When I was younger I didn’t have a console or a very powerful PC, only the big chugging family one in the corner of one room. There weren’t many games for it either, just the ones my brother had left behind when he went to university (he kept the discs in big stacks on his desk, rather than in their cases, and remembering that today gives me palpitations). So I played a lot of Flash games, in particular room escape ones.
One night in ’04, while I was googling away for ones I hadn’t played before, I came across Exmortis, which is, granted, kind of an escape the room game (more accurately an escape the lonely house in the woods game). It is also a very creepy horror game, which I was not entirely prepared for.
It’s the first in a three part series by a guy called Ben Leffler. Exmortis was his first ever flash game, and I don’t know if he made more games beyond the Exmortis series, but he’d probably make a decent shake at a horror game today, if Exmortis is anything to go by.
In some respects it seems like pretty standard fare, now. Amnesiac protagonist wakes up alone, explores house, finds bath full of blood in the en suite, yadda yadda. But in other ways its actually a very intelligent game, especially in the sound design, which is genuinely excellent. I remember exactly the cadence of the demonic voices going “You must first remember!” when you click on the locked door of the basement, even 16 years later. All the more impressive ‘cos it’s someones first ever flash game. Coo! There’s even a twist ending.
For the moment, Exmortis is still up to play on Newgrounds, but we all know that Flash games are set to go the way of the dodo. Except! Exmortis is one of the thousands helped into the lifeboat that is Flashpoint launcher.