Chasing Static is both the name of this lo-fi Welsh horror story and also an accurate description of me attempting to track down a post about it on RPS. Someone's written about it. I just know it. Oh no, we've just mentioned it several times in a roundabout way. Well, I've finally pinned it down—chased the clues and cornered it now that it's launched and I can tell you a thing or two about it. Chasing Static is a swell and spooky story so far with a good chunk of classic horror game puzzling and just a bit of sudden scares. Come on and have a quick look.
"In the dead of night a fierce storm rages across North Wales," say Headware Games. "Miles from any town, Chris Selwood seeks refuge in a remote roadside café. Shortly thereafter Chris experiences a horrific sight as he finds the café waitress pinned to the ceiling by something with fierce glowing eyes, he passes out waking up to the dusty old abandoned remains of the café."
That is indeed part of how Chasing Static starts. It also starts with the death of Chris's father, who was involved with something called The Institute, according to a mysterious diary he left behind. If I know anything about institutions, it's that the mundane ones get acronyms and the ones that are definitely up to something spooky just get called Institute. Sure enough, there's something paranormal going on in a mysterious bunker outside a rural town called Hearth.
Naturally Chris is stuck right in the middle of it all when the spooks start doing their thing. In order to get around, there's a good bit of classic horror puzzling to do. Find fuses to get the lights back on. Padlocked chain gates are in the bunker. You've got inventory items like screwdrivers and lighters which leater reveal their usefulness in some other situation. You save the game by taking a photo of your surroundings with an instant camera, which I quite like. It's got shades of Resident Evil and other horror puzzles of yore, without the guns and munching on herbs survival bits. Not that I've seen so far, anyhow.
Aside from all that, it's got that fun lo-fi look that originally got its demo into the Haunted PS1 demo disc from February. It's also got some nice voice acting too.
I've only gotten about 30 minutes into Chasing Static myself on this here Friday workday. At a total expected playtime of about two hours, according to its developer, I'm looking forward to getting in the propper spooky spirit by finishing it this weekend.
You can find Chasing Static yourself over on Steam where it's currently 15% off for £9.68/$12.74 until October 21.