Mad Father from indie developer sen originally released in 2016 and has attracted a dedicated following of gamers thanks to its well-written story, interesting characters, and clever utilization of RPG maker game design.

When I first heard about a remake of the game, I was extremely excited and eager to check it out. I had high expectations going in, and am pleased to say the game met these expectations and then some.

Mad Father Remake Review | A Real Gem

The first thing you’ll notice when playing the remake of Mad Father are the improved graphics. The character sprites look larger which can make it easier to distinguish features (specifically clothing) and subtle gestures such as hand and head movements.

The scenery itself has also been improved with better lighting (flickering wall torches) and more background detail. You’ll notice some slight changes in the layout, like a set of stairs being added to a hallway in the remake and the removal of door notches in certain areas where they're not necessary.

The photos that complement the characters when they speak have also been improved upon, although there are some interesting deviations from the original here as well. For example, at the start of the game you can see the father’s face in the remake whereas his face is obscured by a mask in the original game.

It helps in terms of conveying emotion, which is the primary change made to Aya’s art as well. She looks pretty much the same, but her face is more expressive. The text and dialogue seems to be pretty much the same, so you’re getting the same core story as the original which is to be desired, honestly.

The original game’s story and the way in which it unravels is the best part of the game, the way it pulls you in and keeps you intrigued from start to finish. What the remake does is improve upon various aspects of the art, design, and animation in order to complement the story even more.

As noted above, facial art is more expressive, and they’re more defined to the benefit of many characters, like Maria. It’s not that Maria looked bad in the original, but she definitely looked a little… strange. I think it was the lack of a defined nose, which she has in the remake. It really makes her character art look better overall, I think. 

The rooms look more realistic, like when Aya is lying on the bed she’s not on the left corner of it but actually in the center of the bed, the bedsheets ruffled behind her. I’m a little sad that little Snowball the Rabbit in Aya’s bedroom is actually less defined in the remake than the original (though Snowball’s chest rises and falls while napping which is super cute).

Additionally, I kind of preferred the green tone of her bedroom in the original to the colder blue tone of the remake, but I do acknowledge that it looks more realistic and believable which is the theme the remake is going for.

Movement when you’re exploring is more fluid, and feels better overall. Way less jagged and abnormally speedy. The horror scenes themselves have also undergone slight makeovers. When scenes like the bloody footprints appear, they’re accompanied by things like bloody handprints as well. 

The sprites for the monstrous entities that Aya encounters are way more detailed as well which adds to the horror element of the game extensively. You're also given more direction in the remake as to what it is you’re supposed to be doing and where you’re supposed to be going — things like Tips, “Check” text to show you where to look, Mission information, etc. — which can help save you from any potential confusion.

Even though it wasn’t my first time playing Mad Father, I still enjoyed having these in the game. They will certainly come in handy for people who haven’t played the original, and to that effect, you don’t have to play the original to enjoy the remake.

If you’ve heard great things about the original and want to experience the game for yourself, you can jump straight into the remake and not miss anything. If anything, I feel like the remake accomplishes what it sets out to do in improving upon the original while still retaining the charm that made Mad Father so compelling in the first place.

Of course, there are some new goodies thrown in for fans of the original to enjoy including new scenes that add clarity to certain aspects of the story, you also get information about characters like the Blonde-Haired Boy and the Drevis clan that weren’t included in the original.

So, if you played the original and want more added on top of the base story, the Mad Father remake is a must-play. Furthermore, you also have the new “Blood Mode” which provides you with a second playthrough and access to interesting story changes along with the ability to play as a character other than Aya.

One of the things I like most about the remake is that it’s a free upgrade for gamers who previously purchased Mad Father on Steam. If already you own a copy on Steam and have been thinking about replaying Mad Father, you now have even more incentive to do so.

If you don’t own a copy on Steam, you can purchase the Mad Father remake for $9.99 (USD) which is a fair purchase price for what you get out of the game in my opinion. Even better, you'll soon be able to purchase and play Mad Father on Nintendo Switch.

The added benefit to buying and playing the Mad Father remake on Switch is the portability of the Switch itself and the ability to play comfortably anywhere which is great for many reasons, accessibility being one.

I know some people who find it easier to play games on the Nintendo Switch as opposed to PC. Where you purchase and play the Mad Father remake is entirely up to you, though. If you already bought a copy of the game on Steam, again, the remake will be available to you for free on Steam so don’t worry about having to buy the game all over again!

If you’ve never played the game, you don’t have to play the original to enjoy the remake as the remake is undoubtedly the best way to experience this gem of a game. You can buy the remake on Steam, or if you’d prefer, you can buy the remake of Mad Father on Nintendo Switch.

It doesn't seem to appear on the Nintendo eShop when browsing on the website, but when you're on the eShop from the Switch itself you can purchase the game and then begin the download process.

As it stands, Mad Father remains one of the best RPG maker games ever made thanks to its fantastic writing, interesting characters, creepy setting, and enjoyable gameplay. The remake only adds to the things the original game got right, it never detracts from them.

Because of this, I highly recommend the Mad Father remake to both old fans and new fans alike.


Pros: 

  • Improved graphics are subtle, but beneficial to the story and gameplay. 
  • Mad Father remains one of the best RPG Maker games ever made, the remake only adds to this, it never detracts from it.
  • Added tips and direction which can help save you from potential confusion and frustration.
  • Blood Mode is a wonderful new addition, and it’s exciting in general to be able to get new pieces of information regarding the game’s story and characters. 

Cons:

  • If I had to nitpick, I’d say that I would’ve liked even more graphical improvements for things like character portraits, gestures, and facial expressions, but what’s in the remake is still great when compared to the original. 

 

Score: 9

A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review.