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Apartment Of Health: Lone Survivor

Does anyone remember Soul Brother, the side-scrolling extravaganza about suicidal animals? It wasn't as horrid as that description makes it sound but Lone Survivor, the next game from Superflat Games, may well be even more horrible than dead kittens. You will play the last human living human in a city filled with shambling skinless slaughter-men, seemingly safe in your derelict apartment but forced to leave in order to scavenge for dead rats to shove down your gullet in a desperate bid for survival as your fevered brain-thoughts splinter under the strain of living among the dead, and you are forced to digest samplings of unknown and potentially mind-shattering drugs to blot out the clotted claret hallways that now make up your waking life, replacing them with unsettling and unwhimsical hallucinations. Take a look.

Jasper Byrne, the man behind this sightly abomination, is prepping it for entry at the Independent Games Festival, which means we should hear more about it soon. What I do know is that there's a real emphasis on actual survival - eating, sleeping, not going completely insane - and talk of rotting fish and meat suggests that stockpiling will be an option, but not necessarily a successful one. Among the interesting aspects is the idea of the apartment itself: a safe haven, a storehouse and, judging by the world outside, one of the last bastions of sanity. Jasper describes it as a translation of the concept of 'nurture' into a game world, which is a grand idea. Having something to return to makes every step forward a step further away.

It's hard to keep track of all the features because the game has been in development for a good while and at one point was growing so complex, and as I understand so far from its original design document, that Jasper didn't know how to proceed. It's good to see something with so much potential at the end of the process and I'm eager for more.

Also, even though the trailer clearly shows the mask being placed over the nose and mouth, I spent a good while trying to work out why hiding from horrors was causing the little fellow to grin quite so much. Madness, thought I, sheer madness.

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