backing.png
Fashion Model

Silverlance

Reviewed By:

Review Date:

07/04/22, 16:00

Janitor Bleeds Review

Earlier this week, I wrote an article about Korpus Games' latest release, Janitor Bleeds. Today, Janitor Bleeds has launched on PC. Thanks to Korpus Games, I have been fortunate enough to try out the game to review! Clocking in at just over 4 hours, this retro-inspired horror game has everything that excites me. But what does it play like, and is it worth your time? Check out below to find out.

Game Adjustments
backing.png
Score 1.png

Story: Worth Your Pennies

Janitor Bleeds story is told through randomly found notes scribbled on paper throughout the Arcade and through environmental storytelling.

The introduction of Janitor Bleeds is very similar to many games in the thriller genre. After a lucky escape from a car crash, we are left looking around to find anybody who can help us. Thankfully, this intro is short and sweet. We are into the real story within a few minutes, where we are stuck in front of the arcade cabinets being forced to play. Janitor Bleeds story is told through randomly found notes scribbled on paper throughout the Arcade and through environmental storytelling such as painted words on the walls and even though playing the arcade cabinet itself. 

Game Adjustments

The mystery surrounding the cabinet and just what the "entity" is will never be explained to you, leaving the investigation and overall conundrum to you to figure out. However, that's not all you have to figure out as the puzzles will block you from moving on, forcing you to interact with the cabinet again and again. I loved reading about how the owner of the Arcade introduced this new game cabinet and the shenanigans that occurred afterwards. Unfortunately, I found these could be easily missed, potentially causing even more confusion to the player. Focusing on the horror elements, the story itself about how a random arcade cabinet was brought from who knows where installed and the hypnotic attention it gets from the previous patrons is captivating and creepy enough for both the setting and the gameplay

Game Adjustments
backing.png
Score 1.png

Gameplay: Don't Drop Your Change

This smooth style of play, combined with the overall ambience, does a fantastic job of keeping you moving forward.

Janitor Bleeds is a first-person puzzle-solving game. Its controls are easy to get to grips with and don't overcomplicate the gameplay. This smooth style of play, combined with the overall ambience, does a fantastic job of keeping you moving forward. From the get-go, you have this weird, ominous red glow drawing you into the Arcade, emphasising the strange atmosphere you eventually walk into. The Arcade is dimly lit and has the feel of dust and neglect throughout each area, making you question the length of time this place has been abandoned. However, there are still sparks of life or somebody else being here recently, such as the scribbling on the walls or the weird noises.

Game Adjustments

When inside the Arcade and realising you are trapped, your overall mission is to escape. The only way you will do that is by collecting coins, which can be found in abundance to no suprise in an arcade. These coins are used for us to have a lot of fun on the arcade machines, a fun distraction, but the spook factor begins as soon as you do. There were far too many moments in my playthrough where I would stop playing the Arcade games because of noises behind me or things moving in within the background as I faced the screens. Janitor Bleeds absolutely nailed the horror factor there. Eventually, that movement and noise were revealed to me, and the intensity was dialled right up! The chase begins when a weird red entity chases you throughout the Arcade. The entity will keep you moving through various sections of the venue, forcing you to progress rapidly. While I enjoyed being chased by this entity, I unfortunately also found that this caused me to get stuck within the environment lessening its threat factor a bit too easily. One such example of this ultimately led to discovering a game-breaking bug where, while using the Arcade machines, you couldn't rejoin the game again if you dropped/stopped playing it after picking up the key. While this bug was a massive inconvinience, it was ultimately remedied by restarting the game and hopefully be fixed with the launch was easily fixed by rebooting the game.

Game Adjustments
backing.png
Score 1.png

Graphics: Pixel Perfect

Hemo's Arcade looks exactly like the type of arcades that used to be popular back in the day.

The graphics for Janitor Bleeds are of a late 90s era PS1 style but with a much stronger focus on detail and environment. Hemo's Arcade looks exactly like the type of arcades that used to be popular back in the day. The team at Korpus expertly emphasise the abandoned and dusty nature by having specks of dust in your vision and off-white throws over dysfunctional cabinets. Despite the lack of light in the Arcade, all the cabinets are colourful. Even the carpet's colouring is exactly what you'd expect from the timeframe. In the simplest terms, the attention to detail throughout the level design is fantastic! The "entity's" character design and the weird combination of human and mini computer screens rotating around it are brilliant. Each of the screens is coloured a deep red grabbing your attention with its sinisterness. However, I do feel that once you do see it up-close, the feel of the threat is lessened with the more detail you see.

Game Adjustments

Everything presented here is absolutely in keeping with the environment and what you'd come to expect from the time it's happening in. Even the shelves are littered with what you'd expect, and when things move, it's never delivered in an unbelievable way. Towards the end of the game (don't worry, I won't spoil it), I was blown away with the transition into another world, as it felt believable, and while they may seem old school, the graphics aid that transition keeping that immersion and taking it to the next level (no pun intended).

Game Adjustments
backing.png
Score 1.png

Audio: Footsteps and Bits

Even the simple act of walking has its own sounds for each of the different types of flooring you walk on.

One of the big selling points of any horror game is the audio. It can really throw you out of the immersion if it fails in unsettling you. Fortunately, I have nothing but praise for Janitor Bleeds. Even the simple act of walking has its own sounds for each of the different types of flooring you walk on. There's something oddly satisfying about hearing your own footsteps as you run through a concrete floor. That inclusion really does elevate the atmosphere of Janitor Bleeds. The audio which accompanies the Arcade Games is perfect too. It's exactly the right feeling of a retro game with limited audio capacity yet never annoying allowing you to play the arcade games repeatedly with no annoyance from the music. True, it may be simplistic, but it never feels out of place. The creature noises are very unnatural and emphasise the need to run and get away, so when discovered, the music kicks in, making you want to get away as soon as possible. There's very little music in this game, meaning that the majority of the atmosphere of the game is built up from these sound effects and can become extremely haunting. Inevitably when the soundtrack does kick it, it's incredibly noticeable and further elevates the experience.

Game Adjustments
Game Adjustments
backing.png
Score 1.png

Game Adjustments
Game Adjustments
backing.png

Review Summary:

Great

Score 1.png
Score 1.png
Score 1.png
Score 1.png
Score 1.png

Story: Worth Your Pennies

Gameplay: Don't Drop Your Change

Graphics: Pixel Perfect

Audio: Footsteps and Bits

I absolutely loved this Janitor Bleeds. The atmosphere, ambience, and retro feel all come together fantastically in this short but impacting game. While the story had some rather simplistic moments, it was enough to entice and keep you focused on progressing through the game. While I didn't mention it above, there are also many collectables throughout the game where we can aquire the most coveted arcade prizes …Teddy Bears. Unfortunately, I didn't fully gather all these collectables. due to areas being locked out. The music and sound effects are perfect in this setting, and even the footsteps all feel right, pulling you into the game even more so when something sudden does happen, it really does make you jump. Fortunately, the jump scares are light, meaning you never know when it will happen, and it works so well in this setting. All in all, highly recommended for horror fans!

Pros:

Retro Graphics

Fantastic Sound Effects

Genuine Moments of Terror

Cons:

Some Bugs present

Story could go deeper

Game Adjustments