I only just realised, while mentioning the dev's next game, that we never posted about excellent indie horror game Mothered. Not to be confused with the unrelated Remothered games, it's the tale of a young girl returning home after surgery to find everything is weird and her mother is some sort of eerie mannequin. It might be my favourite horror game of 2021? Now's a good time to raise Mothered because: 1) it finally has a demo for newcomers; 2) for veterans, that demo actually hides a secret expansion continuing the game's story.
The first-person explore-o-adventure-a-horror launched last Christmas Eve, so we missed it at the time because we were all comatose on cocoa. And then... ? I don't know. Sorry, reader dear. I'll make up for it now.
Mothered puts us in the little body of Liani, a girl who comes home after serious surgery and, the blurb says, "is met with a strange mannequin claiming to be her mother." Across snippets of days joined up with timeskips, Liana explores the family home, spends time with Mother, tries to remember who she was, and tries to figure out what's going on.
The game drips unease and oddity, demonstrating great restraint as tension mounts. A very clever and careful game. It is an absolute joy to experience this slow-burning discomfort, especially after recently seeing too many PT knock-offs, trash jumpscares, and downright embarrassing 'mature' 'psychological' horrors. Mothered looks and sounds great too, with good mock-VHS effects, striking retro title cards and text and such, some perfectly unnerving sound and music, and... Mother. One specific section felt tedious at the time but as I look back, tch, overall Mothered is great. I'm still pleased every time it creeps back into my thoughts.
You can see for yourself through the demo which arrived as part of the latest Haunted PS1 Demo Disc at the end of August. I'm still working my way through those demos, so I might have more to point out later.
This demo contains the start of the game, unless it detects that you've already completed the full version of Mothered on your PC. In that case, it quietly transforms into a new experience (a fact which comes to my attention through YouTuber "supergreatfriend"). This hidden "DLC-quel", named Mothered: Home, continues the story with new strange and awful things to discover, and maybe hints at what's coming.
Mothered is the second game from (mostly) one-man dev Enigma Studio, following 2018's The Enigma Machine. The next will be Echostasis, launching later this year. They all seem connected in wonderful and terrible ways.