 6 
Lasting Appeal: 5 CHEATfactor: 0 
As of this writing there are no known cheats for White Night but I'd love to have a cheat for either unlimited matches or unlimited match power so I didn't have to restart my game so many times while looking for what the game wanted me to find.

Stick with Cheat Happens for more on White Night.