The Glass Staircase PS5 Review 7.5/10 “Mind The Step” 🏚️ @PuppetCombo #IndieGame #GameDev

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The Glass Staircase PS5 Review
Puppet Combo was a revelation for me in 2023, I loved everything that they put out and had such joy playing them. Stay Out of the House was one of my games of the year, Christmas Massacre was an absolute delight and  it remains one of my favourite games, the talking Christmas tree brings a smile to my face every time I think about it, which - come December - will probably be a lot, but The Glass Staircase doesn't quite hit the highs of these games, it is still worth playing but I didn’t get the warm, dark-bloodstained, fuzzy feeling that the Puppet Combo releases usually produce.

The Glass Staircase harkens back to the PS2 horror scene, taking inspiration from Italian horror cinema and Resident Evil. You play as several girls in an orphanage which is a huge mansion – sadly, it has seen better days but as this is inspired by Resident Evil, I don’t like the mansion’s chances. As the girls you explore your environment and learn the horror of your situation, as the mansion holds many secrets. The further you go, the darker the situation becomes. The game has almost a split and it can be summed as, ‘before gun’ and ‘after gun’.

Now, I was really enjoying ‘before gun’, being a little girl exploring this creepy building - it has some clever puzzles using sound as an indicator of what you need to do, it was really floating my boat, the one thing Puppet Combo have never failed at is in creating an oppressive atmosphere, they are masters at it and this is no exception, the dread is palpable as you move from room to room, having to navigate a hedge maze brings so much tension.

The Glass Staircase PS5 Review

The fixed camera angles are great, every area features a different angle, whether it was a close up that drew your eye to a certain object, or a wide, pulled-out shot that showed the emptiness of the location, as fixed camera shots go - this really was a treat. As it does with games of this nature, the story unfolds through reading discovered documents, the more that are found, the more the picture becomes clearer. They are interesting and engaging, which means it was always good to come across one.

So, so far, so good. 

You then are given a gun and it changes the dynamic. The game leans into the ‘Resi’ inspiration and whilst still a solid experience, I didn’t enjoy it as much. You progress down to the basement - as is traditional - wherein you find the lab, and this is where you encounter enemies, and these sections are not the game’s strong suit. The gun has an auto-aim feature, but it still has issues it’s like aiming a gun whilst on a unicycle - it is all over the place. You also face a boss, you are trapped in an area, and you have a traditional run-about whilst trying to shoot it in the face, which - with the aiming at hand - is difficult and took me a few attempts. This brings me onto auto-saves, a great thing - but they are weirdly sporadic and could have been a bit closer together.

This section just loses a bit of the incredible atmosphere that’s been built up, it does have a great moment which I won’t spoil here - but I found it was a better horror experience without the gun. The thing that is funny, is this is the great Resident Evil discourse that goes on and on, whether it should be a slow-burn survival horror, or be more action-focused, I wouldn't describe the second half as action-packed, but obviously going from no weapon to weapon did remind me of this debate, after this I now know which side I fall on.

The one thing that remained is that it still managed to scare me, I fell for such an obvious jump scare, I was so swept up with the atmosphere that I completely didn’t see it coming. So - as usual with Puppet Combo - I had a moment whereby I clutched my heart and thought this might be the end.

The Glass Staircase PS5 Review


The Glass Staircase is a game of two halves, I found the first half to be more engaging with more of the great tension and mood I’m used to from this developer, the section with the gun is still enjoyable but not quite as gripping. I still highly recommend a purchase, as a few hours with Puppet Combo is never a waste of time.

The Glass Staircase PS5 Review

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