I didn’t think your average, everyday, common-all-garden hands bothered me at all. Not until I saw several scrunching up, pretending to be the eyes, nose and mouth of someone’s face in images from upcoming psychological horror card game Out Of Hands. See, Out Of Hands has a slight fixation on the ol’ phalanges. Witness for yourself in the trailer below.
Out Of Hands sprung from a 48-hour game jam held in 2021 that was themed around the concept of capture. Its prototype won Best Game and Best Creative Direction at the jam. The latest version of the game uses live-action footage of hands for the protagonist and most of the game’s items.
Your mission is to find your way back to reality by successfully dealing with negative emotions and repressed memories. These emotions include things such as panic and remorse, which you’ll have to guard against by using a pair of hands to defend against attacks aimed at your heart. You really have to see Out Of Hands in motion to get an idea of how unsettling its focus on that most grippy of appendages can be.
The game's style reminds me of Peter Gabriel music videos from the Eighties, and even somewhat of H.R. Giger’s imagery for classic adventure Dark Seed. Developer Zeyu Yang credited the inspiration for Out Of Hands to personal struggles as a solo dev and the resulting dissociation. All the various, creepy positions of the hands seem like an unnervingly effective way of putting that across.
Out Of Hands doesn’t have a release date within grasp yet. It’s coming to Steam when it’s out, and is lined up for a demo as part of Steam Next Fest in October. I’d say that’s when you can get your hands on it, but that would be very silly indeed.