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Stay Out of the House

Video Games Puppet Combo

If you’ve talked to me about video games recently, odds are that I’ve told you about one of my new favorite indie developers, Puppet Combo. They make low-poly, PS1-style horror games that scare the bejesus out of me. These games can all be acquired via Puppet Combo’s Patreon for a paltry $5.00. If you had any wondering why I’m so into this developer, just watch the Power Drill Massacre teaser, or the trailer for their newest game released on Steam, Stay Out of the House.

Nun Massacre, But Different #

I was worried that this game was going to be too similar to another Puppet Combo game that I had just finished earlier this year. I spent a lot of time with Nun Massacre back in May because its “definitive edition” came out on PC and consoles. It had always stood out to me as a pillar of Puppet Combo’s games, so I exhausted its content and had a great time. Whenever I learned that Stay Out of the House was coming out in 2022 during the Puppet Combo Direct Show, I was a little underwhelmed after seeing the footage. I saw familiar items like the lighter and the screwdriver, and I also saw that you could simply hide under the bed to avoid being caught by the killer. It seemed like I was going to be replaying a game I had just finished.

Even after playing the game for about 30 minutes, I wasn’t convinced that this wasn’t just a Nun Massacre re-skin. Some of the puzzle solutions were identical to Nun Massacre, and as I mentioned earlier, the items were hardly any different. However, I came to realize that Nun Massacre’s game map was huge and arid in comparison to The Butcher’s titular house, which is densely packed with puzzles and traps.

What an odd question.

The game ceases to be scary once you learn the house, which isn’t a bad thing. Trying to solve the game’s puzzles under the constant threat of attack by The Butcher keeps the tension high. I was always engaged and thinking about the 3D map that was forming in my head. Coming up with efficient paths around the house made me feel like a genius, and discovering new ways to escape a pursuit had me styling on this game after my 10 hours with it. Improvisation is encouraged, and there are several different ways to go about completing the game.

There are four acts in this game. The prologue story, Night Shift, is best played only once. Working the late shift at a convenience store holds its fair share of scares, but you kind of just have to wait a long time before you’re moved on to the main story’s prologue. The House act takes up the majority of the play time, but the hidden fourth act of the game impressed me with how long it was as well – it was almost as long as the house chapter.

If you’re a fan of stealth and immersive sim video games, don’t pass on Stay Out of the House. It may be a little rough around the edges with its buggy launch, but I’m confident that people enamored with this genre will find something to like.

Video Captures #

I was so excited to stream the game that I didn’t even unsaturate my camera. I look so red!

The grandmother character in the game is scary and annoying. It’s best to get rid of her as soon as you can.

The first ending of the game is great. Spoilers!

The second ending of the game is even better! More Spoilers!

Play It! #

As is the case with independent games of this scale, they live and die by word of mouth as well as storefront and social media algorithms. If you do end up playing this on Steam, and you enjoy it, leave a positive review.

Zach Fleeman
Zach Fleeman
Tall, but not that tall.