Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The monster is unimpressed with your sick graffiti tags

HAPPY HALLOWEEN, one last post for the SPOOKATHON before we go, one last game before we dive into massive bowls of candy and go into sugar comas and get diabetes. Go get some video games in before you get hospitalized.
It was worth it
Today the game is called "Erie", made by Utah Game Forge out of the University of Utah, which
actually gives cash to the students for what they make, and lets them keep the rights to their creations, but it doesnt make up for the fact that they probably still make their students pay four hundred dollars for two textbooks, so they lose whatever cool guy points they might have earned with that.

Erie takes place in an evil mad scientist laboratory, and your goal is to (of course) escape, because a SYFY original movie broke out and everyone there besides you (and some cats for some reason) is dead. Things might look bleak, but its not all bad. You're unarmed but you do have a can of spray paint to mark the walls so you can know where you've been (the lab is actually pretty big so getting lost can be a problem), and you can run pretty fast so if you can get around the monster you can leave it in the dust.
"Hey man, wanna hang out?"
The sound work put into this is great, the sound of the experiment's breathing as it approaches is genuinely creepy, as a horrific experiment's breathing should be, and the meowing of the cats is annoying as hell, also as it should be. The unrelenting pursuit of the monster keeps you on edge, and the facility itself is also creepy, with its long dark hallways, insufficient lighting, and general rundown look.
All of the budget went into making ungodly abominations
If being the protagonist of a low budget sci-fi sounds good to you, or maybe you want practice crawling around ventilation ducts (though you could probably just play Half Life for that), then Erie might be for you. And you can get it here for either Desura or standalone.
But wait! Theres more! Earlier in the SPOOKATHON I said I'd talk about a "fan game" made for Yume Nikki called .flow, and though I waited till the last minute, i'm still doing it, so im not a liar, just lazy. I've heard its just as good as the original, with its own art and music. The game play is constructed the same way Yume Nikki's was, in that you need to find a number of objects in a semi open environment to get to the games end. Ao Oni also has had numerous fan games created, each based off of the game play of Ao Oni, but with different characters, locations, and monster.

If you want to try .flow, click here, if you like Ao Oni and want to try the fan games, click here for a big list of them. And of course remember to have a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Too poor to call a generic RPG character to do the job

Another game for the SPOOKATHON coming right up! You think walking to the bathroom in the middle of the night was bad? How about trying to get to the basement of a drafty old house? An old drafty house that has been absolutely infested by little supernatural horrors? Kind of a step up in difficulty. That's the premise behind Candles, released March 10th of 2011.  Have a trailer.
A letter of warning tells you that while you were gone a bunch of hateful, territorial little imps took up residence in your house (Who let them in? Probably those scumbag neighborhood kids). That's bad. But you can kill them with light! That's good. Your house has no power. That's bad. But you can use, you guessed it, candles to make it to the basement to turn the power back on to get all of the lights back on. Have fun trying to get there.
Candles can be compared to Amnesia, from its first person perspective spookiness, and the monsters you have no real way to fight (aside from light). The graphics look great, especially for a game made by one person on the unity engine. There have been some fixes since the original release so they game should be solid, bug wise.
All that stands between you and painful death
If any of that sounds appealing to you, or you still need something to toughen you up so you can stop being afraid of the dark, or you like Amnesia, or maybe you'd like a job where you're a supernatural exterminator, but you want to practice because you don't think you're on the same level as the Ghostbusters yet, then you should give Candles a try.
You can't beat the Ghostbusters, I mean c'mon
The creator's blog is here, and you can get Candles for Windows here, and Mac here

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Fancy hats and knife wielding lunatics

TIME FOR SOMETHING UNPRECEDENTED. Today, for the SPOOKATHON, there will be FOUR games in ONE POST. The entire spooky Joe Defoe quadrilogy/Chzo mythos in one post for you to sink your teeth/fangs into. YOU THINK YOU CAN HANDLE ALL THIS FEAR? I DON'T THINK YOU CAN.
He doesn't think you can take it either
Each game in the series was made by that "Yahtzee" guy aka Ben Croshaw, the guy who does the Zero Punctuation series, apparently when he isn't talking very fast and calling games garbage he makes good games in his off time. Each game (except for one example that I will mention when I get to it) in the series is a point and click adventure game, made in Adventure Game Studio. Each game in the series has also won awards, the total for every game combined being thirteen won, and thirty six nominations. So it looks like this Croshaw guy knows what he's doing. The series jumps around chronologically, so I will post the games in order of release (which is also the order they are meant to be played)
Why would he choose to be nicknamed after a kind of hat?
First up is 5 Days A Stranger, the first the series released way back in September of 2003. In it you play Trilby, a skilled thief who finds himself trapped in the Defoe mansion he had planned to rob by some invisible force. Along with four others stuck in the mansion with you, you must find a way to escape. The game takes place over five days, with the story progressing over each day with weird dream sequences in between. This being a series of adventure game it's hard to talk about what makes the games good without spoiling stuff, so I wont be able to talk too much about the plots and such, you should just dive into them.
Cabin fever only gets worse in space
After 5 Days A Stranger comes 7 Days a Skeptic, released back in July of 2004. Set nearly four hundred years after the events of the first game, you play as a psychiatrist named Johnathan Somerset stationed on the ship Mephistopheles, which is out on assignment mapping the Caracas Galaxy. The mission is uneventful until the ship finds an ancient metal locker floating out in deep space, with a message to not open it, marked with a familiar Trilby hat. Playing in the same fashion as 5 Days, 7 Days has a distinct claustrophobic Alien feeling to it.
If you don't know anything about the series this looks like the start of a regular detective game
After/before that comes Trilby's Notes, released in June of 2006. Notes takes place four years after 5 Days A Stranger. After learning that the evil at the Defoe mansion wasn't destroyed for good, Trilby sets off to an isolated island in Wales, following a lead to find the cause of the Defoe incident so he can end it once and for all, involving cults and parallel worlds following similar themes to the Silent Hill series. What sets Notes apart from the other games is that it's the most violent of the four games, and its controls are unique in that how instead of the typical point and click format, you move Trilby with the keyboard, and you type in commands.
Why are circle's always the spooky shapes? Why not squares?
The final released game in the series is 6 Days A Sacrifice, taking place exactly between 5 Days A Stranger and 7 Days A Skeptic, 196 years after and before, to be specific. Following a survey officer named Theo Dacabe, what was going to be a routine Health and Safety inspection turned out to be something far more sinister, as he finds himself swept up in a sinister plot involving hateful ghosts, cults, and other worlds.
The art gets noticeably better as the series progresses 
Each game in the quadrilogy/mythos has a fancy pants special edition that used to require a five dollar donation in order to download it, but now they're all available for free, so if this post convinced you to give the series a shot, have at them, they're the best versions of the game after all. If you're a fan of point and click adventures then this series is definately worth your time.
Who's the son of a bitch who smashed the arcade machine and threw ketchup everywhere?
 You can snag 5 Days A Stranger here
7 Days A Skeptic here
Trilby's Notes here
6 Days A Sacrifice here
and there were three text adventures that came out before the final game in the series as a sort of countdown, you can get them here, here, and here

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What kind of ecosystem would have raining blood?

Got two more games for the SPOOKATHON today. Buckle up friends, shit is going to get WEIRD. Both games today were made by the same guy, a talented dude by the name of Benjamin Braden, aka amon26.  Up first is "All Of Our Friends Are Dead" or AOOFAD for short. With a name like that you know you're in something messed up.
Yeah, raining blood is a thing
AOOFAD is a platformer that was released way back in March 2009. "An INDIE PLATFORMER?" you may think to yourself "Say it isnt so!" but the game is more than that. What makes it worth putting on the SPOOKATHON is the game's atmosphere, music, and soundwork, and the art direction makes up for the low powered graphics. Everything is meant to creep you out and put you on edge, the monster designs, the backgrounds, the sound things make when they die (including yourself). There are three levels split into two segments each, and three bosses. The game is short but it's well put together, and it feels like a complete game, rather than a unpolished project slapped together in a weekend.
and to top it the sound for the gun is damn satisfying
Up next is a "spiritual successor" to AOOFAD called Au Sable, which was released in November of 2009. The game is obviously built on the same controls and gameplay principles of AOOFAD, but that doesn't make it a rehash. There's more creepy stuff in the style of AOOFAD, but the graphics are bumped up for Au Sable.
Like literally or metaphorically? Because I can think of a few movies where that turned out really bad
Again, what sets the game apart from all of the other indie platformers out there is the unsettling atmosphere. Wired jump cuts, level transitions, and cryptic wall scribbles abound. Some might see that as pretentious, an attempt to be "DEEP", but I say the gameplay holds up enough on its own. In regards to the SPOOK FACTOR Au Sable is just as disconcerting and disturbing as AOOFAD, while having more length.
Creepy girl? Check. Vaguely religious words floating in the air? Check. Time for spooky.
If any of that sounds appealing to you, you can snag All Of Our Friends Are Dead here
and Au Sable here
and Benjamin Braden's/amon26's website is here

Friday, October 12, 2012

The color purple hasn't been this menacing since Barney

I dont think we've had any games for the SPOOKATHON that have taken place in big spooky mansions, time to change that, because you just gotta have the spooky mansions, man.
You just gotta
The Game Of The Day today is "Ao Oni". Released back in 2009 by a Japanese dev that goes by "noprops" , the game runs on RPG Maker XP despite the game not being an actual RPG. The plot of the game has you going through a mansion on the outskirts of town (that should be a big enough warning sign right there) running and hiding from a purple shape shifting horror with Predator vision and solving puzzles. Despite running on an old engine the game still managed to be spooky enough to get a large following, large enough to warrant an English and Italian translation.
Those eyes, WHY
 Much like Yume Nikki, the game became a run away success, so noprops made multiple updates for Ao Oni to improve the game, and a swath of fan games were made. A bunch of youtube videos are out there showing off how scary the game is, but most of those have annoying commentary with screaming at every jump scare, and they'd also spoil the game, so don't watch them, they're garbage.
You really need to play it yourself to appreciate it
If you like weird monsters, puzzles, and scarey mansions, then this game might be for you. Though even if you don't like those things, you still might want to play it to get in some "running and hiding from monsters" practice
Because, hey: you never know
You can snag Ao Oni here, you'll need to get the RPG maker XP thing first, thats also linked on the page

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

If you go deep enough all Oceans are Dark

The SPOOKATHON SURGES ON.  What I got for you today is kinda corny, to be honest, but aren't some of the best Halloween movies the corny ones?
Whats with the sheen of sweat going on in this picture?
 The game today is called Dark Ocean. Lets see what the developers have to say:
"Dark Ocean is a survival horror video game developed by a group of students from Universidad Pompeu Fabra.
Dark Ocean is a survival horror video game settled on a luxurious cruise ship. Influenced mostly by modern horror movies and famous survival horror games, Dark Ocean emphasizes the tension and anxiety in an original and exclusive environment."
"Ok, that's neat" you may think, "But you gotta sell me on this", and I will. For starters, the enemies you'll be dealing with in this game are zombies, standard survival horror staple. Your weapon of choice? FIRE. Your method of fire delivery? FLARE GUN
All the proof I need to know that these guys know what they're doing
The cheesy part of the game comes in from overly dramatic music stings, zombies suddenly appearing where there were none before, and really bad voice acting (Like, "I'm not even getting paid for this god damn it all" bad). Though the cheesiness doesn't make the game bad, it's still a solid game with neat fire/combat mechanics.
When you paint a skull on the prow of a ship you shouldn't be shocked when things go bad
If any of that sounds interesting to you, or you want to practice your zombie attack plan with the limitation of only using a fire to defend yourself, or you want to get pretend revenge for that time you got quarantined on a ship because of an outbreak of the NORO virus, then this game might be for you.
I didn't eat from the tainted buffet you guys, c'mon! Let me go home already!
You can snag Dark Ocean here

Monday, October 1, 2012


How the hell can I do the SPOOKATHON if I'm getting pushed out by Christmas already?
These have been up for sale since mid-way through September. This is a regular supermarket, not a department store doing a clearance sale or one of those obnoxious holiday stores that sells ornaments 24/7/365 . Christmas sale fever starts earlier and earlier every year, and eventually it will be Christmas shopping season all year round. And unless the robots get us first, that’ll be when society starts to collapses. So you best start preparing for that.
Either civilization explodes before we make robots or the robots do it for us
Now back to your regularly scheduled SPOOKATHON programming. The game I have for you today is another short but sweet scary game, called Hide. It was made by a dude called Andrew Shouldice back in July of 2011 as part of the “Super Friendship Club’s Justice Pageant”.
Its like that Robert Frost poem, but there will be no stopping, only running
The goal of the game is to find five different locations in the game world while running and hiding in a first person perspective from shadowy things with flashlights you cant quite make out, and as you find these locations the search for you intensifies. Between the weird pixilated look, and the awesome sound work, Hide has some style to it if you’re looking for that. If nothing else, this game might help you practice running and hiding from serial killers, so theres that.
You know what this needs? Dueling banjos.
You can snag Hide either here or here