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Game Review #427: Sagebrush (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewer: Steven Green

Developer: Redact Games

Publisher: Ratalaika Games

Category: Horror-Adventure

Release Date: 8.9.2019

Price: $5.99

Buy Sagebrush from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

Psychological Thriller

Sagebrush is a horror-adventure title that plays through as a psychological thriller with its dark themes of suicide and cults and its creepy, slow-moving exploration gameplay. You are a truth-seeker trying to discover the secrets behind the Perfect Heaven cult, and why they made the decision to go through with a tragic mass suicide. The Black Sage Ranch is in New Mexico and Father James was the leader of this massive cult. You must read papers and listen to recordings of the former members in order to piece the puzzle together and find out why things had to happen the way they did.

Bumps and Creaks

You will wander around a massive compound with several buildings and secrets around every corner, while being extremely creeped out between the low-poly graphics and the bumps in the night. The game isn’t a horror title, per se, but with the themes and way the game lulls you into a false sense of security, only to make you jump at the slightest noise, it qualifies, in my opinion. You are using the environment and the objects you discover to piece the story together and to get a sense for what it was like in this compound for the victims of this tragic tale.

As someone who finds these stories fascinating and horrifying to hear about, the game’s story intrigued me big time. If you are also someone who likes to learn about these subject matters then that alone carries this title through to an amazing conclusion. Otherwise, the pacing can be very slow as you traverse the compound, and that may be something players who don’t dive into the story find to be a boring aspect of the game. But, if you let yourself fall into the immersion, the creepiness should carry you through the slow times to each new piece of information.

History Can Be Tough

This story isn’t one that is new. This has taken place in our history multiple times, and in some cases, the tale ends very tragically—as this one does. The subject matter is tough to swallow at times, and so a warning about that upfront for anyone who may be sensitive to these themes. Although this is a work of fiction, the closeness to real events hits home. However, for anyone who enjoys learning about these subjects, the story will make for another entry in these cases that you will want to experience, and the first-person nature of it makes for an immersion that goes beyond anything else I have experienced when studying these subjects. The slow pace could be a downer for some, but the immersion can make for some serious creepiness along the way. Discovering the story yourself can feel tedious to some, but overall if the game sounds like it would be interesting to you, then I think you will enjoy it despite the couple of flaws it has.

Score: 8/10

Buy Sagebrush from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

Follow Redact Games

Website / / YouTube

Follow Ratalaika Games

Website / Facebook / / YouTube

*Review code was provided for review purposes.

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