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Tag Archives: horror game

Games Created by Women: Blackwell’s Asylum

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Would you think you would be able to survive in a nineteenth century mental institution? What if, once admitted, you were sent to an asylum known as a place where no one ever left? What if the doctors were not only there to keep you from escaping but also to perform whatever atrocities on you that they wished?

Blackwell’s Asylum is a game that tests the abilities of the player to not only survive but also  to escape a terrifying asylum for the insane. Claudia Billie Stræde was the director of this game which started out as a project for the University she was attending. Blackwell’s Asylum was a multiple nominee. It also won Game of the Year and the Adventure/Roleplay category in the Intel Level Up 2011 Game Demo Contest. The game is also interesting becuase it was inspired by true events.

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Claudia was inspired by the written chronicle from Nellie Bly. Bly was a writer who had started her career as a young woman writing; “women’s columns.”  Bly wanted to write about more than cleaning and traveled to New York seeking opportunities. There she pitched the idea of going undercover at a mental hospital to expose what was really happening behind the closed doors of such institutions. For ten days she gained information and stories from other patients. Upon her release Bly wrote down everything in her six-part series called; Ten Days in a Mad-House. This work helped not only expose the crimes of the asylum but also gained more funding for public institutions to try to improve them.

The design of the game is interesting and unsettling. The player starts off, as Nellie, restrained as a doctor drugs them. The player then tries to escape. The coloring of the game is dark and it can make it difficult to determine where in the game the player is.  The effects of the drugs only aid in making the surroundings distorted and confusing.

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There are random shouts and other noises to make it difficult to focus. Blackwell’s Asylum does have a neat effect in which large circles like sonar when footsteps get closer to the player as they sneaking in the darkness. It is the only effect that helps the player with all the distortion. The character design is very well done. The sound effects also aid in the gameplay. 

Blackwell’s Asylum is an interesting first person game of escape.

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ALWAYS KEEP SPARKLING!

 

Review: Visage

Visage

Developer: SadSquare Studio
Publisher: SadSquare Studio
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Early Access Release: 10/2/2018
Expected Full Release: 2/2019

What’s it about?
Visage is an indie psychological horror game from SadSquare Studio. Funded by Kickstarter and Steam Greenlight, Visage is one of the many spiritual successors to Silent Hills P.T. 

Visage can be considered a haunted house game. You are exploring a rather old and large house, attempting to uncover the terrible things that have happened there. As the game is in early access, there is only one chapter available thus far.

What did I think?
After playing through the demo, which is currently available on steam, I can tell you that Visage is a phenomenal game so far. You can certainly tell that the developers have put a lot into this game and have used their Kickstarter funds wisely.

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This game gets intense very quickly. The opening scene can be triggering for some, so proceed with caution. After the jarring beginning, you find yourself in a giant house with almost no direction. You’re meant to explore, to find your own way, however there are tutorials on how to use necessary items.

Visage takes an excellent approach on managing your character’s sanity. You can do one of two things to keep yourself from going insane: take pills or stand in well lit places. The pills are easier to find than well lit places. You also have to find lighters, candles and lightbulbs to help manage your sanity levels.

The story of the first “Visage” is compelling, terrifying and sad. You are uncovering the story of the brutal death of a young girl without a jaw. But you need to be quick about it, or else she’ll kill you for snooping. Your only sign that she’s anywhere near you is her labored breathing.

There are some jump scares in the game, but my favorite thing about Visage are the fake outs. You can hear something and be absolutely certain that it’s right there, just inside the next room. You have no choice but to go in there, terrified. And, when you do, the noise stops and you’re alone. I love the build up of suspense, especially when it doesn’t end in a jump scare.

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Do I recommend it?
Oh, yes, I very much do. Visage is the first horror game to actually frighten me in years. It didn’t just make me jump or feel tense, it actually lingered with me long after I finished playing. I can’t wait to see what the final game looks like. For now, though, check it out on Steam and tell me what you think in the comments below!

Review: The Ritual on Weylyn Island

Dev. by: zemaGamez
Platform: PC
Release Date: Dec. 4, 2015

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This horror game came out just last month and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. The Ritual on Weylyn Island combines the idea of Slender: The Eight Pages with black magic rituals, creating a scary story of epic proportions.

What’s it about?
The Ritual on Weylyn Island follows Moira, a 22-year-old woman who travels to Blessed Island to help her remaining family members settle the death of their patriarch, her grandfather. When she arrives, however, the house is in ruins, with strange symbols on the walls in blood, and her family is nowhere to be found. Your goal is to find your twin sister, Rowena, and get off the island.

What did I think?
This game is absolutely terrifying. I would say it’s even worse than Slender: The Arrival and you all know how that game affected me. The mixture of a dread-inducing score, gut-wrenching graphics and horrifying whispers leaves you on the edge of your seat.

Instead of finding notes, you find tapes for a walkman you pick up in the beginning of the game. This is a nice change from finding notes in other horror games because you don’t have to read anything. You can continue to explore the area or meet your objective while the information you need is being told to you.

The story itself is interesting, too. It’s Moira’s goal to become close with her sister once more, but when Rowena is nowhere to be found, Moira has to brave the unknown to rescue her. Along the way, we get little snippets of what’s happening on the island with some jump scares peppered in.

Do I recommend it?
Oh, yes. If you liked being scared out of your wits, this is the game for you. The graphics are good, the story is interesting and the concept is very well done. You can find The Ritual on Weylyn Island on Steam.

Review: Until Dawn (2015)

Review: Until Dawn (2015)

Developer: Supermassive Games
Platform: Playstation 4
Genre: Horror

Okay, okay. I’ll admit it. I didn’t play this game because I don’t have a PS4. BUT! I watched a ton of gameplay on YouTube. Now, I will admit that watching someone play a horror game and actually playing it are two completely different things. That being said, please note that all of my comments are based on watching gameplay from YouTubers such as JackSepticEye and Markiplier.

What’s it about?
A group of friends go to a ski lodge owned by their friend Josh Washington exactly 1 year after the death of his sisters, Beth and Hannah. These friends are subjected to horror after horror almost immediately upon arrival. It is your goal, as the gamer, to keep all friends alive until the end of the game.

What did I think?
This game plays out like a horror movie. A group of friends go to a secluded cabin in the woods to drink and take part in all sorts of debauchery. Everything in this game is a horror cliche, but it’s fairly self-aware and actually scary in a lot of parts.

I really enjoy the graphics and the motion capture. I like that the characters look like their actors and it’s not just voice acting. I’m very impressed by how realistic it all looked.

Until Dawn is the kind of game with multiple endings, which I always love. You make decisions throughout the game that determine the outcome. Different decisions can kill off characters, cause you to overlook items or make you miss huge chunks of the story.

Watching the game being played felt a lot like watching a horror movie with commentary. It made me laugh, but, best of all, it made me jump. And cringe. Until Dawn is actually quite scary and incredibly fascinating. I tell you, if I had a PS4, I’d definitely buy this game.

Would I recommend it?
I can’t say much about what it’s like to actually play the game. According to JackSepticEye, it’s really fun and challenging to play. All I know is that it was fun to watch, so I’m going to say yes. I would recommend at least watching gameplay on YouTube. And if I ever get a PS4, I’ll buy the game and update you all if I change my mind.

-Vanri the Rogue