From the minds of developer Endflame, Ikai promises to offer an intense psychological horror experience that takes inspiration from Japanese folklore. According to Endflame’s producer and designer, Laura Ripoll, the development team sees Ikai as a major passion project that it has waited to bring to the world for a long time. She and the rest of the team “hope it creeps you out, plays with your emotions, and delights your puzzle-solving minds all at once.” If you find the idea of desperately attempting to survive against scores of Japanese yokai enticing, then you can jump into Ikai today on Steam.
A recent press release states that Ikai tries to capture the spirit of the first-person psychological horror genre by making the player character deliberately defenseless. Unlike many other gaming protagonists, Ikai‘s main character cannot use swords, guns, or other fancy weapons to fight off the various threats she has to face. Instead, she must sneak past or run away from these horrific menaces and attempt to draw mystical kanji symbols that can repel them.
What’s the story?
The story of Ikai centers around Naoko, a priestess who keeps watch of a feudal Shinto shrine. Usually, the priest assumes the responsibility of protecting the shrine. But rumors of a demon attempting to enter the human world required him to head over to the village and leave Naoko in control. At first, Naoko is too busy to give the rumors much thought, but she is soon forced to contend with the demons and spirits of the underworld as they take over the shrine.
Those constantly craving the next horror gem may see Ikai as a game that could potentially scratch that itch. As a fair warning, although not many players have posted reviews of Ikai on Steam as of today, the overall review average has proven fairly mixed. Of course, if the premise really speaks to you, then this should not dissuade you from trying it out.