Nox Mortis is a new mobile VR experience by Sigil Entertainment, which is launching at Halloween 2019. The app is designed for iPhones, and describes itself as “The scariest VR Horror game ever made”. It is, however, not living up to this description in the slightest.
When starting the game, the player gets the option to play in VR mode, which they recommend, or can continue without VR. The setting is the following: The player is trapped in a “hellish nightmare”. In order to escape, they have to witness all scenarios that unfold; said scenarios are randomised every time you start the app. You then get transported into a dark room with red lightning, that is filled with various objects such as a noose, a door, and a window. You are instructed to look around the room to experience the ‘horrors’ so you can leave your nightmare.
This is where the game becomes a bit of a nightmare, but not in a way the developers promised. The randomised scenarios are not horrific as the game makes out, but the graphic design is. It reminds of the early days of 3D images that are still floating around the internet somewhere. The only remotely scary thing in the game are jumpscares with red-eyed skulls in a 2000s graphic design look coming towards you, or a severed doll head (also with red eyes, there is a theme) rolling towards you. After every one of these events, an advertisement that is not VR supported pops up, which breaks the newly established immersion immediately. In order to close those ads, the phone needs to get taken out of the case to continue the experience. The game tells you the progress you have made, by showing that you have experienced X amount of 20 events. To experience more of said events, the app takes you back to the home screen, where the dark room is reloaded
Out of curiosity, we also tried the non-VR version of the game. This one, however, did not work at all, since neither moving the phone not using our fingers worked particularly well to look around the room. After completing ten out of the 20 events, we gave up. The constant ads, paired with the basic graphic design, did not make the game worth finishing.
However, the game is free to download in the app store for iPhones, so we encourage everyone who wants to experience the game for themselves. It will be a unique experience to say the least…
Reporter, Virtual Perceptions
Lena Mandahus is a graduate from the University of Vienna, with experience copyediting articles.