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Icy Inuit Horror: Free Interactive Fiction Beneath Floes

Ice floe, nowhere to go.

I hadn’t heard of the Qalupalik, eerie human-like creatures from Inuit mythology who lurk near the edges of ice to snatch disobedient children away, until I played Beneath Floes. It’s a free Twine game with lovely illustrations and music about one person’s encounter with a Qalupalik – yours. It’s also about storytelling, and what stories mean as they’re passed on and retold to different people across years. It’s a mite spooky and unpleasant and cruel and warming and I’ll stop listing adjectives if you go play it. Better you read its words than mine.

You can play Beneath Floes in your browser for free or download it from Itch.io. Do play somewhere you can hear the sound, as it does add a lot to the mood. Hearing Gary a few desks over talking about his fungus (I assume this is what happens in offices?) might somewhat spoil it.

Beneath Floes made by writer Kevin Snow, who’s dabbled in folklore before with The Domovoi, with Patrick Bonaduce and Priscilla White. Also helping out were Pinnguaq, a studio from the chiefly Inuit area of Nunavut who are themselves making a first-person horror based on the Qalupalik.

A Kickstarter to fund Pinnguaq’s translation of Beneath Floes into Inuktitut has already reached its $600 goal.

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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