Horror games are a genre I have enjoyed since Resident Evil on the PS1, and I’m always looking forward to new releases in the genre. When Don’t Knock Twice was confirmed to be coming to the Nintendo Switch, I checked out some game play videos and liked what I saw. With Halloween right around the corner, Don’t Knock Twice could have been the perfect eShop title to get scared with. It’s scary alright, but unfortunately, not in the way that it’s intended.
Don’t Knock Twice is a first-person adventure game that has you playing as a middle aged mother who just regained custody of her daughter. Why did you lose her? Well, evidently you weren’t a good mom at one point and were quite the drug abuser. After several years your daughter is back in your custody, and you are living in a large house with her. There’s a catch though: your daughter now resents you for your selfish ways, which creates a dialogue between the two characters. The story of the game plays out mostly by reading journals and various other things littered throughout the house.
The lights go out in the house and you receive a text from your daughter, who thinks you are playing games with her. As you investigate, you come across some very occult things, and find out that a Witch has been summoned by kids performing a folk-lore ritual. Your daughter is then taken by the Witch, and you must save her.
I liked the story and scary elements that went into this. It builds up a very tense experience, and once the Witch takes your daughter (which happens early in the game) it sets the pace for the rest of the game. You have to solve puzzles, locate items, and even engage in combat with the Witch in order to save your daughter. There’s just one major problem with all this: the frame rate.
Don’t Knock Twice might be the choppiest game on the Nintendo Switch. The frame-rate is downright atrocious, which makes this game scary for all the wrong reasons. Everything looks fine at a stand still, but once you start to move around the mansion the frame-rate is so choppy and inconsistent it will give you a headache in just minutes. Considering the game is a horror game that relies on jump scares and things of that nature, the frame-rate actually gets in the way of events that happen in the house and will cause you to miss things. I’ve watched game play on other platforms, and this seems to be just an issues with the Switch version which is a problem.
Another problem is the game is buggy as well. I’ve had key items disappear for no reason that are needed to advance in the game, which forced me to reset the game and start from a save point. It’s annoying and unacceptable, and it makes one thing clear: this was rushed out onto the Nintendo Switch to coincide with Halloween.
Honestly, it’s a shame too. If the frame-rate was smooth and the game was more technically sound, I could see potential for a fun horror game. The atmosphere is nice, the audio is extremely well done, and the story seems pretty interesting as well. It’s just a shame that the frame-rate is so bad that you probably won’t make it til the end to see the conclusion.