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Game Info:

Enola
Developed by: The Domaginarium
Published by: The Domaginarium
Release date: September 18, 2014
Available on: macOS, Windows
Genre: Adventure, Survival/Horror
Number of players: Single-player
ESRB Rating: Not rated
Price: $14.99

Advertising disclosure* Though Black Shell Media is a former advertising partner, this review is not influenced by that relationship.

Thank you Black Shell Media for sending us this game to review!

In Enola, you play as a female, who goes by the same name, and is searching for her missing lover, Angelica. There is much about Angelica that Enola isn’t aware of, and in order to get to know her better, she must enter into her world of twisted memories and recollections of a horrible night, where she was sexually abused. Between the group rape and a dysfunctional family life, Angelica is quite broken. Can Enola free her from her painful past? The decisions she makes will affect the ending after ten or less hours of gameplay.

Like many point and click adventure games, there are plenty of items to collect and puzzles to solve. Some of the puzzles are easier to figure out than others. In order to solve some of them you’ll have to read every note and letter that you can find. Unfortunately, the controls are not very intuitive and activating objects like doors and items takes multiple attempts. This isn’t good when you have a murderer that you cannot defeat quickly closing in on you. The save system isn’t ideal either. There are only a handful of save slots, and you can only save at music boxes, which are limited to a few per level. The ability to quick save would have been very welcome, since the distance between these save spots can be vast and between numerous puzzles that are a pain in the neck to solve. I’m very grateful for the Steam walkthrough that’s available; thank you!

Enola
Highlights:

Strong Points: Quite scary and creepy; interesting storytelling via letters/notes
Weak Points: Dated visuals; voice acting is hit or miss; limited saving opportunities; typos; bugs
Moral Warnings: The main characters are a lesbian couple; frontal nudity and nipples shown; detailed descriptions of masturbation and rape; blood, violence, and murder; option to kill for revenge; language; tarot cards

The story telling is mostly done through letters and notes left on glowing lamps. Many of the letters are read aloud with voice acting that is hit or miss. Most of it was good, but some of the voice actors were still a bit amateur. What the game lacked in voice acting it made up in spades with the scary atmospheric sounds and background music. This game definitely creeped me out. Survival horror game fans will probably like this macabre world.

Although the Unreal Engine is used, the textures are bland and very dated. The levels are pretty restricted with obstacles blocking paths, and rooms that are not in use are behind broken doors. Many doors are blocked temporarily until you find the proper key for them. Sometimes the key is just laying about while other times they are in a safe of some sort with a strange combination to figure out.

Many of the rooms have dolls or mannequins in them. Often times, they are lacking clothes and are in strange positions. There are some bloody murder scenes depicted with both mannequins and naked human bodies. One of the levels takes place at a strip club with revealing paintings on the walls.

Enola
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 60%
Gameplay - 13/20
Graphics - 5/10
Sound - 7/10
Stability - 3/5
Controls - 2/5

Morality Score - 30%
Violence - 1/10
Language - 7/10
Sexual Content - 0/10
Occult/Supernatural - 2/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 5/10

Besides seeing the gory imagery, you get to read about it too in the descriptive notes. There are numerous death accounts told from different perspectives. Some seem accidental; others are in self-defense or cold-blooded murder. In the game, you’ll have opportunities to kill for revenge or to set the trapped perpetrators free. Not all of the notes revolve around death. There are some that discuss regrets, and others talk about masturbation and sexual experimentation.

Religion is touched on a bit, and one of the levels takes place in a church environment. As a Christian, I regularly partake in communion as a symbol of Jesus’s body being broken and His blood being shed for my sins. In this game, you’re required to literally eat some flesh and drink some blood to progress. Later on, you get to interact with tarot cards. Last but not least, there is some language and derogatory statements made about some of the characters in this title.

Given the many moral issues in this title, it’s safe to say that it’s not appropriate for younger and arguably Christian audiences. There are some stability issues and some game breaking bugs worth noting as well. I had to lose progress and exit out of the game due to a bug that trapped me inside of a room with no way out.

Even with the glitches, dated visuals, and shotty voice acting, I cannot deny that there is an interesting yet dark story in Enola. Sexual abuse victims may want to skip this title, as it may hit a little too close to home. I’m still not a fan of horror games, and this one definitely creeped me out.

About the Author

Cheryl Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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