5 Nights At Shrek’s Hotel review | Short horror scare

5 Nights At Shrek’s Hotel review | Short horror scare
Shaun M Jooste

Shaun M Jooste

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5 Nights At Shrek’s Hotel is a free short horror demo of a game currently in development. The developer is RenderPi, releasing it to the network so that gamers can support his work. It puts you in a hotel where you stay for five nights.

The horror element mostly consists of jump scares and one moment of gore. You’ll only find some basic mechanics, such as running and interacting with objects. Read more below to see if it has enough suspense for the ultimate thriller experience.

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Welcome….to 5 Nights At Shrek’s Hotel

For the first part of my 5 Nights At Shrek’s Hotel review, I want to look at the story elements. It’s the only mode available; not that you have many choices when you start. Much like Silent Hill P.T., you’ll find yourself facing a door wondering what’s behind it.

5 Nights At Shrek's Hotel review

Why are you staying 5 nights at Shrek’s Hotel?

The story goes that you’re in a new town wanting to buy a house, but you don’t have enough funds to do so. It begs the question, why move in the first place if you haven’t bought a new home yet? Confusion aside, you arrive at Shrek’s Hotel because it’s affordable and you just need five nights to get your plans in place. You have no idea what you’re in for….

5 Nights At Shrek's Hotel review

Menial tasks and sleeping

The first night goes down without any issues. However, the second of the five nights at Shrek’s Hotel sees you helping the ogre with some tasks. He’ll ask you to move boxes and clean the toilet floor. As the nights progress, you can enter new rooms and find disturbing sights. It’s a small foreshadowing of things to come.

5 Nights At Shrek's Hotel review

Random items that mean nothing

You’ll also find some random items that don’t seem to mean anything. There are tall barrels with a sign not to touch, and I thought Donkey’s head mounted on the wall might eventually do something. While you might want to investigate the rooms in 5 Nights At Shrek’s Hotel, most are locked until you need to interact with them.

5 Nights At Shrek's Hotel review

Can you make it out alive?

The fifth night suddenly appears at the end when Shrek shows his true colors. He wants you to collect 40 onions within a minute while running around a new area in the hotel. When you die (and you will), you’ll respawn by Shrek at another attempt. The game finally ends abruptly once you have all the items, thanking you for playing 5 Nights At Shrek’s Hotel. 

How long to play 5 Nights At Shrek’s Hotel

It took me about 30 mins to complete 5 Nights At Shrek’s Hotel, as the final gauntlet with the onions caused me to die about five times. I tried to use my trick of the rat running through the maze, always turning left, and then always right. However, it takes memorizing how the passages run to beat it eventually. Speed runs can easily bring the game time down to under 20 mins.

Enjoy your stay for 5 Nights At Shrek’s Hotel

Now that you have the basic idea of how the short horror game works, it’s time to discuss the mechanics and movement. Bear with me as I share my thoughts on what I liked and what could have been better in 5 Nights At Shrek’s Hotel.

Working the actions out as you play

Since there’s no tutorial, you’ll have to rely on the on-screen instructions for what to do. For the most part, you’ll move around the halls and open doors. One frustrating element is that the doors don’t remain open, so you’ll need to keep reopening them. There are a lot of doors for such a small space.

5 Nights At Shrek's Hotel review

Interacting with objects

To progress in the game, you’ll need to interact with items in 5 Nights At Shrek’s Hotel. The developer makes sure you don’t touch objects at the wrong time. You can only engage with them when the on-screen prompt appears. It’s an excellent way to move the game along without wasting too much time.

5 Nights At Shrek's Hotel review

Running and turning corners

The movement isn’t as fluid as I’d like for a horror game like this. If running away from the monster ogre is required, the motion should be smoother and allow you to take corners more easily. I’m sure if this was real life, I wouldn’t move around a corner like a robot with death just a moment behind me. Fortunately, the run button does speed things up.

5 Nights At Shrek's Hotel review

Survival with no combat

I love horror games that have some element of combat. Sadly, 5 Nights At Shrek’s Hotel has none, and you’re only required to run from the demonic ogre at the end. There aren’t even puzzles to complete unless you include the maze of passages in the final level.

Other games like 5 Nights At Shrek’s Hotel

There are other horror titles that have similar survival elements to 5 Nights At Shrek’s Hotel. The top names include The House in the Woods, Poppy Playtime 2, and Mirror Forge. You’ll enjoy the puzzle elements more in these titles, but they’re also more horrific. 

Creepy atmosphere in 5 Nights At Shrek’s Hotel 

Horror games need to have the right mood from the sounds and visuals to set the tone. There are three elements I want to review for 5 Nights At Shrek’s Hotel, so let’s get into them.

Retro horror graphics

5 Nights At Shrek’s Hotel has retro horror graphics that brings back a sense of nostalgia. There’s a dark border around the screen, and many times your sight goes blurry. The grunge wall texture and some objects are excellent touches. However, some of the visuals don’t work so well.

For example, Shrek watches you from behind the reception desk whenever you’re in the room. The developer programmed the ogre’s head to follow your character’s movement; so, its head turns in all directions in an unnatural way.

5 Nights At Shrek's Hotel review

Spooky atmosphere and sound

When it comes to the sound and effects elements, 5 Nights At Shrek’s Hotel has various noises that make you worry about what’s around the corner. The atmosphere in the game is just right for the horror scene, building up momentum until you meet the ogre’s demonic side.

Gore and scares

There are two main visual horror aspects in 5 Nights At Shrek’s Hotel. There’s one moment of gore when you see a dead body on the floor. The second element relies on jump scares, which is when Shrek catches and kills you. It’s best to look away from the screen when this happens, as there are loads of flashing lights that are more annoying than horrifying.

5 Nights At Shrek's Hotel review

Final verdict of 5 Nights At Shrek’s Hotel

5 Nights At Shrek’s Hotel is a decent horror game that has a lot of potential. As it is now, it’s way too short and needs more puzzle elements. The menial tasks don’t count. There’s so much more the developer can do for the game, and he can take examples from titles like Mirror Forge. Still, I recommend you give it a try for a few minutes of fun.

In case you haven’t checked them out as yet, be sure to read my complete Mirror Forge and Poppy Playtime reviews. 

Mirror Forge preview | Intense horror game READ MORE
Poppy Playtime Chapter 2 review | Intense horror puzzle READ MORE


  • Excellent retro graphics
  • Creepy growls and sounds
  • Intense horror-action near the end


  • Moving around corners isn’t smooth enough
  • No real puzzles to engage the mind
  • Some visual elements don’t work too well
  • Gameplay is too short

Developer: RenderPi

Publisher: RenderPi

Game Modes: Story

Platform reviewed: Windows 11

Shaun M Jooste

Shaun M Jooste

I live in South Africa, Cape town, as a father of two children. I've been gaming almost all my life, with plenty of experience writing reviews and articles on the latest titles. With 15 years of experience in local government performing Facilities Management functions, I moved towards becoming CEO of my own company, Celenic Earth Publications, which serves to publish author's books, including my own. I'm a published author of horror and fantasy novels, while I also dabble in game and movie scriptwriting.

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