Posted on September 20, 2012 AT 02:04pm
There are a bunch of games out there that try to terrify us nowadays, but few of them really pull it off. What do the games that really keep us paranoid in the dark night have in common? In one word: simplicity. When you build up too much flair around something that’s supposed to be frightening you, it’s easy to forget you’re supposed to be scared. In Slender: The Eight Pages, simplicity is the key that makes this indie game so terrifying.
In Slender: The Eight Pages, they’ve taken a popular Internet meme, the Slender Man, and turned it into a first-person horror experience. The Slender Man started back in 2009 when the website Something Awful held a contest to photoshop pictures adding supernatural elements to them. A few of the pictures featured a tall man in a suit with no face standing amongst some children. A few months later, YouTube user Marble Hornet launched their shaky cam series featuring appearances by the Slender Man. Since then, the Internet has taken the creepy figure and given him several other memes, videos, pranks, short stories and games.
As you walk through the woods, only the sounds of the night keep you company. Your flashlight must be dying because, as dark as it is, you can still barely see but a few feet in front of you. After a few minutes of walking, you notice something taped to a tree. It’s a piece of paper with nothing but the words “turn back” printed on it. As you pull the sheet from the trunk, suddenly you hear a low and booming sound. Over and over, you hear the sound as you continue walking. Suddenly your head begins to feel fuzzy and as you glance around, you get a brief glimpse of a man with no face in a black suit staring at you from a distance.
The concept for this game is extremely simple; walk through the woods with your flashlight, collect the eight pages and avoid looking at the Slender Man. The minimalist dynamic music works very well towards creating a spooky atmosphere as you traverse the woods. You start out with almost no sound at all and for each page you pick up, the music gets a bit more ominous. The visuals are equally as simple; much of the time, you’re wandering through just trees and can’t really see much else. As for gameplay, all you have is your flashlight and your wits to survive. Running away is the only defense you have against the slender man and his appearance get more aggressive with each page collected. That feeling of helplessness really adds to the terror this game so successfully draws from its players.
While this game does occasionally hit you with a loud musical chord or sudden appearance by the Slender Man to get its scares, that’s not why this game is so scary. It’s the concept of being stalked by someone, or something, that will have you looking over your shoulder not only while you’re playing it, but hours later. I will admit that while taking out the trash late last night after playing, the game got under my skin enough to have me jogging and looking behind me as I got back to my door. If you’re up for a good scare that’ll stick with you, I highly recommend downloading this free game on your computer.
For more info on the Slender Man, go here.
To download the game, go here.
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