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.

7 Comments

  1. mukuste says:

    Why so many horror games recently. Whyyyyyy. I’m just too much of a wuss these days to subject myself to these levels of adrenaline.

  2. padger says:

    Another great recommendation. Keep ’em coming, and I will play them instead of… doing actual work :/

  3. StranaMente says:

    Wait, there is an end to the game? I thought it was just one randomly generated corridor after another (hence the name)…

    • Konstantinos Dimopoulos says:

      Oh no, it’s far from endless. And the name does make sense.

  4. LTK says:

    SPOILERS HERE:

    I thought the ending made a misstep by freezing your character in place when the lights come on. With that thing after me I was hammering buttons to no effect. I would have preferred being given the option to run but with the thing inevitably catching you.

    • JimmyG says:

      Ah, I just came back to this post to make sure what I saw was the ending. It’s actually just what I was expecting, which made it a little disappointing. But hey — made it on my third try, and only got killed by bear-traps. :D

      I dunno if this helps or not, but I went up every staircase I came to when I beat it.

      • FadedEchos says:

        CONTINUED SPOILING OF COURSE: Same here, although on the playthrough when I found the end without getting beartrapped I only went up 2 or 3 times. Haha yeah that ending, I was mashing the arrow key too! Wish there was some way to find more backstory to the situation, loved the way the name fit though.

        Also the first time I saw it? The music and the thing appearing out of the darkness were just YIKES together. Especially considering my first two attempts I walked forever and never saw it before getting my ankles deleted by unforgiving metal teeth.