Did you know that every time you hid in a closet while you were playing Alien: Isolation or Amnesia, you were doing a little homage to Clock Tower? Sure, you might have been doing a little whimper or wee at the same time, but the act of hiding instead of hunting and killing is SO Clock Tower.
Sure, Clock Tower may not have been the first game to do hiding in a closet* but it’s a Running Away game with a long shadow and some folks of the PC persuasion may not be familiar with it. That may be about to change.
Night Cry is being pitched as a spiritual successor to the series and while it has been designed with mobile devices in mind, developers Nude Maker are planning a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for (and interest in) a PC version.
If it isn’t safe to assume knowledge of Clock Tower, it certainly isn’t safe to assume people know the name of the original game’s creator. His name is Hifumi Kono and he’s the CEO of Nude Maker. In an interview with Polygon, Kono discusses some details about the game, including the protagonist and seemingly inevitable scissor-wielding baddie, and explains that PC has always been the target.
“Early on, I was concerned about playing a horror game on a smaller screen. Maybe a tablet would be different, but still it’s not a big screen. So yeah, I always wanted to bring it to the bigger screen. But at the same time, I had to think about the budget. That was one of the main factors; I had to limit it in order to keep it independent.”
The mobile versions, including Vita, will be released even if the upcoming Kickstarter campaign fails but the as yet unknown crowdfunds will be necessary if the PC version is to see the light of day. Given its origins on mobile, it’s unlikely to be the prettiest game in existence, but as somebody who enjoyed the original (much more than the sequels, as it happens), I’m keen to see how Night Cry works out.
* leading professors of ludology have been involved in a bitter argument for decades as to the true original ‘hiding in a closet game’ – the Orthodox school claim that noted pigfancier Billy Higgin’s blockbuster entertainment ‘Hide & Dost Thou Go Seek’ pioneered the form in the early 12th century while Revisionists under the tutelage of Prof Timothy Joykill reckon ‘Hide & Seek’ is nothing more than a folk practice and ‘not-game’ that was only sufficiently formalised by Lord Feathery Bunsen, who reinvented it as the popular parlour game ‘Sardines’ during a Billionaires Blowout at his Manhattan suites in 1928. It is perhaps worth nothing that the first game of ‘Sardines’ morphed into the first game of ‘Murder in the Dark’ later that night when Lord Bunsen was discovered in Lady Bunsen’s wardrobe wrapped in the arms of the charwoman.