Talk about promo games normally make me think of high profile stuff like Carmen Sandiego invading Google Earth, so I've got to tip a weather-beaten stetson to IFC films for going low-fi with The Wind. They've tapped Airdorf, solo dev behind the Faith series of bible-quoting exorcise 'em ups to produce a short browser horror game based on their upcoming movie. It's only a few minutes long and playable in your browser here, but packs in some effective chills that have me interested in the film, so it did its job. If you'd rather just peek from behind the sofa, there's a trailer below.
Judging by the movie trailer (also on the game's page), the game tells an abridged version of the film's final act. After what is presumably meant to be a slightly tongue-in-cheek reference to The Oregon Trail, the game puts you in the shoes of the film's protagonist, Lizzy. She's a tough but ordinary plainswoman living out in the middle of Nowhereesville, USA who apparently is dealing with a potential bit of demonic haunting. It's good subject material for Airdorf, although Lizzy seems to solve most of her problems with a shotgun instead of holy faith. Doom-guy would approve.
I honestly wish it was a bit longer and left players more time to contemplate their isolation and the harsh pseudo-8-bit sound of the wind whipping past your house before getting into weirdness, but it feels a little bit churlish to criticise something so small. What surprises me is that it exists at all. While a few popular YouTube folks have streamed the Faith games before, they're still niche stuff, leading me to believe that someone at the film distributor has good taste in low-fi horror games.
Perhaps even the weirder fringes of games are becoming increasingly visible to the outside world. Let's not forget that Jeff Minter's Polybius was the centrepiece in a recent Nine Inch Nails music video. Bombastic action movie The Expendables went and tapped Free Lives to produce Broforce spin-off The Expendabros (which is still available free now). It's a given that people know about Sonic, Mario, Fortnite and Halo, but a world where ordinary folk could just casually chat about weird DOS-styled horror games lurking in dark corners on Itch? I could live with that future.
If you like what you saw in The Wind: The Game, then you'll probably want to check out Airdorf's Faith series on Itch, which are similar in style but longer and more open. The first game has a free version, and the second has a demo. The film hits US screens on April 5th.