The player takes on the role of Sally, a schoolgirl who is dealing with the recent disappearance of her cousin Emily, and was putting up "missing" posters of her when she suddenly gets accosted by bullies and takes a route home she is not used to. Upon arriving, however, she notices that her town had suddenly turned into a twisted and dangerous version of itself. Yet, at the same time, she soon learns that Emily had somehow been stuck in this place as well and so now, she must attempt to not only survive but also rescue her from this nightmare.
Tropes present in this game:
- Air-Vent Passageway: Sally often has to crawl through the vents to get to the otherwise inacessible rooms (such as one with her first inhaler), which is done with relative ease and comes with neither dust nor noise.
- Collection Sidequest: There are a few collectibles, which also affect the kind of ending you would get.
- Creepy Doll: Some monsters appear as teenage-girl-sized robots with the appearance of an unvarnished porcelain doll.
- Healing Potion/Med Kit: In Gylt, inhalers act as their equivalent.
- Infinite Flashlight: Averted. Sally's flashlight is very useful, as besides simply providing illumination, it is also crucial for dealing with the weaker shadow creatures, and is also powerful enough to outright charge key machinery when it is shone at solar panels. Nevertheless, it still requires batteries to operate.
- Kill It with Ice: The fire extinguisher is capable of freezing the more solid monsters who are not affiliated with shadow and are thus immune to the flashlight.
- Optional Stealth: The game includes one of the most detailed stealth systems for the horror genre, with the monsters possessing multiple alert states, and Sally able to distract them with thrown items, as well as sneak-kill them by suddenly jamming her flashlight in them and turning it on.
- School Bullying Is Harmless: Very much averted and deconstructed by the narrative.
- Throwing the Distraction: Throwing a soft drink can allows Sally to distract the creatures. Luckily, she can frequent vending machines which provide an indefinite supply of soft drinks.
- Weakened by the Light: The basic shadow creatures get stunned by the flashlight, and will eventually outright dissipate from the sustained lightning.