Posts Tagged ‘Horror’

Freeware Garden: It Moves

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on September 18th, 2014.

It's pretty static in screenshots, but, yes, it does indeed move.

It Moves is a horror game made in RPG Maker and hence comes with some traditionally cute character sprites and a top-down perspective. Yes, I’m quite aware of the fact that this doesn’t sound terribly exciting, but please do trust me when I say that It Moves is one of the few games to understand how atmospheric horror works.

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Unreal Estate: Kraven Manor

By Adam Smith on September 15th, 2014.

Kraven Manor is a first-person horror adventure, in which the titular building is the central puzzle. I first played it when the prototype was released for free last summer and, peering back at my words, I see that the main thing I complained about was the length. The brevity affected the pacing, not leaving quite enough space for suspense to build to exquisitely dreadful levels. A loud ‘hurrah’ then for the upcoming commercial release, which will be with us on September 26th. The central conceit lies in a scale model of the manor. As the player explores, new parts are located and can be added, causing rooms to appear in the ‘real’ manor. Trailer below.

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Five Nights At Freddy’s Looks Creepier Than Knotweed

By John Walker on August 21st, 2014.

I almost don’t want to know what Five Nights At Freddy’s really is. I feel like it can never live up to the bemusing insanity of its in-game trailer. A trailer that made an actual l come ol from my mouth at the end.

Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza is some sort of grotesque cut-price Chuck E Cheese, where the kids are entertained by animatronic life-size puppets of Freddy the bear and his robot friends. And, well, at night time they seem to come to life. You’re hired as an overnight security guard to… do something about it? Prepare to NOPE.

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Shocks To The System: Solarix Interview

By Adam Smith on August 7th, 2014.

Solarix has all the makings of a Kickstarter success story in the making. A first-person psychological survival horror game set in a decaying science fiction setting, it draws its inspiration from System Shock and Thief. John and Alec have already cast their eyes over the game, but as I awoke this morning from uneasy dreams, I found myself transformed, at my desk, into a fervent supporter of sci-fi terror. Imagine the very real horror I felt when I noticed that the Kickstarter is just over 24 hours away from completion, with £7,000 left to raise before it reaches its target. I contacted the developers to find out more.

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The Wicked And The Weird: Darkwood Impressions

By Adam Smith on July 25th, 2014.

I’ve been looking forward to Darkwood for a long time. It’s a top-down survival horror game with crafting elements, but early videos contained a hint of surrealism that helped the game to stand out from the crowd. Now that it has launched in Early Access, I’ve spent an hour exploring the early stages. It’s a slow-paced Teleglitch, a survival horror game by way of Ice-Pick Lodge and Stalker. A few interface issues aside, it lives up to expectations in grand style. There are some spoilers for the prologue section below and I reckon it’s worth going in completely cold, but fear not – I’ll provide a second spoiler warning before going into detail.

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Sleeping Sickness: BioWare Tease Horror Game

By Adam Smith on July 25th, 2014.

A teaser trailer, released without a great deal of context via what appears to be a viral marketing campaign. Not the sort of thing I’d normally bother you all with but what little context there is does capture the imagination. First of all, it’s a BioWare teaser and it doesn’t look like part of an established series, unless it’s a very peculiar Jade Empire reboot. Second point of interest is that it looks like it might be marketing for a horror game about a man wearing a hoodie, which places it in an established genre. Edit: Could these nightmares be the first hint of the Failbetter/BioWare collaboration? Delicious.

The main draw is the tagline though – “What really happens when we sleep?” I posed the question to the RPS newsroom. Answers and video below.

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Devil’s In The Draw Distance: Into The Gloom

By Adam Smith on July 21st, 2014.

Gloom is a fantastic word, too often ignored in the gaming world because a certain FPS takes all the ‘oom’ attention. Loom deserves some of the ‘oom’ love, of course, and perhaps a little should be spared for Into The Gloom as well. It’s a first-person horror game with puzzles to solve and darkness to flee from, and it has the sort of old-fashioned grayscale (+red) graphics that will cause some observers to roll their eyes in exasperation. There’s a reason for the style though – and it’s not just the lack of a huge art team. The gloom uses a short draw distance and simplistic visuals to conceal…something.

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Wolf This Down: Darkwood’s Interactive Trailer

By Adam Smith on July 18th, 2014.

Darkwood is a shining light in the coming night. Leading ludotechnicians now agree that by the year 2018, every game will be either a roguelike Metroidvania, an Ubi-style open world murder simulator, or a survival-based endurance test in the style of Day Z. Acid Wizard’s first title straddles these genres, being described as “a top-down, open world surreal horror experience with a randomized world”, but it manages to look entirely different to anything else out there. A new trailer, with slight interactive elements, demonstrates the appeal of the unusual setting and its uncanny inhabitants.

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A Lunatic Notion: The Moon Sliver

By Adam Smith on June 9th, 2014.

I fear a future in which all horror games consist of rooms randomly jumbled together, with the occasional ghost or scary face hiding in the shadows. The Hat Man: Shadow Ward, which recently popped up on Steam, seems like a prime example of the type – take an urban legend, drop it into a dingy spaghetti junction of criss-crossing corridors, and wait for somebody to provide a soundtrack of screams and yelps on Youtube. I’m drawn to The Moon Sliver precisely because it isn’t built around that formula. It’s a first-person exploration-based game, with a narrative that emerges in fragments as the player interacts with objects and wanders through the world.

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Canny Valley: The Vanishing Of Ethan Carter

By Adam Smith on June 5th, 2014.

The Vanishing Of Ethan Carter is a weird horror game from The Astronauts, a team comprised of Bulletstorm veterans. Until now, very little of the game has been revealed and the latest trailer only moves the veil a couple of inches. We know that Ethan Carter is a boy and that he has vanished. We know that the player character is the preposterously named Paul Prospero, an occult detective, and we know that the story takes place in Red Creek Valley. The location, as you may remember, has been created using clever-clogs scanning techniques. We’ve seen gifs but the new video shows the scenery in action. Being scenery, it’s not doing anything particularly dynamic, it’s just sort of being there and looking pretty.

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Wot I Think: Among The Sleep

By Adam Smith on May 29th, 2014.

Furniture seems to snarl and rear in the shadows, shifting uncannily. The hum of a fridge is the growl of a nightmare creature, all shadow and spite, and every door handle is farther away than even tippy-toes can reach. Among The Sleep begins with the promise of a waking nightmare, of familiar things corrupted and seen from a new perspective. It begins as a game about a frightened child in a house at night but like many childhood fears, the illusion doesn’t last. Here’s wot I think.

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Dreamtime: Among The Sleep Awakens May 29th

By Adam Smith on May 22nd, 2014.

Youngsters enjoy staying up way past their bedtime, as if the world might become somehow more magical when the lights go out. That’s why the adults want to keep it to themselves. They’re right of course – after 9pm life is a series of bawdy music hall routines, bourbon and romantic riverboat liasons. Occasionally bedtime is a safe time though. Toddler terror simulator Among The Sleep has been hibernating beneath the blankets for quite some time but a new trailer has just arrived with a release date attached. And, as the headline suggests, that release date isn’t far away at all. The game will be available on May 29th, across the three major platforms – Windows, Mac and Linux.

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Hands On: Among The Sleep

By Adam Smith on May 21st, 2014.

During a recent trip to Oslo, I found two members of Krillbite working in the same office space as Red Thread Games. Before sitting down with Dreamfall Chapters, I spent a couple of hours in the company of a teddy bear, sucking my thumb in the dark. Among The Sleep is creepy, as I’d expected, but there are hints of something far darker than night terrors in its shattered domestic spaces.

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