Gods tend to be a bit on the quiet side. You can leave 'em a voice-mail, but it's rare enough that they'll ever answer back. For some of The Blackout Club's teen detectives, though, the gods have been quite vocal indeed. Question's co-op horror has a trick up its sleeve. The supernatural forces of 80s suburbia have been sliding into voice chat, turning spooky multiplayer adventures into a strange sort of participatory theatre.
For most folk, The Blackout Club is a tense four-player battle against an unseen foe. "The Shape", a beast that can only be seen with your eyes shut, has been roaming around robbing teens of their mortality. It's a solid wee game, one Nic Reuben was a fan of in his The Blackout Club review, but toggle one unassuming setting and there's a chance TBC will completely flip itself on its head.
Ordinarily, I'd baulk at the idea of a game asking to plug into my mic. Privacy is a concern, sure, but I also wouldn't subject anyone on the other end to the staggering volume of phat bass that rattles through this office. The Blackout Club, however, has an "Enhanced Horror" option that lets the dark gods of suburbia lurk in your chatroom.
Here are a few examples of players experiencing divine intervention in The Blackout Club. Spoilers, obvs.
"Horror" doesn't seem to apply equally to all of these gods, mind. Kicking off at the 2:50 mark, Laugh-last is quite the jovial lad, cracking wise with their victims through toilet humour and game-show gags.
Zapping players to the moon seems to be the go-to party trick for these rascals. It's looking particularly hellish here, mind, as one party found themselves pulled into a spat between two rival gods, Dance-for-us and The Hunter. It's quite neat seeing how the world and these gods interact, regularly teleporting players at whim, the blood sky pulsing as a devilishly evil god gives his best evil laugh a bash.
Laugh-last? Dance-for-us? In-her-teeth? God, these are some bloody good names.
With all this going on, The Blackout Club really ditches the co-op horror feel for full-on improv theatre. The acting is knowingly hammed-up but they're having a hell of a time, and the best clips come about when the streamers are earnestly leaning into on the bit.
Toggling on Enhanced Horror is no guarantee you'll get to try out your acting chops, mind. There are only so many actors - and if I had to guess, I'd reckon they're prioritising streamers to get the most bang for their buck.
If you want to try your luck though, The Blackout Club is currently 30% off on Steam at £16.65/€17.49/$20.99.