Polterheist is an indie horror game where you are tasked with robbing a haunted house. I was interested by the concept of pulling off a heist in a haunted house, but this is a poor attempt at a horror game.
This game is light on story. The introductory cutscene shows your van pulling up to a house, and then you are then thrown into the game itself. However, the store page for Polterheist tells you a bit more. You play as a robber with a preference for houses in very remote locations. The house you end up picking out turns out to be haunted, but that doesn’t stop you.
In terms of graphics, Polterheist is as basic as most of these indie horror games get. It looks like a bunch of assets were thrown into a game map and then the developer called that a game. Most of the stuff you have to steal are detailed models while the rest of the house seems to be a sloppily put together mess.
Most of the game has to be played in the dark because the ghost is alerted by the light. At times, it’s hard to see around you and at some points it seems like it was intentional so people wouldn’t notice how lazy the developers were when they were creating this game.
The sound effects are going to be the worst enemy of yours when playing the game. The game heavily revolves around audio to be able to tell where the ghost is exactly in the house, but let me tell you this doesn’t work. At all. When you are hiding away in a room and waiting for the ghost to pass, you hear foot stomping, but his foot stomping sounds like he is on the other floor of the house while in actuality he is right outside the room you’re hiding in. This becomes tedious when you swear you hear him on the other floor, but it isn’t the case.
When you do certain things like close a door, the ghost is alerted and starts screaming and sprinting towards your location, which is an indicator for you to get out ASAP. However, this mechanic is rather useless due to the unreliable nature of the cues.
Polterheist is light on other sound effects. As for the music, it sounds like the generic stock horror songs that you can get on royalty free music sites.
Polterheist is a pretty simple game to pick up, but as soon as you start playing, you notice how flawed everything is. First of all, the game revolves around stealth and almost all the time you are hiding from the ghost, trying to be as silent as possible, but this proves problematic. One of the things you have to do is not cough. Your character coughs at random and you have to press either RMB or LMB to be silent. If you click the wrong button or not click anything, the ghost is alerted. This becomes annoying because there’s no indication this is going to happen, so you have to be paying attention all the time.
The ghost is invisible, but sometimes he flashes to give you indication where he is. This happens at random and sometimes the ghost doesn’t flash at all which makes tracking him incredibly difficult.
Stealing the stuff out of the house is also incredibly difficult as you slow down while carrying objects. This includes things which shouldn’t slow you down, like a gun or a laptop. Also, it’s incredibly hard to pick up the items because the button you press doesn’t seem to work half of the time you use it.
Polterheist is a really bad game. Even on a sale, I think this game should be avoided because of its issues. At times, these problems make it seem like the game is impossible to finish. For the same price, you can find way better horror game worth both your time and money.