We played Red Line, a recently released Rolling Cat Studio game. Parallel worlds inhabited by characters with their own secrets and skeletons in the closet. They will have to work together to get through. We tell you about it in our review
Let’s go back to 交界线 Red Line, the story-driven horror with moderate puzzles. If you missed our article dedicated to the Demo, you can easily retrieve it here. The game landed on July 20, 2023, on the Steam platform, obtaining a very positive evaluation and we want to join the voices of these users.
So let’s move on to the analysis, make yourself comfortable!
The Building of Mysteries
The story of Red Line opens with our protagonist, Chen Suian, seeking shelter on a rainy day. She runs into an older gentleman, owner of a somewhat dilapidated building with disturbing rumors: missing tenants, strange apparitions and strange noises in the middle of the night. The landlord offers shelter to our protagonist. The oddities are immediately evident in the behavior of the old man, who, while he is talking to us, says he sees another girl behind us. Don’t worry though, that’s still nothing!
Once we get to our apartment, number 202, we rest a bit; and here the nightmare begins. In the nightmare we will cross a funeral hall, with a coffin in the center, we will see the spirit of a girl appear who will lead us to the exit. When we wake up, however, we will no longer be Chen Suian, but the young and outgoing Yang Lerong.
Thus the threads of multiple stories across multiple timelines begin to unravel. The two protagonists, in their respective lines (in which they are blocked), will meet other characters. A mother who has not survived the pain of losing her newborn baby. A promising student who mysteriously died after having found (a few days earlier) his lifeless classmate in an alley. Or even a little girl who disappeared into thin air, of which no one has heard from since.
These are just some of the stories you will experience and which you will have to investigate. Jumping from line to line, the girls will come to the conclusion that collaborating is the only possible solution, to fully understand what happened to them and to all the other tenants and how they were all trapped. To put the pieces together and understand the overall picture of the story they will use Yang Lerong’s diary (present in both lines). The diary is essential for communication, for collecting notes, objects and also for saving. These are automatic and are performed at the beginning of each chapter but can also be done manually.
They will have to solve their “unsolved” problems, understand what blocks them. In addition, they will also have to solve the unfinished business of the other tenants in order to find peace and continue their journey in the afterlife.
The entity of the puzzles
As we anticipated, we will conduct real investigations. Unlocking dialogues and clues about the residence, we’ll also be able to enter the apartments of the other residents. In some of these we will be able to interact with objects, to further unlock the narrative vein. For example, Yang Lerong, in order to reach a stuck tenant, will literally have to follow the beating of a heart to find the right door to open. By entering it, we’ll be able to talk to him and help him overcome his sad story.
That’s not all, Red Line offers many other types of puzzles, such as rearranging the events in chronological order. This not only in a specific timeline, but as a whole, on all the timelines explored up to that moment. This type of puzzles could be annoying, if you had to remember everything by heart. Luckily for us we have the diary on our side!
Other examples of puzzles require the help of characters already unlocked by their unsolved experiences, who will now be able to support you. Maybe the phone rings and without their active support, in the search for clues, when you go to answer no one will answer. Or, again, a tenant will not be willing to get help if another character is not present, who, by narration, is connected in some way to this one. Or even use clues to unlock objects that belonged to some characters.
We could give you countless other examples of puzzles, but what’s the point in spoiling everything for you?
One tip we can give you is this: Attention to detail!
The Final Rendez-vous
At the climax of the story we will all meet together to finally reveal the dark mystery that covers the deaths of our characters.
We certainly won’t tell you anything that could compromise your curiosity in playing the title.
What our protagonists will discover at some point is that everyone, including them, has something in common. Not so much how they died or why they got stuck, but the date of death according to the Lunar calendar and living in the same building. It seems that the killer is someone they know, but who could it be?
Furthermore, it seems that he is following a very specific pattern. But which based on common clues?
Well, you’ll discover this by playing and this will lead you straight, straight to the unveiling of the supernatural forces that connect the various parallel universes and to the end of the story.
All the pieces are in place… It’s time to regain freedom and continue the journey after a long stay in this limbo with horror contours.
How long will it take me to finish Red Line?
Let’s start by telling you that the game consists of five chapters, for a total of eighteen trophies. Between each chapter there are different trophies that will be unlocked and that will introduce you to the next one. We, taken by the plot and having played in a row, spent about 10 hours in the game. A reasonable amount of time for those who don’t like too long-winded games, and quality time anyway (thanks to the multi-line narration) for those used to playing games for hundreds of hours. In our opinion, an excellent compromise between quality and time!
Furthermore, it must be said that, based on how you interact with the story, the ending changes. For this reason you could “risk” leaving some trophies behind. As we said: pay attention to the details!. It happened to us too, but that doesn’t mean having to start over. This is thanks to the various saves that the game makes in correspondence with the various chapters. Then, it will be enough to check which chapter the missing trophy belongs to and reload from there to be able to recover it. This little procedure, in addition to making you discover the different endings, improves the longevity of the game.
Red Line and localization
The 交界线Red Line game is available in Simplified Chinese and English with their respective interfaces and subtitles. It does not have voice acting. Although you have to play in English, the dialogues and sentences are relatively simple. Moreover the appearance of the sentences on the screen remains fixed until the space bar or the left click of the mouse is pressed. The ability to have fixed dialogue helps anyone with their own timing in reading and comprehension. This is why we advise you not to be discouraged from playing this title due to the language factor, it is truly within everyone’s reach.
We have reached the end of our review, offering you the necessary to understand if it can be right for you. However, without spoiling the most important parts. A story, which is not just one but many. All different, with regrets, shameful secrets and mixed feelings. Many stories linked by a common destiny, a Damocles’ sword hovers over the heads of our characters. Later leading them to a tragic and unexpected end. Are you ready to venture into this psychological horror and free all residents from their perpetual limbo?
What’s to come in the future awaits those trapped in the Red Line…
- Narrative complexity
- Development on multiple timelines
- Multiple endings
- Very neat graphics