Review: Welcome to Sand Hands

Goosebumps gets a bizarre twist, in a choice-baed game primarily written by predictive text keyboards trained on Give Yourself Goosebumps books. Welcome to Sand Hands is a bizarre and incoherent adventure, and that’s what makes it so good.

The story opens with you living with your cousin Zoe. You miss your school bus, and you can only get there if you take a trip through the Zombie Forest. There, you’ll run into magicians, dragons, talking dogs, and frogs, amongst other horrors. If you stay at home, you wind up as a deadbeat dad with two out-of-control vampire children; endings here involve you starting a successful slime business or going back in time. For the most part, the plot is incomprehensible, with stuff disappearing as fast as it’s brought up or changing for no reason. Besides some characters, the only real constant is that your hands turn into sand at one point, and remain as such unless you can cure it. Also, the narration is really mean to you. Most endings will comment on how stupid you are, and the game loves bashing and insulting your character as often as it can.

The utter randomness of the game is what makes it funny. You can end up in a government war with bird creatures, a ghost horse calls you Denny and tells you boring stories about gardening, a skateboard can strangle you for five hours, you can call yourself on a payphone, or the Annihilator of Lungs can kill you from out of nowhere. At its best, it’s an absolute joy to play through, and I was laughing out loud multiple times. Some quotes:

“Eat the fruit at the bottom before you’re covered in late,” your mom says as she hurries down the stairs. “You’re not too young to get the hook, you know?”
You’ve never seen the hook, but you know that’s a threat.

Sal the Bus Driver is standing right in front of your eyes. “I am going to disappear you, kid,” he says menacingly.
“Why?” you sputter. “I’m not completely sure.”
Sal gives you four hundred reasons – they’re pretty good.

First, you lose your ball. Now you’ve lost your cousin. Today has been a saltshaker of horrors — and you’re the salt!

I liked Welcome to Sand Hands. It may not be a puzzle-based game, or even tell a story that makes the slightest bit of sense, but that’s okay. It’s silly, it never lets up on its manic energy, and I saw most of the content there is with my playthroughs. Give it a try and see what ends up happening.





I ended up bouncing Zoe’s head like a basketball and getting sand in her eyes. Then the coach cut off my head. What a ride!

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