The Childs Sight Review

I came into The Child’s Sight looking forward to a unique perspective on horror through the eyes of a baby, alone in a crib on a stormy night. What I got though was a riff on Five Nights at Freddie’s that ends up being too one note and, quite frankly, boring to elicit much more than sighs rather than screams of fear, no matter how creepy the presentation may be.

If you’ve played the FNAF games, you’ll know what to expect here for the most part; we need to be aware of our surroundings and try to prevent the scary monster from getting us. While the endless parade of yelping YouTuber’s helped put me off FNAF, I also grew tired of the repetitive jump scares and boring gameplay. Unfortunately The Child’s Sight falls foul of the same issues for me.

We begin in the crib having just been put to bed, the door closing behind an unseen parent. From here, we can spin on the spot, stand up, or most importantly hold B to go to sleep, the aim being to fill up the sleep meter before we get caught out by some malicious being trying to get us. Of course, it’s not as simple as just keeping our eyes closed. There are a handful of happenings in the room to consider, each with their own counters; the lullaby carousel needs resetting every so often, while we need to grab our stuffed reindeer if Grandma’s chair begins to rock, for example. Failure to perform the correct action in time leads to a genuinely creepy – though soon to be familiar – face popping through our crib’s bars, ending our night (and presumably life…). Often things will overlap too, so we need to try and jump between counters quickly in order to survive.

By far the hardest one to manage is the night light. Our parents are clearly cheap as the bulb only lasts a minute or so of use in an evening before blowing up, leaving us in the dark. This is used to counter the cupboard door opening, and has its own countdown that goes much faster that our sleep meter so we can’t just leave it on (we also need to turn it off when there’s a knock at the door, lest the monster get us). Thing is, there’s a raging storm outside too, so hearing the cupboard door open is by far the hardest one to detect. Of all the times I was caught, this was a good 90% of them.

Audio is also the main crux of the game. The sepia toned visuals are super dark, and only two of the happenings are visual in nature (the rocking chair and the cupboard, though even that is almost hidden in the pitch black room most of the time). To fill the sleep meter our eyes must be closed, so relying on a good pair of headphones is a must, but even then hearing that cupboard door open is tough in amongst the storm.

I’ll admit that the first few times the sudden jump scare at least got a little jump out of me, mainly while I was trying to remember what was what. After the third or fourth time though it soon became more a case of annoyance when I’d fail right at the end – again – because I didn’t hear the cupboard door open, or three triggers kicked off at once, not giving me enough time to react to them all. There’s no doubt that when our eyes are open the visuals are pretty creepy, but most of the time we’re staring at a black screen and a little blue bar filling up. The fail animation is the same each time too, so it soon loses a lot of what makes it creepy when their blood covered face pops up yet again. Occasionally this animation would fail to trigger at all, which is even more confusing when the game suddenly told me I’d failed. There are also interludes that we explore in first person, but these serve little purpose other than letting us read notes and kicking off the memories proper.

Conclusion

The Child’s Sight tries to bring a more relatable horror – that of a young child in a dark room at night – to the table, but the brief glimpses we get of its creepy world are vastly outnumbered by staring at a black screen, occasionally interrupted by the exact same jump scare after thunder drowned out the cupboard door opening yet again. It’s only a few quid on the store, so you might find an hour or so of enjoyment to make it worth checking out, but I soon grew tired of it.

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This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by the publisher.
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Good
  • The sepia-toned visuals are quite creepy
  • Initial jumps are somewhat effective...
Bad
  • ...but that there is only one variety means they lose impact quickly
  • Audio is purposefully obscured at times, leading to a failure
  • Spend far too much time looking at a small blue bar on a black screen
4.5
Poor
Gameplay - 4
Graphics - 6
Audio - 5
Longevity - 3
Written by
I've been gaming since Spy vs Spy on the Master System, growing up as a Sega kid before realising the joy of multi-platform gaming. These days I can mostly be found on smaller indie titles, the occasional big RPG and doing poorly at Rainbow Six: Siege. Gamertag: Enaksan

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