Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Game review: The horror that is ‘Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs’

There are dreadful pig masks scattered around Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, intricately-painted Carnivale-type things. If you stare at them too long you begin to notice the drone that fills the empty mansion.

Frictional Games

The first thing you'll ask yourself when you start playing A Machine for Pigs is, "Why am I in a cage?"

When your character wakes from the brief but horrible images that open the game that's where you are: lying on a bed confined by bars. The creepiness increases exponentially when you find another caged bed in the next room. A voiceover suggests that a woman has died while giving birth to ... twins?

There are dreadful pig masks scattered around, intricately-painted Carnivale-type things. If you stare at them too long you begin to notice the drone that fills the empty mansion.

Story continues below advertisement

The amnesia of the game's title refers to you waking up and not knowing who you are or what your story is. Discovering those terrible truths is the objective of this first-person experience, an encounter in terror.

Soon after you start exploring – the attic at first – you'll find a lantern that you can use to illuminate dark spaces. But that light can also attract things that you'd rather not confront. When you're playing A Machine for Pigs, that darkness can sometimes be a comfort when it keeps you from being seen.

The story of what happened in the mansion is revealed slowly. There are secrets in the house, all of them terrible.

The sanity mechanic of the first Amnesia game, 2010's The Dark Descent, is gone, and there is no inventory for you to manage, but A Machine for Pigs still succeeds in inducing shivering dread. Enjoy!

Developer: Frictional Games; Platforms: Linux, OS X, Windows

Report an error
Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.