Sorry We’re Closed Brings Low Poly Horror Back in Business: PAX East Hands On!

What do you picture when you think of low poly, ps1-ps2 style horror? Is it the tank controls and B-movie-style terror of Resident Evil? The dreary and demonic ascetics of Silent Hill? Or perhaps the gothic extremities of Shin Megami Tensei 3: Nocturne? If you vibe with any of these games, Sorry We’re Closed is something you should wishlist now on Steam

Taking inspiration from the low poly horror games of the past, Sorry We’re Closed has a unique spin on its defining genre. The game features a third-eye mechanic that blends the dreary, dirty world of demonic creatures, with everyday life’s more sterile and tame environments. With the press of a button, the player character, Michelle can use her third eye to solve puzzles and discover hidden secrets throughout the hellish world she’s come to.

Sorry We’re Closed Is a Retro Horror Love Letter

I was lucky enough to be invited for a demo of the game at PAX East 2024 this weekend. Akupara Games had a few demos available, but this project by à la mode games is what caught my attention the most! While I have my previews of the other games I demoed in the oven, Sorry We’re Closed was my favorite of the games at Akupara’s booth.

The demo started in an ordinary apartment building, characters were hanging about the halls like a college dormitory. When I finally arrived at Michelle’s apartment, it was messy. Dirty dishes were littered on her table. Michelle’s inner monologue ordered me to pick them up and put them in the sink so she could sleep a little more soundly. This introduced an item system similar to what Resident Evil has done in the past. Picking up an object in the world, then using that object on a part of the map to solve a puzzle. 

When Michelle finally went to sleep, she was awoken by a pounding noise slamming on her door. A demonic entity stood over her bed, cursed her, and begged for her love. She refused, and now she must tread the demonic world to rid herself of her blight before it’s too late. The demo then had me tread through a dark and dirty subway system, somehow ported above her apartment building. Twisted hellish realities distorted her world from the normal and tame one she knew before.

A Dark, Gritty, and Dirty World Awaits

As I had Michelle march through the brown and red-stained underground, I came across many monstrosities. Combat in Sorry We’re Closed has you hold a button to see in first person, and either use a pistol, shotgun, or axe to disperse the demonic plague. If you use Michelle’s third eye mechanic, you can see the weak spots of these monsters. However, if you hit them anywhere else with your third eye open, it will do no damage. Without the third eye, you can deal normal damage as opposed to the critical hits of their weak spots.

The feel of the tank-style controls of Sorry We’re Closed felt fine-tuned and natural. It was nothing like the clunky feel of old retro horror games from back in the day. The movement felt very comfortable, and I could get just enough of a response to aim and maneuver accurately around enemies. For me, movement is a critical aspect of a game’s overall feel, and à la mode games’ project hits that mark.

Closing Up to Survive Hell

I love everything about this game, from the gothic aesthetics, and its hellish enemies. Sorry We’re Closed is set to release sometime in 2024. With multiple endings, and deciding the fates of the characters of its world, I’m looking forward to closing up shop to play this very soon!


Games Journalist, Competitive Pokemon/VGC Player, Content Creator

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