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Wake Into Dreams: Grave's Surrealist Horror

I’ve watched three videos of Grave. The first convinced me that the psychological horror game was precisely my cup of tea, with its shifting scenery and creepy sculptures. That’s the first video I’ve placed below and if you’re anything like me, you’ll probably see some promise in the potential trickery of the narrative voice. I’m reminded of Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, one of the great relatively unsung horror games. All three videos are below.

First up, here are the videos. Number one is described above, video number two is the Kickstarter pitch and it explains the workings of the game a little more. The final video is a GDC trailer, which gives the clearest impression of how the game might play in between the atmospheric narrative portions. It looks like a first-person Alan Wake, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but there’s more to Grave than that.

If I hadn’t seen the top one first, I would have assumed Grave had fallen from the same mould as 7 Days To Die and the like but I guess I would have been wrong. Stranger things have happened. Here’s what the Kickstarter page has to say about what the game actually involves:

Reinventing survival horror – The player can take action when frightening moments occur, but has to use strategy to find the right tool for the right job. This isn’t just about stockpiling or storing inventory items.

Light fights the darkness – Instead of guns or knives, your weapons are entirely light-based. Many of the creatures in Grave react to light, each in unique ways. Whether tossing a flashbang or igniting a puddle of gasoline, Grave presents many options for dealing with encounters.

Ever-changing world inspired by surrealist art – Not just a visual, the world changes and rearranges itself during play. Each passing night offers a change to the experience.

Full story progression – Not just a rogue-like or survival experience, Grave features a full story with multiple acts, strange characters and many unique elements taking advantage of the surreal setting

Colour me intrigued, which is a sort of turquoise with electric blue highlights. The Kickstarter has just under two weeks left to run and $19,000 to raise. The team have decent credentials and a detailed breakdown of their expected costs and expenditure should the Kickstarter succeed. The section on creature designs is also well worth a read, tapping into all manner of unpleasantness.

Oh, and there’s a demo!

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Adam Smith

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