I'm dead, and Sean Bean is hiding in an invisible hat on my head, giving me instructions on how to avoid the weevil that's slithering about the room with a burning desire to feast on my soul.
This is the sort of thing you get used to when you're playing Papa Sangre II.
This spooky sound-based adventure sequel is every bit as thrilling, and every bit as innovative as its predecessor, and will have you spinning in circles in your living room, jumping at every sound as you fathom out just what's going on.
Alone in the dark
A lot of games tell you they're best experienced with headphones, but with Papa Sangre II headphones are essential. The game is all about following your ears, keeping up with the narrative and grabbing memories to drag you back into the world of the living.
The simple controls use the accelerometer to decide which direction you're facing. Four buttons let you move your left foot, right foot, left hand, and right hand. You can walk, jump, clap, smash, and grab things around you.
But everything else happens in your mind. The squelching brain slugs, the sloshing rivers, the dull walls you thud into when you reach the end of a room. All of them are built with enough sound that you can fill in the gaps with your imagination.
And at the centre of it all is Bean's performance, his tones shifting from companionable to conspiratorial, creepy to pleasant in the blink of an eye. He ties the action together, guiding you through an adventure that's never quite what it sounds.
Papa don't preach
There's a real tension to the game that few others on the App Store manage to create. Its dark corners are made all the darker by the fact you can't see them, and the horrors your brain fills them with are far more terrible than anything a few pixels could represent.
If you're willing to get involved with Papa Sangre II, and let yourself be taken over by the ingenious design, then you'll find a brilliant, occasionally chilling adventure that stands among the best experiences iOS gaming has to offer.
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