Dark Fear is a horror-themed adventure game with some light RPG mechanics which puts its best foot forward. While it has some jumpscares, the focus is less on scaring the player and more on exploring the strange and haunted lands the amnesiac protagonist finds himself in. The game definitely stumbles in its final act, but the journey makes up for the shortcomings which crop up near the end. (more…)
Well, The Witch’s House would have certainly fit this year’s haunted house Halloween theme, but better late than never! This game is filled to the brim with jumpscares, but that’s far from all it has to offer. With clever puzzles, some great atmosphere, and a wonderfully dark sense of humor mixed in with more legitimately disturbing moments, this is easily one of the better RPG Maker horror games out there. (more…)
Halloween may be over, but that isn’t going to stop me from writing about this clever and fun little platformer from the 2016 Horror Pixel Jam. Endless Rain is a game which is all about the traps. Pits, pressure plates, and evil eye monsters which disguise themselves as bloodstains near the ceiling are scattered around the protagonist’s path. You can actually survive a single hit from the eyes and a few hits from the projectiles the pressure plates usually trigger, but damage can add up fast and most hazards are instantly lethal. As a result, this is a game where players will need to proceed with caution, not just looking out for pressure plates, but also jumping upward to check the ceiling for eyes and interpreting bloodstains to determine which areas are safe. The game definitely has some rough spots likely related to the contest’s time limit, namely that the hitboxes for the eye enemies don’t quite line up with their sprites, which makes hitting them with your axe more difficult than it needs to be, and the crypt which the game takes place in doesn’t really look much like a crypt or any sort of building in particular outside of the few tombs scattered around it.
While I enjoyed the trap-oriented platforming, it is the final stretch which really won me over. For this final segment, players are chased back through the crypt by an invincible enemy and must think quickly and move precisely in order to avoid hazards while solving some clever platforming puzzles. I also greatly enjoyed the ending cutscene, which is worth playing through the game for on its own. Endless Rain could stand to benefit from a bit more polish in some areas if its developer one day decides to make a post-contest patch, but the current version holds up well enough and the few bumps along the way are a small price to pay for a clever short story and fun platforming.
DISTRAINT is one of the strongest examples of psychological horror done right which I have ever encountered in any medium. This modern day Faustian tale is a nightmarish ghost story without ghosts which chronicles the choices made by its protagonist, a young man named Price, and the consequences they contain for both himself and those around him. (more…)
DISTRAINT is in some ways an odd choice for the final game of Haunted House Week and in other ways a perfect fit. It is not about a specific haunted place nor are there even any actual ghosts, but the story very much revolves around locations. This is also easily the most graphic game I have written about to date on Indie Overlook and there are a good number of jumpscares jammed into its two hour duration. The protagonist, Price, works for McDade, Bruton, & Moore and it is his job to seize property. What follows is a psychological and surreal horror story centered around Price’s torment as he is torn between his guilt and his greed. Price is a complex and realistic character and the question of if he ultimately sells his soul for material gain or if he will seek out and find redemption is one where either possibility seems equally likely and will keep players invested and guessing until the very end. That’s all I will say for now though because on top of being the final game of this week, DISTRAINT will be receiving a full article tomorrow!