Song of Horror begins with Daniel — a former drunkard attempting to escape the financial ruin that the bottle has left him in — taking on an errand for his boss. It's one of those go-to-a-creepy-house-and-investigate type jobs that any sane individual who has ever seen a horror movie or played Resident Evil before would know to avoid like cholera. Daniel doesn't see the proverbial iceberg on the horizon, and so it's not long before he's captured by a ghost or something.

Daniel has some friends, which is literally incredible because he's really annoying, but then people like Ed Sheeran, so what can we say? People are idiots. Anyway, these morons take exception to Daniel going AWOL and immediately begin investigating on his behalf.

You play as one of these friends (and later Daniel himself), and you'll play as them until you finish the chapter or snuff it, in which case you take over as another friend who inexplicably knows everything that the first friend did and can just pick up where they left off. Why don't they all go together rather than one at a time?

There's a kernel of an idea here that's really cool, but the execution is all kinds of bad. The character switching and permadeath feels trite because there's little reaction to the demise of a protagonist. Also, having a choice of character for each chapter feels odd, since in most of them there's one character who feels like the right one to pick — i.e. if you're looking for a missing person, it probably makes more sense to play as his daughter rather than some dude who works at the local Greggs.

Most of the time you're actually playing the game, you'll be wandering around locations pulled from the horror cliché playbook, and solving puzzles that are often not so much puzzles as just doing things and hoping that it'll make something happen so you can progress. One head-scratcher involves getting a roaring fire going in the living room so that a corpse will appear in the kitchen. Mm-hmm.

There's monsters, too, but these encounters are somehow annoying and tedious at the same time. You don't really battle with the denizens of evil so much as complete mini-games, such as depressing the triggers in time with your breathing, to avoid being murdered by ghosts. The problem is, once you've done this once, it never really changes and it's never particularly challenging, so any time a baddie turns up it's just irritating.

With limp scares, crummy puzzles, and a clumsy story, Song of Horror feels painfully out of tune.