Though there are tense and unsettling moments that pay off as you go, it can be hard to be patient with bad gameplay
I really find myself of two minds with Saturnalia, and that makes it tough to review since I can see where people could feel completely different things about it. In the positive column, aside from having a very distinct look there’s an amplified feeling of dread and foreboding here. Too often horror games on Switch have been either lean on anything at all of interest or too focused on simple jump scares. Saturnalia instead lets tension build and then simply does a very good job of making you feel outright unsettled. That lasting feeling in the pit of your stomach simply isn’t something you find very often, so it is appreciated. The main point to make on the negative side though is that it’s not a very well-made game in terms of its structure or mechanics and will have you wandering around, not quite sure what you’re supposed to be doing or where you’re supposed to be going, more often than should be necessary. Whether done to fill time, to meet a schedule, or just suffering from a lack of polish and proper direction, people without quite a bit of patience will likely give up before anything interesting even gets rolling. So, if you’re up for some chills and understand you’ll need to make an investment before getting your payoff this could work out nicely, but if you don’t like feeling like you’re wasting time you’ll probably want to look elsewhere.
Justin Nation, Score: