Home Safety Hotline Review

Home Safety Hotline

The analog horror boom has been going on for a while now, thanks to popular YouTube series like “The Backrooms”, “The Mandela Catalogue”, or even “Local 58” which was perhaps one of the first to popularize the style. Home Safety Hotline takes that aesthetic of old computers and places us in the role of a phone operator working for a company that isn’t quite what it seems.

Home Safety Hotline
Developer: Night Signal Entertainment
Publisher: Night Signal Entertainment

Platforms:  Windows PC (Reviewed)
Release Date: January 16, 2024
Price: $14.99 USD

Home Safety Hotline

Author’s Note: As a game that’s heavy on narrative, it’s impossible to discuss it without spoilers. However, we’ll refrain from discussing the main ending.

Home Safety Hotline is a straightforward puzzle game. During each work day, players will receive phone calls from people with problems, these problems range in severity from squeaking in the walls, to itchy bug bites, to having your very breath stolen by a creature living under your bed. Yeah, that last one might have thrown you for a loop.

Players begin their work week at Home Safety Hotline dealing with some mundane issues, you have a catalogue of information at your fingertips. However most of it is off limits for new employees, luckily you know just what to do if there’s cockroaches, black mold, or termites. From day two, your problems get interesting.

Home Safety Hotline

On day two, your catalogue of knowledge opens up, Toilet Hobbs, Lamp Sprites, False Beets (these are the worst), and more. Thankfully your supervisor Carol is there to help you and reward you for your efforts.

The game is pretty easy on the graphical side of thing since it’s trying to emulate a 1990s CRT interface, which it completely nails. The screen is kind of yellow, the faded colors are a bit of an unusual choice but they sell the nostalgic aesthetic.

The entries in your work catalogue include some unsettling artwork, especially the Boggart. There’s a few other mysterious and whimsical creatures with their own entries as well. While none of them are straight up scary, many of them are unsettling.

Home Safety Hotline

The game is also fully voiced, each phone call can be heard through the simulated fuzziness of a ’90s phone call with a bad connection. Obviously the fuzziness of the tech is played up for the aesthetic (or maybe my memory of the 90s is a bit rosy).

There are also no jumpscares in Home Safety Hotline, instead relying on unsettling narration and artwork to scare players. There’s a few startling sounds like when the phone rings, but nothing ever jumps out or yells at you.

One complaint I have is a bit meta, but I’m not a fan of the 100% Accuracy achievement for a few reasons. First, it’s impossible to go back and play individual days; second, you get interesting and scary calls back from your customers if you misidentify their problem. So if you want to hear someone get spirited away by moles or attacked by a boggart, you have to give up on the achievement for that playthrough.

Update: This review was written before the recent 1.1 patch which adds some Quality of Life changes like the ability to skip the call wait period for faster playthroughs.

Home Safety Hotline

At the end of the game, you’re treated to an artbook with commentary by developer Nick Lives which explains his thoughts behind Home Safety Hotline, it includes some background for the game (including his past employment at Evermore Park which I’ve always wanted to go to), and some raw artwork and designs of the monsters.

Ultimately, Home Safety Hotline is a fairly linear puzzle game but makes up for its depth of mechanics with its depth of lore. There’s a severe lack of whimsy in horror, and perhaps it’s just me but I feel that fairies, hags, and similar supernatural creatures haven’t yet been given a fair shake. This game is a lot of fun if you’re not an achievement hunter, otherwise you’ll end up playing it twice without really seeing any new content.

Home Safety Hotline was reviewed on Windows PC using a personal copy. Additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy can be found here


The Verdict: 9

The Good

  • Fully voiced
  • Whimsical monsters and concept
  • No jumpscares

The Bad

  • A bit short and straightforward
  • A lack of replayability contradicts the achievements
  • I'd like to know more about the mysterious caller


A basement-dwelling ogre, Brandon's a fan of indie games and slice of life anime. Has too many games and not enough time.

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