Game Reviews

Stasis – Guard your eyeballs from this gruesome retro sci-fi horror

A new retro isometric horror on Steam

The first time I saw Stasis, I was browsing the Steam Store. I locked eyes with this isometric horror point-n-click from across the screen and instantly knew we had to be together. Maybe it’s my fond memories of Sanitarium that drew us together. The inspirational resemblance is plain as day, but Stasis is a much darker story in a very different setting.

I contacted the developers at The Brotherhood to beg for a key. They agreed to give me one, and this review is the result.

First Impressions of Stasis

With its static background and limited character sprites, Stasis is a relatively small download. It installed and booted with no bugs (a feat in itself these days) and I was immediately met with an incredible intense, dramatic score and a gritty and dark opening cinematic. It is a great way to start a game.

This quality is consistent throughout the game. You can tell the devs didn’t cheap out on things like voice actors, cinematics and music. The static backgrounds all look pretty good, but also have a sort of old-school quality about them that really, really calls to mind Sanitarium.

The Plot

Stasis is a very story-driven game and I won’t give away too much. I will say that the game begins in a pretty stereotypical horror-adventure way. The main character awakens upon a derelict spacecraft orbiting a distant planet with no knowledge of how he got there. He has been suspended (in Stasis, get it?) for an undetermined period of time and is missing his family. To recover them he must explore the craft, solve puzzles, make friends, defeat enemies and use items he finds along the way.

As of this writing, I haven’t yet completed the game, but I am very much interested in what’s about to happen next. Already I’ve seen and experienced things that no human should ever have to endure and it’s only getting weirder, darker and more intense.

Gameplay and Controls

The interface is minimalist, which allows for great immersion into this dark world. Your inventory is accessible from a little expandable menu in the lower left corner and the options menu is revealed by rolling the mouse in the upper right corner of the screen.

The controls are what you’d expect from an isometric adventure. You point and you click and that’s pretty much all.

Important items are subtly indicated by a shine. They are obvious when you find them, but still subtle enough to offer the occasional challenge when looking around. The puzzles are mostly practical and make sense. I did have to refer to a walkthrough a few times, but that was just me being lazy. Anyone who likes point-n-click adventures should have no problem with this.

There are a few jump scares in Stasis, but they are well placed and completely in context.
Is it Worth Getting Stasis on Steam?

If a sci-fi horror point-n-click isometric survival adventure game sounds good to you, you will not be disappointed. I would especially recommend this game to fans of Sanitarium. But even newbies to the genre should be able to find their way around to enjoy the horror, disgust, and mystery that Stasis offers.


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Steven Long

Steve is an IndieWatch O.G. He has long supplied marketing information for the aspiring developer. More recently he has been creating content for retrogaming enthusiasts on his YouTube channel. Find him on Twitter @Longie_long and at Patreon.

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