Game Review: Pamali Is Your Asian Horror Lore Come To Life

By Michelle J. Brohier on Jan 14, 2019

Asian horror has quite an attraction, considering that there's a lot of deep lore in it that many of us grew up knowing about. Whether it's just old wives tales to keep children home, or something that many still hold on to today, you can expect this lore to continue to fascinate or terrify many of us.

With this in mind, the creators of Pamali made this game to not only strike that fear in us Asians by bringing the lore to life, but also to create awareness about the different type of ghosts Indonesia has to offer.

I think it's obvious that Gamehubs has a thing for the Pamali game. Not only did we do a video on the demo, we have also done a playthrough of the game led by yours truly when the first episode was released. As you can see, the horror junkies in us love the concept of Pamali and were keen to let the world know that it's out.

But is the game truly worth playing? In general, yes. The game does great in creating a disturbing atmosphere, and as Asians we will get the subtle cues of items that are considered sacred or even dangerous to mess with, something which those from other countries, particularly the West, may not understand. But for those of us who do, it's downright terrifying without even having seen a ghost.

This is only the first episode though, and there will be three others to look out for. The first episode covers the "Kuntilanak" or the White Lady. You can always purchase the other episodes beforehand in preparation.

My biggest critique for the game is that when you play safe, it's way too safe. After playing the demo, I already knew what needed to be done to not provoke the ghost, and as someone raised on this folklore nothing worries me more than actively provoking the undead. So I played the first episode with the demo in mind and was actively avoiding the obvious triggers that could lead to a bad ending.

This led to a rather dull game where I didn't get a lot of jumpscares, or the true feeling of horror. On one hand, I got the good ending easily and avoided angering the ghost which was a good feeling. On the other hand, I also realised nothing really interesting happened to me with the exception of two scare attempts.

In a way, this game is a great way to introduce Indonesian horror folklore to those who don't know anything about it. Yet for those who do know about the lore may find themselves "punished" with a rather dull gameplay as you avoid the obvious big no-nos when dealing with ghosts.

Even with that said, there's still three more episodes to look forward to and the developers have been very good so far in listening to feedback, so they may improve in further episodes. You can download the first episode of  Pamali on Steam at RM13.99 or buy the whole anthology at RM41.96.

Michelle J. Brohier
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Casual gamer with a lot of thoughts and dance moves to share.
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