Art galleries can surely be interesting places to visit. Some may find them to be intriguing places where they can spend hours observing the artwork held within the gallery. Others, however, might find them to be boring or even on the odd side… Perhaps, some might even find them to be a bit creepy. The game Ib shows players just how creepy and unsettling an art gallery can truly be.

Ib (pronounced as “eeb”) centers around the stories of three different characters. The first character and main protagonist is a sweet and determined nine year old girl by the name of Ib. One day, Ib and her parents choose to visit an art gallery that is showcasing the works of recently deceased artist Guertena. As Ib wanders around the gallery, she soon finds that things are becoming a bit awry. She will soon find herself thrown into a twisted world where Guertena’s creations appear to come to life – and they’re not friendly.

Along the way, Ib will encounter two companions. Garry is a slightly older male who comes to feel a sibling-like responsibility to protect young Ib from the terrors within the twisted world. Mary is the third and final character. The young blonde lady appears about the same age as Ib. She is an excitable person who can also be shy and unsure about certain circumstances. Together, the three navigate through twisted gallery in hopes of escape back to their own world.

Ib is a free indie adventure/puzzle horror game that was created by kouri originally in Japanese and translated to English by Vgperson. The game was created using the RPG Maker 2000 and contains 8-bit graphics. While the graphics can create momentary problems for the games in certain situations, they certainly do not take away from what makes the game truly amazing and a fun play. Ib is a game more praised for its unsettling atmosphere and interesting story than it is for its graphics.

With the story revolving around three people, it can be easy for people to think that the individual characters and their stories won’t emotionally connect. But such would be wrong. The game emotionally invests the characters in each other and can also emotionally invest the player in them as well. Ib is a game that contains multiple endings (10 in total) and some of these endings are dependent on how the characters feel about each other.

Throughout the game, the player can accumulate “doom points”. These points can cause tension between the three characters and alter the ending that the player will receive. When playing through the game and presented a choice, it might be best to sit back for a moment and think, which would be the more morally correct option? The morals you choose to follow throughout the game will alter the game as you continue.

As a horror game, Ib largely creates its scare level from the unsettling and creepy atmosphere of the art gallery. The different colors of the game’s surroundings and the small details in the background are sure to send a chill down the player’s spine every now and again. When it comes to ambiance in the game, Ib has done a wonderful job of achieving a creepy one. Its atmosphere is not the only creepy thing about Ib, however. You can expect a jump scare or two throughout the game.

It’s best to explore every area of the gallery. Even if some areas and paintings might not be necessary to the progression of the story, exploring the surroundings in Ib is part of the experience of the game. Seeing the different creations that kouri was able to put into the game that will help heighten how a player feels about the game – and some of those creations are rather interesting to top it all off.

The beauty of Ib as a horror game and as a game in general does not lie with its graphics but rather lies with the exploration of art, the investing story and gameplay, and the chilling atmosphere of the game. Ib is a game that brings art to life and does very nice justice to the indie horror genre.

Latest reviews