White Noise Online

Whoa, Déjà vu.  I’m pretty sure I played something like White Noise Online two days ago, only much more inferior.  White Noise Online itself is a direct clone of a popular iPhone game called “Slender” just like The Monastery was.  I haven’t played Slender myself, nor do I plan on it.  I use my phone for casual, pick-up-and-play fare, not survival horror.  If I wanted to be creeped out using my iPhone, I would give my number to that janitor who stares at my tits every time he sees me.  I guess this whole “walk around looking for stuff with a flashlight and try not to randomly run into a monster” thing is a fad now.  Sort of like how there’s too many horror movies based around found footage.  The weird thing is, I don’t know anyone who actually likes those movies.  And I can’t find anyone who can explain to me why White Noise or Slender is actually a good game.  Scary?  Maybe.  Fun?  Not in the slightest bit.

Anyone looking to make a quick buck could try selling this picture to Weekly World News.

Anyone looking to make a quick buck could try selling this picture to Weekly World News.

I think a better term would be “spooky.”  The concept for White Noise is you have to walk around looking for tape recorders of your buddies.  The ones that were violently murdered.  I wonder whose bright idea it was to go looking for them this way.

“Hey Bob, we’re going to go find out what happened to our friends!.”

“I’m down with that.  I’ll meet you in the morning.”

“What do you mean, morning?  We’re going tonight.  Preferably after midnight.”

“And why are we doing that?”

“Because this can’t wait any longer!”

“But it will be more difficult to see what we’re doing and where we’re going and besides that, our friends were splatter-killed.  They found Jimmy’s insides scattered throughout a tree.  The cops thought it was morbid Christmas decorations!”

“But we have to get to the bottom of this and find out what happened to them!”

“We can find out in the morning, with less risk of dying.”

“But if we die, we’ll know what killed them!”

“But we’ll be dead!”

“And then the mystery will be solved!”

“Are you suicidal?”

“A little bit.”

“I told you not to buy shares in Facebook!”

So yea.  You wander around, looking for these recorders.  When you get close to one, you can hear white noise, which is better than no indicator at all.  However, once you pick up a recorder, it’s tough to make out exactly what is being said.  It sounds like the drive-thru from Hell.  Eventually, an evil monster thing that looks like a demented Zora from the Zelda series will spot you.  Or more accurately, you’ll spot it.  At this point, it’s pretty hard to survive.  You can run for it, but even when I selected a character with high evasion points, I still never lasted more than a minute after encountering it.  When you have no warning, no method of fighting back, and extremely low odds of not dying once found, it saps the entertainment value from the experience, because death isn’t a question of if but when.

Like zoinks, Scooby, I bet old man Withers is behind this!

Like zoinks, Scooby, I bet old man Withers is behind this!

As is the norm with a game from Milkstone, the graphics and audio are superb.  As a horror game, the mood is perfectly set, with unnerving audio and an eerie fog that sometimes looks like it might be a monster or a ghost or something.  The thought of that is much scarier than any actual frights White Noise Online offers.  For fans of this schlock, I’m sorry but I just don’t get it.  The whole “being stalked by a baddie in the dark” thing just doesn’t interest me in the slightest bit.  So, despite a genuinely spooky atmosphere, I really hated White Noise Online.  It’s just not a fun or entertaining game.  It’s tough to get goosebumps when the core gameplay involves aimless wandering and no actual means to escape the enemy trying to kill you.  It’s just plain boring.

The best scary games are a blend of good play mechanics and atmosphere.  Eternal Darkness probably terrified me more than anything I can remember, but I wouldn’t have bothered with it if it wasn’t also a joy to play.  The same goes for Fatal Frame 2 or Silent Hill 2.  They’re not perfect, mind you.  Those Silent Hill games could be as clumsy as a drunken rhinoceros turned loose in a china shop.  But they offered gameplay other than “walk around in the dark.”  White Noise has no puzzles, no combat, and the exploration sucks because everything looks samey enough to make navigation confusing and tedious.  Obviously there is a market for this, given the success of Slender, and the fact that my best pal Tim the Toolman Hurley seemed to have enjoyed what White Noise was pitching.  For me?  I want games with a good story and good play mechanics.  But, if I can only have one of those, I would take the play mechanics.  Why?  Because games are things you play with.   Movies are things you watch.  I know David Cage missed that memo, but you indie guys are supposed to be smarter than that.

xboxboxartWhite Noise Online was developed by Milkstone Studios

80 Microsoft Points didn’t play with the online mode.  If the mechanics were more or less the same as the single player mode, the only difference would be getting bored with friends instead of getting bored with myself in the making of this review.

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19 Responses to White Noise Online

  1. Pingback: REVIEW: White Noise Online | the / . / XBLIG

  2. Zach D. says:

    Slender is actually on PC, though there’s about a billion and two clones/rip offs on iOS/Android :P Too bad you didn’t like this, I personally had a lot of fun playing with a few friends. It did a good job of scaring us even in a multiplayer game, which usually doesn’t work. *cough* Dead Space 3 *cough*

  3. AxelMill98 says:

    “White Noise Online itself is a direct clone of a popular iPhone game called “Slender” just like The Monastery was.”
    …Which is in turn one of the thousands of clones of the original Slender for PC.

    “The whole “being stalked by a baddie in the dark” thing just doesn’t interest me in the slightest bit.”
    Yeah, I know, that’s not for everyone.

    “It’s just not a fun or entertaining game.”
    In fact, White Noise (and Slender and any clone) isn’t a fun game to play. It’s fun to see friends being scared the crap out of them, but it’s not fun.

  4. Jim Perry says:

    Guess they either didn’t read the review or don’t care because their update to the game simply is the following:

    Changes in V1.3:
    New features
    New indoor map: Founder’s Hall
    You can now see the overhead replays of previous games (Extras->Recent plays).
    Gameplay changes
    Increased difficulty for “Nightmare” setting
    Improvements
    Improved shadow rendering quality

    Why are they even bothering? :(

    • We’ve done what most users asked for: An indoor map, an an even higher difficulty setting.

    • 1) They did submit the game update a day after this review was posted. I’m pretty sure they were working on their updates before this was ever written. As an mvp and a programmer, you can see when it was posted and should understand development times.

      2) Just because one person posts a negative review about a game doesn’t mean everything has to be implemented. Take note of the review (pro or in forums), see if valid, and then decide to proceed forward with changes.

    • observer says:

      Wouldn’t you bother if you had sold 120k copies in 2 months??

    • Mataeus says:

      Reviews are opinion, not fact. Do you really think a developer reads one review and goes “Oh no, I simply MUST change what I’ve accomplished in order to meet the needs of this individual” ? of course not!
      They are “even bothering” because the thousands of fans have requested the new features and the current sales justify adding them.

  5. Interesting that you found it impossible to survive after being spotted. When my friend and I spent a couple of hours playing, we found that if you just turn your back on the monster and walk away at normal walking speed it’ll often leave you alone.

    • Mataeus says:

      Turn your torch off and get out of there ;)
      I really enjoy this game as do thousands of others. It’s great online too.

      • Even turning off the torch doesn’t seem to be necessary. Just turn your back to the monster and stroll away. It works as often as it doesn’t, if not more often.

        • Kenny_Hendrix says:

          May be a little late here. But I believe you have to keep looking around for the thing. Like check your back every so often. It seems as if once you spot it it stops instead of continuing to pursue. As I found not trying to see it at all the thing will catch you fairly quickly. And that’s half the fun, seeing the thing making you jump. Iono. Fun game overall. Very simple game but oddly fun. Follow me. Twitter Instagram @Kenny_Hendrix

  6. Little Girl Screams says:

    I just got White Noise Online, and started playing it. I thought it was going to be a normal “Run of the mill” game based off of “Slender”. I start the game, open multiplayer, and find myself with a bunch of twenty year olds. As soon as I see the thing I started screaming my little girl screams. The one guy said, “Quick come to me! Otherwise it’s going to kill you!” I freaked and found the sprint only moves you two miles an hour and FREAKED OUT. It was a great first time experiance playin the game! I liked it a lot!

  7. Jessica Pierce says:

    I think this is a great game to play with other people on xbox live. Before you play, decide on the rule that if you die, you cannot speak. It makes the game way creepier, because voices will stop dropping out of the game, and soon you’re left alone… Haha. I feel like the only reason you didn’t like it was because you’re a loner and you don’t have anyone to play with. Sorry.

  8. Jessica Pierce says:

    *start.

  9. Peter File says:

    You say White Noise is a clone of Slender, when in reality, White Noise was around roughly two years BEFORE Slender, so if anything, Slender is the clone.

  10. Whoah Really says:

    I stopped reading this article at slender being called an iphone app.

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