Dawww by Daylight
Now I know what you’re thinking — didn’t OBAKEIDORO! come out two years ago? Why would anyone possibly review a two year old game now? Why didn’t you review it two years ago?
The answers are yes, because it got such a big update based on player feedback that it’s almost a new game, and I was younger and dumber for not knowing about OBAKEIDORO! back then, so I’m here to make amends.
OBAKEIDORO! was originally released on August 29, 2019; a self-published title by Japanese dev team Free Style, OBAKEIDORO! started out as a 3 vs. 1 PvP game akin to Dead by Daylight. After its massive upgrade, it has added more game modes, characters, stickers, and has even upped the player count from 4 to 8 (6 vs. 3 PvP). These new upgrades are free for existing players, so no need to buy the game all over again — new players can snag OBAKEIDORO! on sale for $13.99 until September 1, after which it goes back to its regular price of $19.99.
OBAKEIDORO! pits humans against monsters in this asymmetrical spooky-cute title and sets the timer at three minutes. If humans can run around the map and successfully hide from the monsters for the whole three minutes, they win; if the monsters capture all humans and place them in a cage in the center of the map before time runs out, monsters win. With both single player, couch co-op, and online multiplayer options available, there are a handful of different ways to play, and all of them are extremely fun.
Should you choose to play monsters, there are a number of them to choose from, such as werewolves, vampires, and ghouls. As you gain experience, you can unlock even more with different strengths, weaknesses, and abilities. The monsters will have ghouligans to aid them throughout the game, alerting them to humans hiding in one spot for too long, scheming to pick up humans and place them in the cage, and shrinking the map area. It may be 3 vs. 1 in writing, but the ghouligans more than make up for the lack of teammates.
If that sounds a little one sided, don’t worry, the humans aren’t completely helpless! Each human is armed with a lantern that can momentarily stun the monster. Leveling up means the ability to buy more lanterns in the shop, which have their own strengths, weaknesses, and abilities as well. Additionally, the humans can free each other from the cage by pressing two switches on either side — as long as they don’t get caught in the meantime, that is! And although the ghouligans can alert the monster to their hiding places, running away in time will confuse the ghouligans, so as long as you’re mindful of your surroundings, you’re good!
As time goes on, the opportunity to unlock stickers increases, which can help both humans and monsters improve over time. In order to earn stickers, you have to do certain things in game to unlock them; for example, crouching for longer than 90 seconds will earn you a “stealthy player” sticker, while saving others enough times will unlock the “switch master” sticker. Some stickers are just for fun titles next to your name, but others actually increase some of your stats, like your running speed. By trying out many different tactics, players will unlock many different stickers, increasing their stats and quickly getting better as time goes on.
The new addition of the Blitz party mode may not seem like a big update, but two monsters changes gameplay tactics in a big way when playing with other people. For one, it often means that one monster goes out to search for humans while the other monster guards the cage. This makes it tough to try to save any friendly humans, but the plus side is that there’s only one monster looking for six humans so the odds even out. And with a fairly lively (mostly Japanese) community, you can be sure there are plenty of people to play with.
The one critique I have of OBAKEIDORO! is that playing in single-player mode against the computer is a vastly different experience to playing against actual people. When playing as human, the monsters seem to know exactly where you’re hiding and it’s nearly impossible to shake them. I get that the computer can “see” where I’m hiding no matter what, but the monsters shouldn’t be able to guess where I am 100% of the time. If the AI could be loosened up a bit to account for a shrinking community as time goes on, that would honestly make a world of difference.
OBAKEIDORO! is a fantastic, family-friendly version of Dead by Daylight that just about anyone will find addicting. At first, I thought I’d only want to play it for a round or two, but I found myself unable to put down my Switch until several hours later. OBAKEIDORO!’s charm is in its deceptive simplicity — there are so many little balancing acts happening at once that melt together into pure casual, spooky fun. Bet you can’t play just one round of OBAKEIDORO!; once you’ve entered this creepy cute world, you’re here forever!
Final Verdict: 4/5
Available on: Switch (reviewed); Publisher: Free Style; Developer: Free Style; Players: 1-8; Released: August 29, 2019; MSRP: $19.99
Editor’s note: This review is based on a retail copy of OBAKEIDORO! provided by the publisher.