Corpse Party may sound like a modern revival of the oft-reviled NES torture adventure classic Chiller, but in reality it has little to do with that shocker. It also involves no dancing and grinding corpses on a dance floor with a DJ. It's a fantastically creepy visual novel for iOS that's available for a bit of a high price, but worth the entry if you're a horror hound like yours truly.
Corpse Party follows a host of high school students (one junior high kid and even a teacher) as they make their way through a haunted and otherwise malevolent elementary school. Think The Drifting Classroom, only a little more cutesy in terms of graphics, what with the stylized anime portraits and retro 16-bit graphics - this is RPG Maker at its best.
It's an excursion that relies on exploration and the player's curiosity to tell a story; in particularly, the tale of the many slain students scattered throughout this twisted school. While resembling any other classic Japanese RPG you might have played, it also features plenty of expository text scenes, giving it a bit of a visual novel lilt. Glossy anime portraits liven up and give the characters a little personality.
The creepy interludes, engaging narrative, and character development keep you playing long after the novelty of uncovering the deaths of the former students (and eventually your party members) wears off and even though you're pretty much left to your own devices as there is no quest log or any way to keep track of what you've accomplished, the unsettling atmosphere, fantastic sound, and quirky surrealism are reason enough to press on.
Despite being new to mobile devices, this is a dated release, and its high price tag will no doubt be the cause of some understandable sticker shock for some. It's very much a budget release since it's a re-release of an older title and I can't very well justify it needing to be that much, but on one hand it's a quality game that's worth checking out. It's just a little pricey, and pretty short even if you explore enough to find everything.
Corpse Party is excellent all-around, despite dated visuals and a high price tag. If you're a fan of Japanese horror or visual novels (Saya no Uta comes to mind) you should find plenty to love here.