Considering the landscape of indie horror games that more often misses than hits, this does reasonably well
Let me be blunt. By and large the indie space on Switch is an absolute horror show of bad design, sloppy execution, and often just plain dull and dreary gameplay. While Charon’s Staircase can’t be considered a revelation by any means, to its credit it at least puts together its fundamental pieces more evenly and consistently then the majority of its competition and that’s worth something. I think that what I appreciate most about it is that it generally has a decent sense of pacing. Yes, you’ll be exploring your surroundings, and that can take some time as you try to find clues, objects, and work out puzzles, but for the most part the areas you’re working in are reasonably contained. This reduces wasted time wandering aimlessly, but then they also seem to have a knack for knowing when to pepper in some creepy noises or a (minor, usually) jump scare sort of moment to keep things feeling more fresh. Granted, I’d say there isn’t much here I haven’t seen in some form before, but when you’re a bit starved for consistent thrills after far too many disappointments something merely good ends up at least making for a decent meal.
Justin Nation, Score: