You don’t need to have played its prequel to get fully absorbed into the dark world of The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters. You play as a character from the original game and The Coma 2 expands on the sinister setting. Nothing is tied so specifically to the first instalment that you can’t jump immediately into this game with no knowledge of its background.
You play as Mina Park, a student at Sehwa High. The early stages of the game establish a simple schoolgirl narrative. You meet her friends and teachers, and get a chance to explore the campus. Even this is peppered with spooky things that foreshadow the darkness coming. One of your closest friends is in a coma and, when you pass out while holding his mysterious amulet, you are also transported to a twisted shadow realm. Your mission is to escape with your life, chased by a demon that has taken the form of your teacher.
The side scroller offers an extensive map, featuring a local police station where you seek help, a demon market and a three-building hospital. Each is overwhelmed by eldritch horrors, with vines blocking corridors and stairwells, and monsters hiding in the shadows ready to lash out at you as you walk by. The score complements the dark, creepy atmosphere beautifully, punctuated only by the echoing footsteps of the demon pursuing you.
There are plenty of places for you to hide. Early on, these are eerie warnings of how stealthy you’ll need to be later on. You can also find food, drink, bandages and antidote to maintain your health and energy, as well as mace to protect yourself and a variety of other items. If you search thoroughly, there are things you can combine to make even more useful items, which can stop you taking permanent damage later on. This focus on resourcefulness and creativity is a really nice touch, as well as an extra incentive to make sure you explore every inch of the map even with a monstrous teacher demon on your heels.
The horror of the game is incredibly well crafted. You can collect diary pages that offer some context about the setting and other characters you meet in the game. This isn’t the most original mechanic, but it is executed well, with gripping stories that ground and embellish the world Mina interacts with.
The art in the gameplay and the cutscenes is fantastic, with a horror comic style of storytelling that doesn’t disrupt the flow of the game. Even simple things like saving your game are incorporated into the genre, as you write your name in the Book of Memories to ensure you don’t get forgotten while trapped in the coma world.
The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters has all the elements of a great horror game perfectly balanced to draw you in. It isn’t the longest of games, but that is reasonably reflected in the price, and there is always something to be said for any experience that leaves you wanting more.
Review: The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters (Nintendo Switch)
The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters is a fantastic game that absorbs you into a grim parallel universe and uses every tool in its arsenal to create an addicting sense of tension.