HomeReviewsHome Safety Hotline review: thoughtful weirdness that left me wanting more

Home Safety Hotline review: thoughtful weirdness that left me wanting more

I labored on the telephones once I was in pension admin, years in the past, and I fielded some bizarre ones, however nothing fairly as bizarre because the calls in Residence Security Hotline. It is, technically, I suppose, a horror sport about manning a name line by a 90s CRT-screen PC, the place folks can be like “my kitchen is stuffed with droppings that appear to be espresso grounds, what do?”. You look by your record of potential family hazards and choose the best one, so your caller will get despatched the data on coping with cockroaches. Besides as your week at HSH goes on, your calls begin to be much less roaches, extra “my home smells like loss of life and my canine is appearing surprisingly” or “I can see somebody wanting by my window at night time and listen to them respiratory closely.”


Spoiler warning: Residence Security Hotline is a type of video games that modifications as you play, but it surely’s type of not possible to jot down about it with out discussing that, so if you wish to go in chilly then you need to cease studying.

And I say it is technically a horror sport as a result of one of many issues I like most about Residence Security Hotline it’s that I did begin enjoying it like I used to be manning a hotline. For higher or for worse, I discovered the entries on Spriggans and Kobolds and the self-generating heaps of trash referred to as The Horde to be type of charming, so by the tip I used to be listening to frantic calls and type of spiritually open-mouth chewing a sandwich and slurping espresso, leaning again in my chair. “Ah yeah, that is yer commonplace Mattress Tooth you’ve got bought there mate,” type of vibe. I solely wished I may have requested callers for extra particulars – “Would you say the injury to your partitions are extra base-level cracks or holes?” – as a result of your index has lots of further data and generally you simply should make a punt.

A lot of the enjoyment of HSH is within the index entries. In case you get issues unsuitable, generally folks name again screaming at you (RIP to the child who vanished into the wardrobe). The collision of magical beasts, creepy pictures, and dry, company textbook within the writing model describing stated beasts is fairly glorious – particularly when the recommendation is principally “you’ll be able to’t do something” – and one can not help however admire those which have audio samples. Typically, particularly early on, the hazard is in assuming somebody’s home is infested with a sort of little monster after they even have one thing extra mundane like termites. It additionally very successfully captures having to interpret what a member of the general public phoning a service is definitely saying, sifting by it for private data. It is simple to make a mistake, however recognizing that the heating not working just isn’t as vital a element as a toddler haivng braces offers one the satisfaction of a job effectively achieved.

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Picture credit score: gamenewspost Shotgun / Night time Sign Leisure

A caller in Home Safety Hotline ringing to say he can't remember his wife's face

A frantic email from a former employee at Home Safety Hotline, letting you know their hiding place has been found

Shout out to the desktop interface, although, it is nice. | Picture credit score: gamenewspost Shotgun / Night time Sign Leisure

Remembering all of your index information turns into an acute problem on some calls the place the system goes down. Usually you’ll be able to take heed to a name, put them on maintain after which browse at your leisure, however when the community breaks you must make your finest guess primarily based on what you keep in mind. It is a neat trick to make you truly learn the index and listen, so you’ll be able to’t go full name centre drone mode. This reminiscence check can be a part of the end-game problem for promotion, which made me jealous of my participant character to be trustworthy, and I will not spoil it, but it surely does type of tie in with my essential disappointment. Early on Residence Security Hotline reveals indicators that it will get correctly creepy, with unlogged calls from distored voices, determined warning emails from a former worker, and a few creepy infomercial movies turning up in your desktop. However this stuff, whereas cool, all appear to only… go away.

The previous worker is caught. The bizarre caller is discovered and minimize out of the system. I do not essentially need Residence Security Hotline to be the truly horrifying type of horror sport, and in reality I actually like model of the world the place trolls are probably harmful however you simply should deal with them just like the type of mundane annoyance represented by black mould. It is not an accident that the sport known as Residence Security Hotline and the creatures are all from homely people tales.

However the unresolved threads really feel much less like different unexplained mysteries on this planet and extra like, effectively, unresolved threads. Residence Security Hotline is certainly within the Daniel Mullins vein of sport concepts, the place a sport begins as one thing and turns into one thing else, and whereas Residence Security Hotline could be very considerate and has a superb framing, it by no means absolutely reworked. Which is maybe ironic, given the ending.

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