Uncanny Valley is a retro-style horror survival game from developer Cowardly Creations. It was originally released in 2015 and recently ported to the Nintendo Switch. Does this game live up to the $9.99 price tag?

Players will be taking the role of Tom, who is hired at an abandoned robotics factory as a security guard. He is employed to keep an eye on things while waiting for the owners to sell it. The only other real characters are Buck, the daytime security guard who is rather grouchy and a little overweight, and Eve, the cleaner of the living facility near the factory. Tom suffers from nightmares but as he continues along his patrols and interactions with the other two workers he slowly realizes the nightmares may be the least of his worries.

In the opening loading screens, the developers make sure you know that Uncanny Valley has several outcomes and recommends multiple playthroughs. This means everything you do or don’t do has consequences. This can be for better or for worse. My first playthrough was disappointing. I died and had earned one of the bad endings within a half-hour time.

Each one of Tom’s shifts is approximately eight minutes long. In this time, you have to try to solve puzzles or just explore the area. At the end of his shift, Tom falls asleep and has a nightmare. The nightmare sequence gameplay was rather short and didn’t really seem to affect the game in any way. They seemed rather confusing and out of place. After the nightmare sequence, Tom would wake up safely in his bed.

The problem with this is that some playthroughs are very short. It can feel like you are resetting the game over and over again to figure out what you messed up or could have done differently. Other times it just felt like the time frames that you’re given to solve a puzzle were just too short. Normally it would result in Tom falling asleep before solving the puzzle. It became irritating and felt that rather than making the puzzle more difficult to solve, the developers would just limit the timeframe to solve it.

Playing the game just felt more like being set up for failure. By the start of the third playthrough, I had begun to lose interest. Seeing the same opening sequence, again and again, got old. The knowledge of knowing what to expect and how to complete a puzzle faster wasn’t rewarding enough to keep going.

I have never been too into survival horror games, but have played and really enjoyed some over the years. I was hoping that Uncanny Valley would be one of t  he good ones. For me, it failed to do so–it wasn’t terrible but the lack of a linear storyline made it more confusing than enjoyable for me. Fans of horror survival games may enjoy it more; however, casual players of the genre may want to wait for a price slash.