As Dead by Daylight continues its reign of terror in the charts, a surprise challenger enters the arena to try to claim the title of the best asymmetric horror game. Here’s our Propnight review – delving into whether the shock hit from Fntastic and MYTONA will be the one to claim that bloodied crown.
While everyone was waiting for their upcoming zombie MMO The Day Before, Fntastic and MYTONA gave the world a Halloween surprise. Suffice to say, Propnight caused a splash and was released as a standalone title just one month later. We’re left with a title that feels a little rough around the edges, but with plenty of laughs and frights still to be had.
Propnight is a 4vs1 physics-based prop hunt. In layman’s terms that equates to one big scary guy chasing four pesky kids around four classic horror settings (Farm, Abbey, Camp, House). Except those kiddos (Survivors) can transform into more or less anything they can touch. Just as in the classic prop game years of Team Fortress mods, survivors use this transformative power to flee, to confuse, and most commonly, to hide. Their objective is to repair sufficient Propmachines before the big bad monster tracks them down.
Of course, players can also play as the big bad monster (Killer) himself. The Killer must hunt players down, distinguish them from mundane objects, lock them in torture chairs, and altogether battle them in a game of patience and wits. Given that each map is littered with hundreds of items, from jeeps to corncobs, that players can transform into with just a click – this isn’t easy. Fortunately, each of the playable Killers has a unique collection of tricks of their own.
All 5 Propnight Killer Characters and Abilities:
Banshee – A terrifying nun who can Curse machines to make them more difficult to repair. She can also Scream which reveals nearby players while dealing damage and she can Fly across the map.
Granny – A withered master of her kitchen knife, a weapon she can Throw or plant as a Mine. She can also use Astral and Hunt to turn invisible and move faster.
Imposter – The sneaky Killer’s choice. The Imposter can use Prop to turn into an inanimate object like the Survivors or use Spy to appear as a Survivor. In addition, the insidious Imposter can use Overload to check on the Propmachines. Imposter can also use Hunt to catch up on their prey once they’ve started chasing them.
Keymaster – There’s neither running nor hiding from the Keymaster who can use Astral Eyes to see all the Survivors’ locations then use Hunt to find them. Keymaster can also use Explode to send forth an exploding projectile.
Igor – The latest addition to the ghoulish gang, this killer chainsaw-wielding bunny can use Chainsaw Terror to make himself stealthy, Hunt to catch up on prey, and Charge to jump forward with a chainsaw swipe. For good measure, he/she can also use Soda Bomb for an exploding projectile with a short fuse and a sweet taste.
Is Propnight Fun?
Propnight has plenty of scope for fun and thrills. There are high-octane chases through cornfields. There are ballsy manoeuvres wherein Survivors nip past the horrific Killers while their backs are turned. There are nail-biting moments as Killers inspect and claw at suspicious looking props while Survivors hide underneath.
It’s great fun to be a Survivor or a Killer, though currently the advantage certainly seems to be with the Survivors. With so many props available, including some literally as small as a stone, winning as the Killer is no easy feat. It takes skill and a mastery over the killers’ abilities. It also takes intelligence and strategy; running between different Propmachines won’t work, but pretending to do so and then doubling back might.
Great sound effects add to the drama, and there are moments of pure fear. Still, don’t expect a true horror game experience like those found in Resident Evil Village. It’s only possible to be so scared when there’s a scarecrow doing janky cartwheels across the map behind you.
Is Propnight Worth Playing?
Propnight is a fun game if you have a few evenings free, and with a bit of fine-tuning it could be a very fun game. It’s hard to imagine it having too much of a shelf-life though, after a couple of hours of gameplay our group was all simultaneously ready to call it a night.
It’s unlikely to take that bloodied crown from Dead by Daylight anytime soon, but it’s a welcome spin on the formula and one that will (at least temporarily) lure some players over.
It takes a bit of patience to realise its potential – much of which happen in the games of mental chess around Propmachines between Killer and Survivors. Acting, instincts, psychological warfare, and the detection of micro-behaviours can all play crucial roles in the more advanced games of cat and mouse.
For all of these reasons, Propnight is a game best played with a pre-established group of friends. It’s a game about the laughs as much as the thrills though we enjoyed plenty of both in our sessions. We’re glad that Fntastic and MYTONA have had this surprise success, though we are certainly more excited about dedicating our evenings to their upcoming zombie MMO The Day Before than we are to play more Propnight. Then again, we are a little biased.
As always, that just leaves us with two bits of housekeeping:
Score out of 10:
6/10 – It’s fun for what it is. And for less than twenty bucks, it’s hard to go wrong.
Will we play again?
We won’t be rushing back for another game, but we might give Igor the Chainsaw Bunny another spin sometime.
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