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Papa Sangre

£2.99

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5

Genuinely creepy, binaural masterpiece set in the land of the dead

Papa Sangre Review

by on February 22, 2011

At last, a game with loftier ambitions than lobbing cartoon animals at flimsy buildings.

After a mysterious phone call warning you that the soul of someone you love is in danger at the hands of the mysterious Papa Sangre, you are plucked from a busy street and sent tumbling into a grim underworld. Blind in your new body, you must learn to navigate by sound, following a trail of musical notes past the perils of the afterlife to rescue your loved one’s soul.

You walk through the world by tapping feet icons – left, right, left, right – tapping faster to run. Without sight, Papa Sangre uses the iPhone’s binaural audio to create simulated surround sound.

The audio is gorgeous: monsters snore as you pass, but the crunch of a human finger bone under foot rouses them and sees them galloping after you as you desperately stumble away. Your guide through the darkness – a self-described “fluttery thing” – is also unsettling, referring to monsters with Wonderland-esque pet names: the carnivorous “Snufflehog”, for instance.

The puzzles start out easy but rapidly ramp up in difficulty. Trying to navigate round a sleeping mother hog to reach the note on the other side, or zig-zagging through a cornfield while pursued by a “Grin” reaper requires a cool head – lose the ability to focus on more than one sound and find yourself at a grisly end.

Papa Sangre is the best argument we’ve seen that the iPhone can be more than a casual gaming device. Play it in the dark with a pair of decent headphones (eyes closed) and it’s a seriously unnerving experience. Find 30 minutes and a dark room and give it a try – it’ll be quite unlike anything you’ve seen, or heard, before.

Download this app: Papa Sangre for iPhone

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