So, there’s this boy, and his friend thinks he needs a date for the prom! You’re challenged to find three likely girls, then pick one to actually ask out. While you’re at it, you can explore the school, listen to kids’ hopes and fears as the days pass, and help some idiot who thinks haunted houses are a prank.
Also, it’s secretly a horror game.
That casts an interesting pall over things – does any of the idle chatter foreshadow later disaster? That elevator you can’t use without a key… The fire extinguishers set at regular intervals… Talk of chemistry lab dangers and safety equipment… Does it mean anything how people keep talking about books? Does it mean anything how when your friend’s dialogue is specific gameplay advice in colored text,it goes red? (more…)
Here’s the story of Shadow of Mordor – You are a ranger guy. Orcs kill your wife and son, then you, in a ritual designed to bind a dead elf’s spirit to your corpse. It works. You resurrect with bonus ghost powers, like ghost arrows and ghost teleporting between ghost buildings and ghost respawning after being killed so you can never really die, in a clever melding of videogame and story.
You proceed to gruesomely murder your way through your surroundings. (more…)
Long ago, when I was very young and the syfy channel was spelled based on what a shortening of “science fiction” could be expected to produce, I watched some Twilight Zone episodes that horrified me and left me with the lasting impression that the show was all terrible things happening to people. These are probably far less upsetting if you’re not seven, but they’re still pretty haunting ideas. Enjoy!
The Magnus Archivesare the audio recordings of various testimonies given to a paranormal research institute, featuring all sorts of random spookiness that slowly weaves together into an overarching narrative. The Black Tapesare that, if you like your narrators to be incompetent idiots who can’t do basic research and your paranormal to stick slavishly to the supposedly plausible pseudoscience of people who think ghosts are real and also boring as fuck. (more…)
Back in my lab, it felt a little creepy to be working by candlelight. Intellectually, I knew that it was still full daylight outside, but last night had brought out the instinctive fear of the dark that is a part of being human.
Intellectually, working by candlelight makes you go blind. (more…)
Little Nightmares is a gorgeously done game. You play as a barefoot, starving scrap of a child in a world that’s warped and wrong, and malevolent and crushingly empty by turns. But despite the meathooks and monsters, despite the all around horror setting, the game itself isn’t especially scary, which I found interesting. (more…)
All hospital emergency rooms have the same feel to them. They’re all decorated in the same dull, muted tones and softened edges, which are meant to be comforting and aren’t. They all have the same smell too: one part tangy antiseptics, one part cool dispassion, one part anxiety, and one part naked fear.
This feels like one of those situations where the author’s flunking out on the whole “write what you know” thing and resorting to cliche. (more…)