Not many games can get you emotionally invested in characters quite like Sally Face does. The indie psychological horror game from developer Steve Gabry, which has its final episode of the series releasing this year, takes you on a journey through the eyes of Sal Fisher. A teenage boy who after dealing with the traumatic death of his mother, moves to the quiet town of Nockfell with his father. With a distinct protective mask covering what is alluded to, permanent facial injuries among the various teenage emotions an average teenager goes through.
Add on to that dealing with ghosts, demons and aliens, as well as meeting all the wierd and wonderful people of Addison Apartments, Sal’s story is a compelling one and left me almost in tears at the end of episode 4. This was achieved through each episode delving into Sal’s mind and his strange experiences, whether they be Memories or Dreams. As well as the slowly building relationships Sal develops with his close group of friends, most notably Larry and Ash.
Whilst there are relatively long gaps between releases of each episode, I found myself waiting with bated breath for the next release to discover how this young group continues in its ghostly exploits, but moreover what happens to Sal, as each episode is a story told by Sal, to a number of different people during his incarceration which all leads up to the trial of his murder case.
This type of story telling is not new, however Sally Face does so well at the end of each chapter to leave you with more questions than answers, after you return to present day Sal. The beginning of each chapter does the same, where you don’t fully understand what, why or even where you are in relation to the rest of the story. What it does do is allow you to empathise with Sal and the issues he is having with himself and the world around him, supernatural or not.
It also doesn’t take long for you to fall in love with some of the characters Sal associates with. His best friend Larry who has his own father issues and becomes like a brother to Sal, Ash a potential love interest for Sal, even David, the eccentric neighbour who is married to a mannequin. Each of these people that through each chapter you see their progression as characters in relation to Sal, builds this strange world where you are consumed by a vast range of gut wrenching emotions, culminating in some fantastic moments in the game. Without spoiling too much for newcomers to this amazing indie series, it tackles some extremely dark and difficult issues and in my own opinion handles them brilliantly, whilst still being humorous and light hearted at other times, especially when it comes to the groups banter.
Sally Face is one of the first indie games I have played in a long time that has me thinking about the characters and the world long after I turn off my PC. I have never theorised and tried to predict so much what is going to happen in the subsequent episodes so much. It is an enthralling ride into many supernatural genres and deals with tough issues whilst not deviating from an overarching storyline that is both complex and easy to play in the same breath.
I could not recommend a game to play more than Sally Face if you love indie point and click horror and a story that means more than what’s just being shown to you, then I implore you to go and play the first 4 episodes of Sally Face in preparation for the final episode (5).
Check out my theory videos and livestreams of Sally Face below: