Withering Rooms Review – Masterful 2.5D horror slayer

Reviewed April 4, 2024 on PS5


Xbox One, PS4, PC, Nintendo Switch, PS5, Xbox Series X|S


April 5, 2024


Perp Games


Moonless Formless

When you are trapped in an inescapable dream filled with monsters, what do you do? Sneak past the horrors and solve puzzles? Or do you find a weapon and fight back? Withering Rooms gives you both options as you discover the mystery behind the Moystn House. Thanks to the variety of methods available to you, conquering the horrors you face has never been more interesting.

Creativity is rewarded as you decide how you want to handle the horrors that threaten you. Equipment and other items let you customise your playstyle while giving you plenty of opportunities to test your creations. Multiple endings increase the replayability and vary up the content to entice you to return. A lack of exposition makes the story confusing and some gameplay aspects aren’t explained well, but still, it’s hard to top this horror experience that lets you revel in your triumphs.

Withering Rooms begins as you step into the shoes of Nightingale Williams, a young woman recently committed to Mostyn House asylum. She wakes up in a dream that feels realistic. Undead horrors roam the building and what few humans you can find have allegiances they keep to themselves. Without knowing who to trust and what the dream actually is, how is Nightingale going to wake up in reality?

The story takes some horror inspiration mixed with alternate realities. It is confusing especially as you progress because details can be difficult to fully comprehend. You never hear Nightingale’s thoughts or hear her “speak” with other characters. Everyone feels one-dimensional because there isn’t much to them outside of their role in the story. Unless you talk to characters, pursue some side quests, and learn some exposition, it’s possible to have no idea what is going on. Fortunately, there is a quest log that helps you remember what your current goals are. Even if you don’t pay much attention to the story, you know where to go and what to do. This softens the blow of a confusing story because it doesn’t get in the way of your completion.

If you have the patience to stick around, Withering Rooms has multiple endings. These endings work in the game’s favour because they encourage you to pursue different choices and reinforce existing knowledge. But even if you manage to view every ending, it’s possible you still have unanswered questions about what happened. More story work and multi-dimensional characters would help players immerse themselves in the finer workings of the narrative. Fortunately, most of your time is spent surviving against the horrors, covering up the story’s weaknesses.

Withering Rooms mixes action and survival horror to keep you on your toes as you play. Nightingale can use weapons or magic to defend herself but she is fragile in the beginning. Enemies listen for loud sounds that indicate prey is nearby and actively hunt you across rooms. You spend most of the early-game distracting and hiding from enemies, unable to fight them head-on. Once you gain better weapons and stat upgrades, you can employ hit-and-run tactics to even the playing field.

The game punishes you if you let down your guard and think it’s now action-oriented. Enemies can break your stance and maul you to death. Ghosts perform surprise attacks that leave you vulnerable to other threats. The dream’s curse can slowly creep up on you, rapidly draining your health if it reaches a certain point. You must be creative and work with limited resources, deciding if conflict is worth the effort.

“Encouraging creativity is Withering Rooms’ strongest aspect and provides the most fun.”

Encouraging creativity is Withering Rooms’ strongest aspect and provides the most fun. You can become a spellcaster, melee warrior, or a hit-and-run trickster. Nightingale doesn’t gain experience in the conventional sense, but can trade resources to upgrade stats. By focusing on certain builds, you develop a playstyle that you believe is your best weapon against the dream’s horrors. A variety of items and equipment help steer you towards your desired playstyle. If you aren’t satisfied or made a mistake, there are resources available to help you reset your stat allocation.

The game’s worst punishment happens if Nightingale ever dies during her journey. Thanks to the dream, she revives but loses all her items. It’s possible to save some of her items through remembrance shrines, but you can’t retain your entire inventory if you die. Reinforcing the horror aspect, one moment of carelessness can ruin your hard work. It makes you focus on staying alive over fighting, ensuring you aren’t reckless with your actions. Fortunately, you are expected to die multiple times because you aren’t used to the world. Learn from your failures, get crafty with your tactics, and understand how your tools work. Once you become more comfortable and learn from your experiences, that’s when you have fun fighting in the dream.

To keep you on your toes, the dream’s layout changes every time you die or start a new night. Room locations, enemy compositions, and item locations change, preventing you from memorising everything. It forces you to watch your moves and treat in-game death as a painful loss that resets almost everything. But each night provides another chance and sometimes better items to succeed in your next run. Withering Rooms turns you into a grizzled horror veteran, using your wits and willpower to overcome your enemies.

Some gameplay aspects in the game could use better explanations. Poise is important since that determines your ability to withstand attacks. But if you fail to find the right document, it’s possible to not know what it is. The angles for aiming projectiles are given a brief tutorial but are not consistent with every item. While it’s not frequent enough to ruin gameplay, it does force you to learn through trial-by-fire.

The game’s visuals and audio are great, making it readily apparent that you aren’t the only one in the room. Enemy sounds can be heard while their body shapes aren’t always visible. This builds the horror as you are ambushed by enemies appearing from closets or out of the ground. Even worse, the visuals accurately capture enemies actively searching for you. There’s no greater feeling of dread than when an enemy enters another room trying to find you.

Withering Rooms does have some visual flaws with weapons going through walls or enemies making extremely odd movements when they encounter external traps. But these issues aren’t often encountered and you are more concerned about the fact that enemies are there. It’s not the most advanced graphics, but the 2.5D environment gives you everything you need. Humans look decent or ghastly and all your enemies have unique aspects.

Withering Rooms provides a great experience for horror enthusiasts. While it is initially challenging, you learn over time and start to grasp the fundamentals. Fighting back against the horrors that hunt you is a genuinely enjoyable experience. But the game never loses its horror atmosphere and forces you to balance your action with caution. If you want a horror game that perfectly mixes action with its formula, you can’t go wrong with Withering Rooms.




  • Horror atmosphere doesn't rely on cheap tricks
  • Creativity is rewarded when dealing with enemies
  • Multiple endings adds replay value


  • The story can be confusing
  • Some gameplay aspects need better explanations

Withering Rooms provides a great horror RPG experience with its gameplay. You never stop being a fragile girl trying to leave a horrible dream. But the tools to fight back give you courage and let you battle the undead. Coming up with strategies is genuinely rewarding and adds variety to the combat. Learning from your mistakes and making death painful forces you to pay attention. The story isn’t as strong as it could be and some aspects could use better explanations. However, Withering Rooms is not a horror experience you want to miss if you’ve been looking for a challenge.