I generally interact with horror games through the medium of youtube. Sometimes I make ill-advised forays into actually loading a live game on my computer, but that generally ends with me retreating back to someone else playing – I like horror settings but don’t like being startled, and I really don’t like trying to detach myself from it enough to not be startled.
Stasis followed the opposite track. I started to watch someone play and became so engaged with the game that watching someone else play was intolerably frustrating. This is a point and click game with gorgeously bleak atmosphere and even more gorgeously bleak prose popping up whenever you mouse over things. The opening is absolutely perfect, so much that, as soon as I’d seen a few minutes of the game, I knew I’d recommend people play it just for that alone even if the rest didn’t live up to it.
…which, it turns out, is good, because the rest did not. I’d still strongly recommend checking it out, and if you’re good at just kind of coasting on lovely horrific atmosphere without getting caught up in putting things together the whole game might be fun, but if you hit a point it feels like it’s gotten bad, just quit, it’s not going to get better and you don’t really want the answers. You can also check out the demo instead – it doesn’t have quite the polish of the finished game, but it’s of the best section of the game. Definitely do one of those two things before continuing, because most of my complaints are the most spoilery parts of the game. (more…)