Forgotten Hill First Steps 2021: Review
June 10th, 2021
The very first Forgotten Hill game - Forgotten Hill Fall - with redesigned graphics and more polished details.
The appreciated sequel - Forgotten Hill Puppeteer - where The Gambler made his first appearance.
The third game - Forgotten Hill Surgery - with its surgical horrors.
Brand new content that joins the three games together, making them become one single long story, a prequel to Forgotten Hill Disillusion.
Old and new characters and a deep glimpse into Mr. Larson's back story.
Our usual grotesque Forgotten Hill atmosphere.
All text and dialogues translated into 9 languages.
Our exclusive hint system: a simple click will provide you with some help and also allow you to skip puzzles.
Forgotten Hill First Steps is a redesigned and extended collection of the series’ first three titles (fall, puppeteer, and surgery), which were previously available as free flash and mobile games. They’ve now been integrated into one continuous experience, with some more content included in between the chapters.
We played the First Steps shortly after the Disillusion game, which was released in 2019, to learn about the events that led up to it, and we forgot enough that we got stuck here and there, and some of the puzzles in the new portions ended up being the worst part of the game.
If you’re unfamiliar, Forgotten Hill is a series of standard smartphone escape room games with frightening images and a creepy tale. explore around, collect and use stuff, solve sometimes difficult puzzles, and so on It’s all done pretty nicely, and there’s a great selection of puzzles to choose from, ranging from horrible rotary and basic jigsaw to more deductive and everything in between.
Aside from the new content in the Forgotten Hill series, which provides a lengthier finish to the first chapter and some insight into the protagonist’s childhood, there are documents to uncover now, as seen in Disillusion, and they sometimes give clues to the puzzles, some of which have been modified in this edition.
Cabinet doors and such closing when you leave a screen are only a minor inconvenience, as puzzle resetting as you zoom out, for the most part. There’s a 5-part hook/sinker-like puzzle with a reset button when you make a mistake, and while it only resets the current puzzle, you have to do them all at once unless you want to restart from the beginning. What makes matters worse is that it’s not always evident if moving something would touch anything or not; it takes some trial and error to figure out.
A ball-dropping puzzle and an arcade minigame where you have to catch the correct ice cubes with a cup are the absolute worst elements of the entire game (and probably the entire series). At least the first one is a puzzle, no matter how difficult it is, but what is the other one doing here? Fortunately, the hint system allows you to skip challenges, and while we struggled for 20 minutes with the balls before giving up, the ice cube challenge was a breeze.
It wouldn’t be a horror game if you didn’t die in various ways, but no progress is lost; instead, you get a message (and an achievement) and can try something different. Some feature moderate and predictable jump scares, nothing too awful, and others are entirely avoidable.
Technical parts are a little shaky in Forgotten Hill First Steps. It employs the same engine as the other games, and it appears that adding resolution settings and/or a resizable window is still not possible, rendering windowed mode sub-optimal due to its extremely small size. There are no volume controls, simply separate toggles for music and sound. Some of the effects are quite irritating, and a few are significantly louder than the others. Unfortunately, because the additional content is part of the main games, it cannot be accessed straight via chapter choice, but many language alternatives are offered.
The trilogy wasn’t a perfect experience the first time we played it (we found puppeteer to be the best and surgery to be the worst), and some annoyances sucked the fun out of the second helping of new content here (the first one at the end of the first chapter was fine), but it’s still highly recommended. It will take about 4-5 hours depending on your puzzle skills and patience, after which you can continue to Mementoes, a prequel to be played after the First Steps, and don’t miss Disillusion, one of our favorite games of 2019.
Overall, we had a great time playing Forgotten Hill First Steps. We highly recommend this First Steps game if you enjoy point-and-click adventures and horror. Although there are several jumpscares in-game, the game is rather light on horror, so we would still recommend it to those who are easily afraid.