In Sanitarium you play an amnesiac thrust into a morbid, really creepy universe. After a car accident you wake up to find that instead of lying in a hospital, you’re in an asylum with your head wrapped in bandages. Who the hell am I? What am I doing here? How do I escape? There endless questions eating away at you, and so too are the many puzzles you’ll need to resolve throughout this immersive, captivating adventure.
Rightly or wrongly, asylums are rich backgrounds for setting the scene in creepy adventures. That’s certainly the case for Sanitarium – an iOS adaptation of the 1998 adventure game of the same name.
Increasingly disturbing, its storyline will stick in your memory for a while to come, but issues with its controls will also be remembered.
What’s going on?
You start out confused, waking up in an asylum after a car crash with no idea of what’s going on or what just happened. It’s a disorientating experience which rarely lets up during the eight chapters of creepiness and confusion.
Where Sanitarium falters more so is in its execution. Understandably, for a 17 year old game, it looks pretty dated which leads to issues when trying to make out exaclty what’s going on, even on the iPhone 6s’s screen.
You can hit a button to highlight all objects that can be interacted with but you’ll still find yourself frequently mistapping.
To move, you drag a finger around but, again, it’s a bit imprecise and you’ll often find yourself going in the wrong direction, invoking an animation that’s short but long enough to irritate.
Puzzles also feel quite dated and not particularly memorable – often giving you the impression that you’ve seen all this before.
The bottom line
Sanitarium is a reasonably well made adaptation which embraces the original a little too much, warts and all.
Those who played it the first time round will enjoy making a fond return to this messed up world but newcomers might want to give this a pass unless they’re a diehard adventure fan. This one’s a little old for comfort.
Game: Sanitarium | 3.99$ | Universal app | Download