Game Type Thing

An archive of enjoyable flash, indie, and abandonware games.

Archive for the ‘Horror’ Category

Being One Series

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So you played Fail-Safe and now you’re in the mood for more creepy sci-fi games, eh? Well I can certainly oblige. Being One is a series of four short games that combine to make one dark and spooky sci-fi story. Perhaps not the most original story, but an entertaining one none the less.

You’re in the dank and filthy subterranean laboratory of Dr. Rycroft, a futuristic mad scientist type whose specialty is experimenting on supernatural beings. You’re not sure who or what you are, but you know something’s been done to you. To escape, you’ll have to make your way up the various floors of the lab, each one housing a different species of creature. You’re not alone though, you have an ally in the form of text messages sent to a cell phone placed right outside your vat. Your mysterious text buddy seems to know a lot about the lab, but is much more concerned with helping you escape than filling you in on what’s going on.

Most of the gameplay concentrates on the usual escape elements of opening doors and getting offline systems to work, but it also has occasional action sequences where you will have to take down an enemy. Sometimes you’ll have a weapon available to you, if not you’ll have to search the environment for ways to defeat your foe. There’s also something to collect in most episodes; blood samples, messages, etc. It can be tricky to find them all, some are very well hidden.

The puzzles are not difficult at all, but if wandering through rooms of weird lab experiments is your kind of thing you’ll have fun with this one. It has a lot of little touches that add to the whole experience. Notes and messages you find throughout the building make both the scientists and the creatures feel real. I really dug the creature specific floors idea, and I admit after finishing the game I immediately set about trying to recreate something similar for my unfortunate supernaturals in The Sims.

So basically, a neat idea, plus simple gameplay, plus a creepy-cool atmosphere make for a game series that is definitely worth your time if you’re a horror or sci-fi lover.

 

You begin in by awaking in a vat of green goo, on the alien floor. It’s obvious that this is no kind of place you want to be,  so you better start looking for a way out.

Play Episode One: Escape the Lab

 

The vampire floor! They can sense you, and are not happy with your presence. This is a fun one if you like horror, but if you’re jumpy or the easily spooked type, you might want to skip this one.

Play Episode Two: Bloodbath

 

As the title implies, this is the dark matter floor. Mysterious even to Dr Rycroft. What’s lurking beyond the dark matter containment field?

Play Episode Three: Dark Matter

 

You’re finally near the surface and almost free! You’ll just have to get past the arachnids and the lycans first.

Play Episode Four: Moonrise

 

Written by Nurse Edna

December 18, 2010 at 6:13 pm

Fail-Safe

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I have something a little different for you guys today, a text adventure. I’m no expert on text adventures by any means, but I have a few favorites, and Fail-Safe is one of them. This one is interesting because in a way you both are and are not the protagonist.

Fail-Safe is set in the lonely reaches of space, where you pick up a distress call from a space pod named the Serpentine. It’s badly damaged and most of the crew is dead. You will have to guide the survivor remotely, over the radio, to repair the ship.

This is a great game for text adventure novices, because it throws out all of the usual rules. In fact, I’ve seen it frustrate a lot of seasoned players because the usual commands don’t work. The best advice I can give you when playing this one is to remember that in this game you are not talking to a parser or a computer, you are communicating directly with a living being. You wouldn’t say, “look computer” to someone, you’d say something like, “look at the computer”. You also wouldn’t say “save” or “undo” and expect anything meaningful to happen.  If you keep this in mind, things will go much easier for you.

That said, no parser is perfect. And as in every other text adventure game there will be times when you know what to do, but have to figure out how the game wants you to phrase it. In this one I had some difficulty looking inside of things. You can try examining the object in various ways, but the command it wants is: “look in ____”.

A bit of general advice to get the most out of this game:

  • Whenever you see italicized text, that’s your ship’s computer reporting to you, and is not broadcast over the radio.
  • The survivor is desperate, and somewhat disoriented. If you want him to do something, sometimes you have to say it more than once.
  • And finally examine everything thoroughly, and pay attention to detail. You have no eyes in this game, you have to rely on 3rd party descriptions for everything, so pay close attention to what you are told.

I love the way this game plays with the text adventure format, and uses its strengths and weaknesses to create a suspenseful game that wouldn’t work in any other genre. I think there have been similar games since, but to my knowledge this was perhaps the first. It’s a must-play for anyone who likes text adventures or chilling science-fiction stories.

Play Fail-Safe

Written by Nurse Edna

December 17, 2010 at 4:52 pm

Vox Populi, Vox Dei (A Werewolf Thriller)

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You’re one of the few humans left in a world peopled by werewolves. And your heart has just been broken by your special lady. And your special lady has just been taken by werewolves! Could things get any worse? No. That’s it. Those weres just messed with the wrong ninja (you are also a ninja).

To get your girl back you’ll have to infiltrate what appears to be the werewolf business district. You have two weapons in your arsenal: 1.) You have a really fierce pounce. Like really fierce (it actually puts the werewolves to shame, who for some reason prefer to shoot things at you from holes in their chests). 2.) And like any good ninja, you can turn invisible. Use these in combination to make your way past the werewolf horde. It’s tougher than it sounds. You’d have to be pretty good to sneak past all of them without touching one. And you must be very careful not to pounce on one where you can be seen by others. And your pounce, as I mentioned before, is pretty enthusiastic. You might think you’re safe pouncing on one as soon as the other’s back is turned, only to find yourself and your prey on a bloody slip n’ slide that leads right into the feet of the other werewolf. It takes a bit of planning, and good timing if you’re going to make it.

So if the idea of an action/platformer/stealth/puzzle game appeals to you, Vox Populi, Vox Dei is the game for you.

It points all this out as you play, but I’ll just mention that you use the arrow keys to move left and right, space to jump, down arrow plus space to pounce, and ctrl to turn invisible.

Play Vox Populi, Vox Dei (A Werewolf Thriller)

Written by Nurse Edna

December 6, 2010 at 1:44 pm

Clock Tower: The First Fear

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I mentioned Clock Tower in the Dark Visions post and if you liked that one, you should give this a try. You play Jennifer, one of a group of orphans recently adopted (sight-unseen) by wealthy recluse Mr. Barrows. You’re taken to his creepy mansion called the Clock Tower and things go pretty much just as you’d expect them to whenever innocent orphans meet scary houses.

The gameplay is unusual and requires a bit of determination. You will run into the horror that lurks in the mansion, and you won’t be a match for it. You’ll have to hide or flee if you want to survive. Be sure to save often. The tense feeling of helplessness the game creates is one of the reasons Clock Tower has been called the scariest game ever made for the Super Nintendo.

Clock Tower was never officially released outside of Japan, but there is an unofficial English translated ROM floating around that just requires an SNES emulator to play.

Written by Nurse Edna

December 5, 2010 at 11:48 am

Emily Enough: Imprisoned

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You play Emily Enough, a psychotic heiress who reacts rather badly to a birthday disappointment. Now you’re sentenced to spend the rest of your days in the Claxochem Center for Mental Wellness. Oh Emily, how will you get out of this jam?

Explore the wellness center, make friends and enemies with various patients and staff, look for a way to escape, and perhaps commit a murder or two. The art, music, and dialogue are all playful and well done. The story is dark and tongue-in-cheek. It’s not a game meant to scare, but to appeal to those who enjoy a morbid sense of humor.

Navigation can be a bit of a pain, at times you’ll know where you can exit an area, but might have trouble finding just the right place to walk to take you out. All the command buttons are hidden at the top of the screen, you just need to mouse over it to bring them into view. You can also cycle through the actions by right clicking.

I’d like to note that this game was my introduction to the Adventure Game Studio engine, and inspired me to make my own adventure game. But calling the thing I made a game would be extremely generous. It’s more accurately called the room I made that has a few things you can click on. Still, it was a fun and rewarding experience and I encourage anyone who’s ever thought about making their own adventure game to give it a try.

Download Emily Enough

Written by Nurse Edna

December 4, 2010 at 11:36 am

Dark Visions

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Dark Visions is part Laura Bow, part Alone in the Dark, and part Clock Tower. Strange things are afoot at Dr Mahler’s Manor House/Sanitarium, where you are newly employed. Where is your uncle? Why are the party guests locked in the dining room? Where are the bathrooms? You should probably find this stuff out.

Things are fishy from the start when you arrive at your uncle’s manor. Dr Mahler is nowhere in sight, you’re greeted by an assistant who’s eager to hustle you out of the way into your room, and there’s a strange party going on behind closed doors. It doesn’t take long to decide that you had better search the house for your uncle.

Dark Visions’ 3D graphics are impressive and unusual for a browser game. The length of the game, and size of the house to explore make for a satisfying and immersive experience without dragging on too long. Gameplay is pretty standard for a point-and-click adventure, the three interaction buttons (look, action, walk) are at the bottom of the screen, choose one and click the object or place you want to walk to. The inventory is located at the very bottom, below the text box. There are times when quick action will be required, but you’ll have time to react if you think on your feet.

Dark Visions is a great little game for the browser that feels like a bigger download game. I definitely recommend it if you are a fan of atmospheric gothic horror games.

Play Dark Visions

Written by Nurse Edna

December 1, 2010 at 11:05 am

The Malstrums Mansion

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Inspired by Shadowgate, The Malstrums Mansion stays true to the era of classic graphic adventures. Conceived in 1989, created in 2009, it’s like opening a time capsule right in your browser.

The year is 1800, and the Malstrums Mansion has been abandoned for almost a century. You are the last surviving heir, and either brave or foolish enough to go against your ancestors and return to the mansion to claim your inheritance.  But the old inhabitants of the house won’t give it up so easily, dead or not.

To anyone who misses the old graphic adventures, Malstrums Mansion is really a treat. It recreates them faithfully right down to the old-fashioned copy protection and lack of a save feature. In true classic adventure fashion you will probably die a few times along the way, but can always quickly make your way back to where you were. The environment is richly detailed, and will really draw you into the world of the wicked Malstrums.

The controls are simple. Use the menu on the left to interact with objects, and the navigation arrows to move from room to room. Your inventory is on the right. To use objects, click the appropriate interaction on the left and then the object in your inventory. The game screen is enormous for a browser game. If you find yourself having to scroll the window up and down to read text, try setting your browser to full screen.

Play Malstrums Mansion

Written by Nurse Edna

November 29, 2010 at 10:05 am