One Late Night: Ghosts in the Office Make for Creepy Moments
That said, discovering what the game wants you to find is rewarding in that way of really figuring something out. Running down Robert’s user name and password, for example, made me feel pretty smart, even though it was a time-consuming endeavor. When I was then able to open his office with the key and access some clues in his computer files, I was rewarded for my efforts.
Things escalate quickly in One Late Night, and it’s tough to discuss without giving too much away. Suffice to say that there is an adversary in the office, and that it’s after you. As things get creepier and creepier, the game starts to provide you with a little more direction, but it also ups the danger element. Much like Slender titles, your pursuer has the ability to appear just about anywhere in the office, and staring at it functions as a trigger for attack. When that happens, your only option is to hide under a desk or some other obstacle, and pray.
When things pick up in One Late Night, the game does a solid job of mixing jump scares and overall dread. The entire office also is a bit claustrophobic — it’s basically a hallway with offices attached — and as things escalate, the hunt for various items you need to progress forces you out into danger. The game takes advantage by making movement difficult and slow, leaving players extremely vulnerable.
But One Late Night does have its difficulties. It wouldn’t be surprising at all to hear stories of players who never managed to finish the game because they couldn’t find a key, well-hidden element. For example, not long into the game begins a hunt for batteries to power a flashlight. It seems these spawn in a number of random places and they’re not available until after you find the flashlight, which is weird if you’ve spent any time at all exploring the office. Further, though, they’re hard to pick out among the random elements scattered around for set dressing. One Late Night does a good job of leading you a bit without a blinking objective indicator, but at the same time, being left to search the office at an exceedingly slow pace can make enjoying the game difficult.
And you can expect to die a lot, or at least spend a lot of time trying to figure out what to do next. The key in the toilet, for example, gave me a pretty hard time, and there were other times when I was expected to backtrack to find a new clue to moving forward, without any indication to make me believe that particular room was where I would find such information. There’s a lot of fumbling around for what you’re supposed to do, which can turn the game’s atmosphere of fear into frustration.
But in terms of tapping into a setting that’s underused in this sort of context, and playing well with elements and situations to which most people can relate, One Late Night excels. It’s a free title, which plays highly in its favor as well, and while it might have some graphical issues like clipping and control bugs related to interacting with certain objects, on the whole it plays well. It also manages to be scary pretty often, which, after all, is the whole point.