Submitted for your approval, one Claire Barnes, who, through either chance or the mysterious machinations of fate is about to discover what kind of horrors lurk in the darkness of a deserted road.
As she travels into to night, we will accompany her on her journey. It is a journey of both distance and of the mind, a journey that will take Claire Barnes into the unexpected realm of what resembles, but is legally distinct, from the Twilight Zone.
Despite the fact that I can only play horror games in ten minute sessions before having to finding a soft kitten to squeeze, nevertheless I’ve always been a fan of them. Not just the triple A high production ones either – every few weeks I’ll delve into the depths of Itch.io to see what recycled assets have been cobbled together in Unity to make me jump.
Why yes, I have always wanted to play a game about being an cantankerous goose – how kind of you to notice.
Late last year I wrote about Clone Drone In The Danger Zone, a short but already extremely enjoyable demo about robots clashing in ferocious gladiatorial combat. Since then, the developer Erik Rydeman has been discussing recent additions that have dragged me excitedly back in.
The biggest problem faced by Early Access indie developers in 2017 is money. Weighed down by the heavy burden of having vast amounts of expendable cash, many indie developers are forced to slow and in some cases even stop the development of their games altogether.
With horrendous memories of 2016 still fresh in our minds, I thought I’d start 2017 off on a more positive note by highlighting a little interactive Twine adventure that made me smile.
I love mods. Always have, always will. I get so happy when people take amazing games and make them even better, whether it’s new characters, new locations or complete overhauls I just can’t get enough of them Modding is the very reason that I love the PC so much, despite the fact that it’s also the reason I have to re-install my games every few weeks after completely breaking them. This week though, I’ve found something amazing. Something so completely fantastic…
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Now I’ve got nothing against modding – I applaud when fans of PC gaming go that extra mile and tweak games that are often already good into something truly fantastic. New characters, new weapons, new locations – there’s almost nothing that modders can’t do given enough time and motivation. I’ve flown the Tardis across the wastelands of Fallout: New Vegas, I’ve driven the Batmobile through Liberty City and played GTA5 as a police officer. Modding is the very reason that I champion the PC as the platform of choice for gamers, and it’s usually the reason I have to re-install my games every few weeks after completely breaking them.
Sometimes however, I do have to draw the line. There are occasions when I’ve had to hold up my hand and say ‘no, you cannot mod that into a game. It’s sick, it’s offensive, and above all else, it’s just wrong.’
I don’t ask for much in life, but if you gave me the option I’d probably ask for robots and swords. Probably some other stuff as well (like world peace and an end to hunger), but mainly robots and swords.
Rather conveniently, Doborog Games’ Clone Drone in the Danger Zone offers both; a third person arena-combat game featuring human minds in robot bodies facing off against robot minds in equally robotic bodies.
Sierra adventure games had many flaws – the unpredictable parser that required instructions to be written ‘just so’, the unexpected and seemingly unavoidable deaths, the genuinely insane puzzle logic and not to mention the fact that it was frequently possible to die on the very last screen of the game because you forgot to pick up some innocuous-looking item right at the start of the game.
I was actually quite late to jump on the Hitman bandwagon. The new one, that is. I’ve played and loved all previous installments of the series, but the news that Hitman 6 (or Hitman(TM) as it insists on being known) would be episodic was enough to put me off picking it up at launch. A few months later down the line and the positive reception of the first two of its sprawling open levels and multiple approaches was enough for me to take the plunge.
I’m not entirely sure who it was that first coined the term ‘Holy Chainsaw’ – it was either my brother or one of his friends, crammed into the spare bedroom and huddled around my father’s private work computer that held national secrets, government documents and for some reason a shareware copy of Doom. What we did all agree on however is which of DOOM’s many chainsaws it was. Towards the end of Knee Deep In the Dead’s second level you catch a tantalising glimpse of it through a window – standing proudly upon a tall pedestal surrounded by a moat and guarded by a couple of reverential looking zombie soldiers, it called to you by the very fact that you can’t reach it.
Why does @NWheeler_CMP always talk about scary games? :(
— Chris Evans (@chrisevoevans) March 21, 2016
I think Chris might have a point here. To be honest, the reason I generally play horror games is that sports and racing games scare me to death – I haven’t managed to get to grips with a football game since Sensible Soccer, whereas any game featuring words like ‘suspension’, ‘lap times’ or ‘drift’ send me searching desperately for a locker to hide in.
Sitting in the dim interior of my camper van, I stare intently at a low resolution monitor. On the bright screen before me, a remote feed transmits live infra-red images from cameras placed deep in the forest outside. I sit silently, impatiently flicking between the remote feeds, occasionally pausing to look up from the monitor and stare out of the windows of the camper van, listening intently to the whispers of the wind and creaking of the nearby trees.
Say any word often enough and it will lose all meaning. Go on, try it.
I like to use ‘blancmange’. Let’s face it, if any word is going to lose all meaning after saying it more than a couple of times, ‘blancmange’ is a pretty good candidate. Blancmange. Blancmange.