Game Boy-style visuals are too good at being creepy

The Game Boy is an icon of ’90s innocence. It’s a kid playing Tetris (1984) while sprawled across their bed. Or a bunch of kids trading Pokémon (1996) in the sun with a Game Link Cable. Nintendo’s original grey handheld is not typically a vessel for horror. But you try telling that to the people who participated in the fifth Game Boy Jam earlier this month. The challenge of the GBJam is to create a game with the small resolution and limited 4-color palette of the original Game Boy. That means there’s a bunch of green-and-black games ready for playing right now. Most are…

Hello Neighbor

An upcoming game about finding out your neighbor’s darkest secrets

You might be lucky enough to live in a lovely neighborhood, surrounded by friendly people who help one and another and come together during times of grief. However, even among these quite communities (perhaps especially so) there is that one person that always seems to be hiding something from everyone … something out of the ordinary. You might be too shy or too scared to ask them directly, but you can break into their house and investigate for yourself in Dynamic Pixel’s upcoming stealth-horror game Hello Neighbor. Hello Neighbor has been in the works for a little over a year but recently reached a good enough position that…

Five Nights At Freddy's: Sister Location

Five Nights At Freddy’s: Sister Location is a glorious return to cheap, nasty horror

One can only sympathize with Scott Cawthon. Once a struggling game-maker, he seems concerned that, just as unexpectedly as it arrived, his recent success might disappear. So he’s been working it while it’s hot—inside two years, he’s put out six different Five Nights at Freddy’s games. But 2, 3, and 4 were all poor. To keep his audience hooked, Cawthon introduced side characters, back stories, and vague, irrelevant mysteries. He created a lore. FNAF became turgid. And its original, wonderful premise and mechanics were drowned by arbitrary plot twists. The newly released Sister Location marks yet another chapter in the Freddy’s…


The Outlast 2 demo made me scream in front of my dad

Red Barrels Studio decided to suddenly release a demo for its upcoming survival-horror game Outlast 2 yesterday. It’s available now, for free, via Steam and the Xbox One and PlayStation Stores. And it’s scary as shit. Outlast 2—as you might have guessed by the name—is the sequel to the relatively successful Outlast (2013). It puts you in the role of Blake Langermann, a cameraman who, after wrecking with his wife Lynn in the Arizona desert, finds himself frantically evading a twisted religious cult. This sequel is set in the same universe as the first game, and still keeps its found footage-style of presentation (i.e. you’re…


Sundered’s eldritch horrors are terrifying and spectacular

Thunder Lotus’s debut title was one of giants and gods, bringing North mythology to hand-drawn life in Jotun (2015). It was a title about scale, your shieldmaiden Thora often small against the sprawling landscapes, colossal architecture, and raging behemoths. Each enemy felled felt like a titanic victory, a true David-versus-Goliath moment born from your own skills and tenacity. Now, the studio’s sophomore effort, Sundered, promises to transplants those incredible odds from the land of Yggdrasil and Jomugandr to a world of gothic horror and otherworldly evil. It’s due out in 2017 and, to mark the announcement, we have been bestowed a…


Smokestacks and metalwork: The industrial horror of videogames

In the most famous scene in Fritz Lang’s cinematic masterpiece Metropolis (1927), the protagonist, Freder, descends beneath the film’s urban dystopia to find a great network of machinery being tended by nameless, uniformed men. Steam columns, the clouds of this underground microcosm, rise and fall all around as the brass soundtrack mimics the percussive thronging of industrial noise. Freder wanders aimlessly through this metallic maze, looking onwards, terrified, at row upon row of men all operating levers in perfect automated symmetry. As the horns reach their background climax, an eruption of smoke and gas tears through the metalwork and throws…

Little Nightmares

Your childhood fears will come to life in Little Nightmares

As a kid, I was afraid of the dark. Afraid of the shadows that veiled the monsters that might swallow me. My imagination turned nighttime into a dizzying experience where I was constantly startled and petrified by every sudden shift of motion or shuffling sounds. I always hid underneath my blanket, afraid to face whatever loomed on the other side. Little Nightmares taps into these same childhood fears. This time around, though, the monsters are real. The shadows are perilous. And, it’s up to you and you alone to escape it. Playing as Six, the child heroine of the game, you…


Upcoming FMV game is set in a real decommissioned nuclear bunker

The Bunker is coming out this month, bringing with it what looks to be a fresh take on the full-motion video (FMV) game genre. It’s a psychological horror game that will have you assume the role of John, a boy born in a government bunker “the day the bombs fell,” July 3, 1986. Three decades later, all of John’s loved ones are dead, yet he continues his circadian rhythms and routines, following the rules of the titular bunker. When an alarm goes off, disrupting John’s daily routines and causing his mind to “self-destruct,” he begins to travel deeper into his home,…


How Resident Evil 7’s grossest monsters are made

Resident Evil 7 looks really gross. But, judging by the amount of work going into it, that may be the best compliment it can be given.   Speaking at the 2016 Computer Entertainment Developers Conference, people from Capcom working on Resident Evil 7 showed off some of the ways they’re using photogrammetry to create in-game assets including clothing, environments, characters, and, most interestingly, monsters and wounds. As reported by IGN Japan and Famitsu (translation via NeoGAF), numerous models were shown side-by-side with their in-game counterparts. capturing the mood of “various creepy areas” in Japan Photogrammetry works, put simply, by taking pictures…