Killer Frequency, developed by Team17 and released on June 1, 2023, is a first-person horror-comedy game that takes players on a thrilling journey into the shoes of a late-night radio host. Set in the nostalgic backdrop of the 1980s, Killer Frequency combines elements of horror, puzzling gameplay, and a retro jukebox soundtrack to create a unique and immersive experience.
In Killer Frequency, players assume the role of Forrest Nash, a radio DJ hosting a late-night show called “The Scream” in the small town of Gallows Creek. The peaceful routine is shattered when a caller reveals that the Police Chief has been murdered, and a mysterious killer known as The Whistling Man is on the loose. The game’s narrative revolves around saving potential victims by taking calls, gathering clues, making decisions, and solving puzzles to guide them to safety. The fate of each caller rests in the player’s hands, with choices carrying consequences that shape the story.
Killer Frequency delivers a fully voice-acted experience, with the entire game told from Forrest’s first-person perspective. While the voice acting of main characters like Forrest Nash and his colleague Penny is outstanding, some secondary characters lack the same level of immersion, occasionally coming across as flat or stilted. Nevertheless, the strong performances of the main characters, coupled with a well-written story, create a connection between the players and the characters they interact with.
With its vibrant art style, Killer Frequency successfully captures the essence of the 1980s. The game’s visuals utilise a mix of realistic and cell-shaded aesthetics, with thick outlines reminiscent of TellTale games, creating a visually appealing experience. Neon-drenched windows, atmospheric lighting, and bold colors enhance the immersion, making the game a treat for the eyes. The 80s-inspired synth music, composed specifically for the game, adds another layer of nostalgia, perfectly complementing the visuals and immersing players in the era.
Killer Frequency’s gameplay revolves around managing the radio switchboard and assisting callers in escaping the clutches of the killer. Players must use their problem-solving skills to provide guidance over the phone, often requiring additional information or tools found within the studio. The dialogue options and timed choices keep the gameplay dynamic and engaging, as players must think on their feet to ensure the survival of the callers. While the puzzles are satisfying to solve, the overall gameplay may feel somewhat passive at times, leaving players craving more active involvement.
Killer Frequency pays homage to ’80s horror films and pop culture by incorporating subtle references and capturing the charm of B-movie aesthetics. From street names referencing famous horror locations to the attention to detail in the vinyl records players can spin during the game, the developers’ dedication to recreating the spirit of the era is commendable.
Killer Frequency offers a captivating murder mystery experience complete with an engaging narrative, charming characters, and a retro-inspired soundtrack. While the gameplay could benefit from more active involvement, the game succeeds in delivering a unique and nostalgic horror-comedy adventure. Fans of ’80s culture and murder mysteries will find themselves immersed in the world of Killer Frequency, eagerly unraveling the secrets of Gallows Creek while saving lives and jamming to classic tunes.