Slender Delivers Scares From Internet’s Darkest Depths

By Nathan Grayson on July 4th, 2012 at 10:00 am.

Just don't look behind you. Or to the sides. Or anywhere, really.

When going about my day-to-day business, I like to maintain a healthy level of heart-rate-skyrocketing paranoia. So naturally, I find myself glancing over my shoulder a fair bit when I’m out and about, and it’s quiet – too quiet. Slender, I think, is a pretty good validation of all my greatest fears. It’s based on Something Awful’s Slender Man myth (which I confess to having known nothing about until now), but ends up feeling a bit like Amnesia – dread-inducing use of complete darkness and all – but in an open forest with one hyper-spooky thing constantly Right Behind You.

For the most part, it works well, too. My first couple minutes were a bit aimless, but after I started stumbling across panic-stricken scrawlings about the Slender Man’s delightful hobbies (leisurely strolls through nightmare forests, leisurely strolls through nightmares, stealing souls, etc), things began to pick up. I didn’t actually see him until about ten minutes in, but that made it all the creepier. He was just standing off in the distance, staring straight back at me. But the game makes it abundantly clear that staring back for more than a few seconds will kill you, so I immediately took off sprinting in the opposite direction – my character’s ragged breathing and pounding heart serving as the soundtrack to my hasty retreat.

After that, Slender turned into a back-and-forth battle between my brain and my eyes. “Something just moved over by that tree! I’m sure of it! Oh god, it’s all over.” “No, no, calm down. You’re just seeing things.” “Well duh, I’m seeing things. I’m a pair of eyes. That is literally all I’m capable of doing.” And so on. The Slender Man just sort of appeared in places, though – I never caught him in the act of movement – making it all the more terrifying. So unnatural and unpredictable.

Eventually, I emerged from some kind of public bathroom facility, briefly turned to look back, and then he was right in front of me. I definitely yelped, only it sounded more like “Eeeeeeeeeek.” Then there were a bunch of ghastly noises and that was game over. So Slender’s definitely a one-trick pony (with disgusting elongated limbs), but it’s a fairly decent trick. Give the free beta a go here and gain an exciting new thing to constantly glance over your shoulder in fear of.

Or, if you need more convincing, here’s a quick trailer.

Thanks, Indie Games.

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50 Comments »

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  1. CaptainHairy says:

    The dropbox link has been 509’d, and the hosting at the dev’s site is down because traffic. A good sign?

    • Godwhacker says:

      Well, it’s also been linked by Eurogamer, so probably. Anyone got a working mirror link? Is RPS prepared to perhaps host one?

  2. phelix says:

    Slender’s my favourite mystery/horror creature in that he/it scares me most. Gotta check this out. Or not.

    • max pain says:

      What happens when two Slendermen see each other?

      • Legion23 says:

        Staring contest.

      • JThomasAlbert says:

        All Slendermen are protrusions into our dimension of a single pan-dimensional being.

        So it would be like you staring at one of your own fingers or toes.

      • Muzman says:

        You know the cat/toast paradox? It’s a bit like that. They circle strafe each other infinitely since they have to stay mainly in peripheral vision.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    Yeah, right. Because losing the ability to sleep for the next few weeks would be really cool.

  4. Jamie Dewhirst says:

    Youtuber PewDiePie has been playing this recently, his reactions are hilarious.

    I’m not quite sure I have the balls to try it myself, it looks terrifying. Amnesia was enough for me.

    Edit – Oh, and if you enjoy the whole Slender Man mythos, the excellent Blair Witch style video series is well worth a watch, incredibly creepy in parts. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wmhfn3mgWUI

    • Premium User Badge

      stahlwerk says:

      After watching the first 30 seconds of this video I can say: thanks, but no thanks.

    • JM88 says:

      @Jamie thought of him when I saw this article, the slender video was the scariest in a long time :D

    • tlarn says:

      Someone making silly voices and taking the attention away from the game, along with over-the-top scare reactions.

      Yeah, no.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Lessing says:

    You know what’s also weird, that fact that I knew nothing of this mythos until TWO DAYS AGO when I read a Reddit thread on creepy things kids have said (seriously creepy) which somehow led to me reading all about the slender man on knowyourmeme and the history of it’s inception on Something Awful. I read many pages and links on it, and now this turns up…

    *runs away*

  6. Zanchito says:

    Obligatory reference to the SCP and related Youtube videos. It’s scary even when you’re not playing.

  7. fiddlesticks says:

    I can’t help but feel that the Slender Man would be a lot scarier if he didn’t look like Jack Skellington’s mentally challenged cousin. The game in question looks pretty neat though.

    • Davie says:

      I guess this means you haven’t seen the more…interesting depictions of him. In many versions of the story he slowly becomes less and less human while still hitting every possible point in the uncanny valley. My favorite are the images where he’s sprouted long, thing tendrils from his shoulders and is walking on them like a spider.

  8. knofc says:

    If you like the slenderman mythos, try watching the Marble Hornets series on YT:http://www.youtube.com/user/marblehornets?feature=results_main

    It’s a fan made series, documentary/found footage style, and very good!

    • FataMorganaPseudonym says:

      In addition to Marble Hornets, there’s also EverymanHYBRID and TribeTwelve. These are considered the Big Three web series based on the Slender Man. There are plenty of other lesser known vlogs, blogs, and other such things based on the mythos though.

  9. Hulk Handsome says:

    What this game needs is something to tell you when you’re close to paper so you don’t wander around aimlessly for ages getting bored instead of scared. Like, static that gets louder when you’re close.

    Combine that with random paper (or structure) placement, and you got something good.

  10. MistyMike says:

    Something Awful are a bunch of obnoxious teens who amuse themselves all day with porn, retarded ‘memes’ and ‘scary’ things such as this. The intenet’s worst.

    • Premium User Badge

      HopperUK says:

      It’s possible that was once true, but not these days. It’s a big, diverse community of all ages that only occasionally amuses itself with porn and memes.

    • Bugg says:

      Hey now, some of us obnoxious idiots are in our 20s and 30s.

    • Apples says:

      Maybe if you timetravel back a few years or only stay in GBS and PYF, but even GBS is now pretty much taken up by political discussion, doomsaying and serious discussion rather than “photoshop this poster of a dog!!!” like it used to be.

      Which is a good thing, I think! But yeah you’re thinking of reddit and 4chan there, not SA, probably. (Although it still has its bouts of dumbassery, like book barn being all fantasy novels, comic books being ‘art’ while games aren’t, and mods making new forums specifically to mock the now-E/N’d feminist thread)

    • ThatGuy says:

      You have somehow managed to confuse SA with both Reddit and 4chan. Good work.

    • MuscleHorse says:

      Urm. You’re either confused with another site or trolling. On the meme point alone, in most cases you’re banned on the spot for quoting a catchphrase/posting a picture of a meme. They keep that shit outside militantly.

    • FataMorganaPseudonym says:

      The internet’s worst, you say? You’ve obviously not heard of 4chan, then.

    • MistyMike says:

      Oh my, sorry folks, looks like what I meant was in fact 4chan. Sorry SA. Silly me!

  11. Syra says:

    Is he just saladfingers?

  12. misterT0AST says:

    Don’t miss the sequel: “Man”.

  13. Shakes999 says:

    Game has a ton of potential. The atmosphere is great and it is rather chilling when you see him for the first time and haul ass outta that general area.

    That being said, it still has a ways to go. Stops being creepy after the first 2-3 times you see him and its more of a chore to find the peices of paper. Then again, this is a beta so itll be fun to see what gets added.

  14. S Jay says:

    I had the impression I died for no reason…

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    Scandalon says:

    So…just go to sleep until daylight, and you’re fine?

  16. tlarn says:

    Anyone else feel like Slenderman’s not quite slender and tall enough in this game? Just looks like a mannequin.

  17. enjoiThhomas says:

    A game with the creature who re-ignited my childhood fear of the dark and gave me a slight paranoia when outside in the evening? Why not …

  18. Hedenius says:

    This looks like it might actually be a bit unnerving. An Amnesia-like game in a modern setting without the arcane/esoteric gothic bullshit would be excellent.

    I played through Amnesia today. I enjoyed the general feel and rythm of the game. The length, about 6 hours, was perfect. Most puzzles were nicely designed and I never felt like I was stuck or didn’t know where to go. But the lovecraftian/gothic setting has never terrified me. The enemies could have been more interesting, and I always had a lot of oil/tindersticks/health potions which eliminated a lot of the suspense. It’s a shame the ending was so awful as well.

    Maybe I should give Penumbra a try. What do the hivemind think?

    • veldurak says:

      Penumbra is a wonderful game. I liked the modern setting and thought Black Plague was scarier then Amnesia. In Amnesia, if a monster came you could just wait until the scary noises went away and then you knew you were safe. Penumbra? NOPE.

  19. JThomasAlbert says:

    This won’t run on my machine. :(

    Granted, it’s not exactly a top-of-the-line box. It’s 5 years old with an AMD Athlon 64+ 3000 processor, Nvidia GeForce 7600 GS graphics card, 2GB DDR SDRAM and WIndows XP.

    I’ve tried running it in a window and running it full screen at various resolutions and performance levels, but the screen always goes black after the company logo and the program becomes non responsive.

    Does anyone know the system requirements and/or where I could find some help getting it running?

  20. Inglourious Badger says:

    Oh god, I can’t believe I let you talk me into playing this. Especially NOW, just before bedtime. I’m actually a bit shaky! I know the smart thing to do is keep playing until it’s no longer scary but the noises are too much! I think I’ll just hope I forget allll about it in time. Why did the key to success have to be not looking at him, now I keep wanting to turn round and check he’s not behind me in my room.

    Damn you RPS/Slenderman!

  21. Premium User Badge

    MajorManiac says:

    If he is tall, thin and wants people to look at him. He should just become a fashion model. Would save him allot of time.

    Also, don’t think I’ll ever play this. Just got used to the dark again after watching Grave Encounters.

  22. Alloflifedecays says:

    Holy shit. I’ve been an active member of the whole community around the Slender Man since back when the blogs were first springing up, and this is basically exactly the game I’ve wanted all that time. This is awesome.

    *That said, I hope it’s released free – the whole community is kinda built around just sharing cool scary shit, and it always seemed to me like not making in widely available kinds defeats the object of the exercise. Christ, I worked on blogs for a year and a half all in the name of free fiction.

  23. Geen says:

    Well. There goes my ability to have a peaceful, nice, nap. Thanks guys. :|

  24. ekuurh says:

    Oh gosh.
    I’m not getting any sleep now, am I?