Minis Review – Hysteria Project

Have you ever wondered what it would be like: to be stranded in a forest, have no idea where you are, and trapped with an axe-wielding murderer? Well, wonder no more, as Sanuk Games has ported the 2009 iPhone title Hysteria Project to both PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable, through the Minis platform.

Hysteria Project is a very strange title, to say the least. The whole game is essentially a movie, where you basically play the role as the director, making the decisions of what to do, where to go, etc. During the game, you will be given many opportunities to make these decisions, with a screen coming up to pause the action. Some decisions will give you an endless amount of time for what your character will do. Others will give you roughly 7 seconds to make a decision, before it’s game over. Gameplay, overall, is nothing too special. In fact, it’s actually kind of annoying. Most of the decisions you will make in this game are whether to go right or left. That right there is some scary stuff. Since the game does not allow you to direct control movement of your character (because it is a “movie”, after all), you will use Quick Time Events. There are many save points in the game, and if you choose a decision which ends up with you meeting certain doom, you will start back at the screen where you made that decision. Save points, however, are quite a nuisance in the game – especially when it saves in the middle of a clip. Doing this brings you right out of the game’s creepy atmosphere. When completing the game (which took roughly around 15-30 minutes), you probably won’t want to go back, as the game is really only a one-hit wonder, only without the wonder.

The story of Hysteria Project is confusing – unfortunately from start to finish. All I knew, really, was that the main character was part of an unknown program, called “Hysteria Project.” Your character, played in first person, begins in a shack where a shady foe has wrapped your wrists and ankles with duct-tape. Your main objective is to escape the mysterious forest you are being held in, all the while avoiding the axe-wielding murderer that brought you there in the first place.

The best part of Hysteria Project is the game’s atmosphere. Almost right when the game begins, you get almost a Blair Witch Project feel. As the game takes place in a forest, you’ll definitely be freaked out when you a see a man in a shady cloak standing mere feet away from you, holding an axe. Play this game in the dark, and with headphones on, and you might even piss yourself, who knows.

Overall, Hysteria Project is just barely worth its $1.99 price tag. The game features a great atmosphere similar to Blair Witch Project, but unfortunately is plagued by an unimpressive control scheme, and a confusingly boring story.

PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score

Great atmosphere; will definitely cause you to jump at least once.

Unimpressive controls makes the game seem like a chore.

Overall boring story which just confuses more than immerses you.

4 out of 10