Submitted for your approval, one Claire Barnes, aged 29, 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 the 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.
The Highway is a brief adventure by Octavi Navarro, children’s illustrator and artist for Thimbleweed Park. Drawing clear inspirations from the classic science fiction and horror series The Twilight Zone, Navarro has provided this free game as the first episode of Midnight Scenes, a project that he intends to be a series of brief, standalone games of mystery and terror.
Claire Barnes is driving at night when her journey is brought to an unexpected halt by an obstacle in the road. The story plays out via a simple point and click adventure as Claire explores the area to discover a way through. Despite being short and not particularly difficult as an adventure game, The Highway is nevertheless extremely atmospheric and quite unsettling.
Without presenting further spoilers, things happen and a scarecrow occurs
By drawing on presenting a powerfully ominous atmosphere instead of relying on excessive text, the game raises more questions than it answers. I was left uncertain of what took place, where I came in and precisely how what I saw connected with anything – exactly like an episode of the Twilight Zone.
It’s a great reminder of how not everything needs to be tied up in a neat bow. Some times just the mystery and the experience itself can be enough. I’m excited to see what future episodes of Midnight Scenes hold in store, and with Navarro allotting himself three months to develop each episode, hopefully I shouldn’t have too long to wait.
The Highway is available free for download here at Itch.io.