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Freeware Garden: One After Another

This is as spoiler-free as a screenshot can get.

Looking for an incredibly short, but highly effective and beautiful horror game? Well, that’s lovely and you are in luck as one after another is the game for you.

This very first time I played this I was so deeply scared and startled within a minute, I almost skipped the game entirely. Happily, I didn’t and instead realized that this happened due to a) me being incredibly relaxed when playing the thing after midnight and b) a bug that couldn’t have been designed to be this unsettling. Admittedly one after another’s Ju-on feel helped a lot too, as did its abandoned, dark, pixelated and dangerous research facility setting.

This is where you wake up and the game begins; with you having just unshackled yourself and having no idea what’s happening, beside the definite knowledge that you simply must escape. That you must search the dark facility halls for hiding places, answers and above all a way out.

And so you start running. Your first death is probably a few moments away and it’s bound to be spooky, abrupt and very effective. Next time though you’ll be more careful. You’ll start making mental notes of good hiding places, being careful and making sure to avoid beartraps. You’ll start running away every time the music suggests a semi-naked murdery thing is coming your way and learn to evade it.

The horror of being chased through unexplored territory will always be there and running towards the unknown can be extremely tense. I mean, what if you run into a dead end with nowhere to hide? You die, that’s what.

And then you try beating this brilliantly atmospheric game once again, if only to see its smart and rather unexpected ending.

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Konstantinos Dimopoulos

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