There’s survival horror, and then there’s just….horror. The goal in Nox Mortis, the new VR app from Sigil Entertainment, isn’t to survive. It’s just to get scared.
Nox Mortis is a passive experience that you load up in virtual reality. The “game” has over twenty scares, which appear in a randomized order, and the visuals are rendered in a Virtual Boy red and black style. The opening screen gives you a message that states:
YOU ARE TRAPPED IN A HELLISH NIGHTMARE.
YOU MUST WITNESS ALL OF THE EVENTS UNFOLD.
EVENTS ARE RANDOMIZED IN EACH SESSION.
NO ESCAPE: You can’t move at all.
Sigil advertises the lack of mobility as a strength, claiming it’s scarier, but there’s also the possibility that it’s cheaper to put the app on rails. It’s also viewable in 2D if you’re too chicken for the VR experience.
One element of Nox Mortis that kind of lets us down is that it’s exclusively a cell phone VR experience….you know, that thing where you slip your phone into a pair of plastic (or cardboard if you’re destitute) goggles and have the screen pass as a VR monitor? The thing about VR is that, to truly be immersive, it requires both a high framerate and a high resolution, neither of which today’s phones can offer, no matter how advanced. There’s a reason VR goggles are specifically built for this.
So you could possibly be frightened by Nox Mortis, or you could just be annoyed by the low resolution, or put into nausea by the frames per second. We wish this was on Oculus too, but what’re ya gonna do.