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Blink And You'll Miss It: Late Night Shop

Doctor Who’s Weeping Angels could have been designed with first-person horror gaming in mind. They’re the murderous bad-things that only move when you’re not looking at them, which not only creates nerve-shredding tension but allows for playful map design around line of sight and enemy placement. Late Night Shop [official site] scraps the angelic form and goes straight to clothing store mannequins. There’s a pre-alpha build available now, with optional VR support. The SCP-y enforced blinking is an excellent touch.

Pleasingly, developers Total Monkery understand that the concept isn’t just about jumpscares. The mannequins move slightly more slowly than the player character, so even if you turn your back on them and flee, you’ll be able to make your way through an area as long as you know which way to turn. Throw in some reality-shifting weirdness and planning your route ahead of time becomes slightly trickier, however, so you’ll probably want to resort to a sneaky approach, eyes fully peeled.

Rather than a one-tone shocker, Late Night Shop could become a first-person horror stealth-puzzler. That’s if development continues and that seems likely:

“Frederic [one of the creators] started the design for LNS as a very short, punchy game. Since then, we’ve discussed everything from that to a AAA masterpiece (anyone got a couple million?) and we’ve got some pretty solid ideas for scaling this and not making the mechanic too boring (or exhausting!). Also worth mentioning: LNS is going to get WEIRD. Think Primark as rendered by Dali. We’ve left a lot of the trippiest stuff out of the demo, but it is GOOD, especially in VR. We’re having fun trying to balance spatial weirdness with not being sick.

“But release date, and scope, is dependent upon funding. We’re looking at options at the moment – we’ll know where we are within a month.”

With this game being set in an alternate universe Primark and yesterday’s Allison Road being set in a quiet Manchester suburb, I fear that all possible horror scenarios are converging on my head. Primark is where I buy my socks.

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Adam Smith

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