A Twisted Family Tree: Albino Lullaby

Albino Lullaby [official site] could be 2015’s smartest horror game. In the trailer below, developers Ape Law set out their stall with three statements that I can’t help but read as a reaction against popular notions as to what horror is, or can be.

No blood. No gore. No Jump Scares.

This is fear that skitters across the nerves, plucking away like a delirious harpist rather than chopping down hard with a chainsaw. I’ve played the backer demo – read John’s thoughts about it – and found it utterly compelling. Deeply macabre, oddly funny and strikingly original.

My favourite thing about the demo was the tonal uncertainty. Rather than being pure terror, or adrenaline-pumping tension, Albino Lullaby is packed with odd little jokes alongside unnerving suggestions and grotesque realisations. The world is confusing – having elements of Victorian gothic and steampunk alongside its abattoir parlours – but there’s a thread of internal logic running through.

I felt as if I was feeling around the edge of understanding and was almost certain that making sense of events would be devastating. I want to know how the story ends because it’s fascinating, but there are horrors hiding between the lines.

There are stealth sections, although they’re presented and played in an unusual fashion, but the demo is mostly about exploring. $9.99 gets you the first episode (of three) when it’s released this spring, and instant access to the demo. There’s a Season Bundle, with all three episodes for $24.99.

From this site

8 Comments

  1. lordcooper says:

    Isn’t a demo the bit you traditionally get before paying?

    • Tacroy says:

      Think of it more like a content limited preorder only beta; hopefully it’ll get upgraded into a demo after release.

  2. Kefren says:

    Mosquito song, libido tune.

  3. The_invalid says:

    Hm, would like to see a bit more of the actual gameplay. The visual style and soundtrack remind me strongly of stuff like Invader Zim and We Are The Strange, which is great, but doesn’t really make for, in my opinion, effective horror. Certainly not ruling out that the actual game could provide a lot more in terms of creep factor than the trailer let on, but I’m yet to be convinced.

  4. Durandir says:

    The visuals kinda reminds me of “9: The Last Resort”.
    Might have to check this out. I hate jump scares, but I like horror in other settings. Books mostly. Maybe this can scratch the same kind of itch.

  5. cloudnein says:

    “Jump Scares” as a proper noun == sad state of horror gaming.

    link to en.wikipedia.org

    • cloudnein says:

      Correction…proper name. Learn something new every day, that’s RPS’s contribution to my life.

      • April March says:

        I hate Jump Scares, but in The World After TV Tropes, Everything Is A Proper Noun Now.