MADiSON review (PS5)

With MADiSON, Perp Games is releasing another horror game for us to play, and it’s well worth checking out. It was developed by Bloodious Games – what’s in a name, right? – and we played the PS5 version.

With recent releases like Fobia – St Dinfna Hotel and Oxide Room 104 (which was also published by Perp), it seems like horror fans don’t have to wait for the Halloween season to get their horror fix this year. MADiSON is another excellent new game in the genre, relying on familiar tropes while also adding its own spin to them.

One such trope, in both movies (like Shutter) and games (like Fatal Frame) is that photo cameras can be scary things, capturing horrible things that the human eye can’t. In this game, a demon called MADiSON is hiding inside your camera, and as a teenager called Luca you are compelled to push forward and complete a dark ritual.


As is often the case in horror games, MADiSON is strong on atmosphere, and the scene is set early when the opening moments feature your father who is clearly enraged and trying to get into the room you’re in. You’ll escape, but his presence hangs over you from there on out – a jump scare always seemingly moments away.

The demon MADiSON possesses you, and warps the way you view the world. This makes your polaroid camera a useful tool, as it can be used to highlight items in the environment so you can find and grab them. The world around you isn’t constant though – it twists itself to the point where doors you see can suddenly vanish the next time you look in its direction. This ties into the game’s puzzle mechanics, which can be great when they click or can frustrate when they drag on for too long because their reality-bending mechanics simply won’t make sense or stop you when you think about moving in a particular direction.


When you get stuck for a while, it hurts the momentum and atmosphere of the game, as these instances aren’t all that scary. It’s a shame, because as long as you keep moving forward this is a great horror title with tons of cult-like and religious imagery to creep you out. Add a few jump scares, and this is a game that’ll have you on the edge of your seat. The audio design enhances this further, though some of the ambient noise seems too random for its own good. When I hear creaking floorboards, I expect someone or something to be there – or at least a floorboard that consistently creaks when I walk on it.

As is rather typical of indie horror games, a lot of background information is laid out through clippings and recordings that you find. While this pads the game length a little, a ten hour campaign is very good for a game at this price point. With a strong sense of atmosphere, genuinely creepy moments and monsters and some good visuals, MADiSON should be on the radar of horror fans.

Score: 7.4/10

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