The character of Slender-Man, in case you’re not up on your Internet memes, is a tall, dark figure who appears in the background of photographs. He’s a creepy presence, with an other-worldly feel. What Slender Rising does best is to bring that same creepy atmosphere to iOS. Unfortunately, that’s about all it does.
In Slender Rising, you can explore two different environments: Cursed Ruins or Desolate Town. Both are creepy areas, but they’re totally static, with no characters, moving parts, or anything to do other than walk around looking for posters on the walls. Before you play, you have to choose one of three visual overlays to use. There’s a foggy daytime one, a flashlight-based nighttime one, and a green-tinted night vision view. They all look great, but they don’t have much effect on the actual game.
So what do you do in the game? Your goal is to avoid Slender-Man, who stalks you through the environments. But he doesn’t have an actual physical presence, so he can appear anywhere. If you turn a corner and run into him, you can look away and look back, and he’ll be gone. Or sometimes you’ll look away from him, and he’ll have teleported right next to you. This is fairly creepy stuff, but it doesn’t add up to a satisfying, full-fledged game.
Slender Rising comes with two modes. In one, you simply keep walking around until you die. In the other, if you can collect seven posters scattered around the environment, you win. But since Slender-Man is the only enemy, and since he takes his time before showing up, you spend most of your time wandering through unexciting environments. Sure, they’re creepy and they look nice, but without engaging gameplay to back it up, there’s little reason to keep playing once you’ve explored all there is to explore.
One thing’s for sure, though: this game is a lot better than Slender-Man, another game starring the same character. At least Slender Rising controls well and looks nice.
But saying Slender Rising trumps Slender-Man is pretty weak praise. The game’s real problem is that it’s just not very enjoyable to play. And to solve that problem, the developer would have to turn it into a totally different game. So it goes.