Capsule is a very short (1 to 2 hours at most) immersive game that comes with quite a few warnings, and I can understand why. The developers warn anyone with claustrophobia, misophonia, or other similar phobias not to play the game. And why? Because this is truly one game best played in the dark.
If I had to put it in a category, I’d say Capsule has a slight feel of a minimalist puzzle game; but the truth is, there’s really no puzzle to it – at least not gameplay wise.
The story, however, does make you wonder even though it is at its core an immersive survival game.
The story goes as follows: You wake up trapped in a capsule, only able to experience the outside world through the radar on it. You don’t know what’s happened, but you have an idea of where to go to start the journey into finding out…
Although you’re thrown into the game with barely an idea of what to do, for this particular case the lack of a proper tutorial beyond how to move is actually not hindering, because controls and story are so minimal you really can’t go quite wrong… even if it did take me a while at first to get my bearings.
You have oxygen and power to worry about, a radar burst, a bearing, and a distance to your target.
Each level you reach a destination, where you have more of the story develop in the form of messages which often give you a new direction in which to go. You have to be mindful of the hostile environment while making your way to the next destination, but watch out for your power and oxygen! You might fall short and die of asphyxiation!
The look of the game is ultimately minimalistic. You can only see the radar of your capsule, a pixelated screen through which you move with the arrows and send a sonar wave with the space bar.
The blueish color is very pleasant to look at, and the flicker of the screen manages to make it quite immersive, particularly if you do play with headphones and in the dark!
The sound effects, though simple as well, help further the atmosphere of it all, and the feeling of immersion. The breathing, the static, the beeping… Even when on my first round I played it with the lights on and during daytime, I could easily forget that I wasn’t actually in the Capsule.
I have to say that because of its immersive aspect, it adds a whole level of ‘horror’ to the game that you shouldn’t overlook. Dying the first time was truly terrifying.
However… and there is a small con: it’s that the game becomes a little bit boring once you get a hold of the whole bearings/distance and when to restock oxygen and power not to die. So basically, once you get the hang of it things get a bit easy. But the game is so very short that, honestly you won’t even mind.
I think this a very nice, atmospheric game – simple and minimalist, if you’re into psychological type of horror you will definitely enjoy the hour of play. If you like jump scares in your horror, steer clear. This is real horror right here.