For the month of October, I will be looking at the four best horror games that you should check out this Halloween. The games will be accessible, easy to play, and most of all, they’ll be absolutely terrifying. Bring your friends. You definitely shouldn’t do this alone. You have been warned.
I want to start this off by stating an absolute fact of life: The Slender Man is one of the most horrifying urban legends currently out in pop culture. While it is most certainly a legend and nothing more (I hope), Slender Man has grown in popularity thanks to the insistence of forums of its existence, and the Internet has only made its power stronger with seemingly authentic images, and media recordings of sightings. Whether they are real, most of them have the ability to send a chill up your spine.
If you’ve never heard of him before, you’re probably better off not knowing anything. Just go back to the Dig homepage. I won’t mind.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Slender is the game that made the Internet collectively shit its pants.
Slender is a first person, survival horror game with one goal: Collect eight pages that are scattered throughout the woods. For some reason, your unidentified protagonist has chosen to search at night, making him the next victim. The Slender Man is hungry, and appears at random points in the game forcing you to run away. If you are exposed to him for too long, you lose.
What I just described is about all of what the game entails. There are no mechanics except for simple controls that help you move and pick up pages. There is no map, no health bar, and no story to guide you. You are set loose without any certainty, and with the uncomfortable realization that no matter what, you are going to encounter him. The lingering threat of death ups the suspense factor, each sound becoming a sign that the Slender Man is near, but sometimes never appearing.
Each element of the game seems expertly designed to create the perfect atmosphere.
The graphics are terrible and pixelated, and it reduces your visibility, forcing you to rely on the limited scope of your flashlight. The Slender Man himself looks sort of like a gray blob, making him appear even less human. There is almost no background music, which forces you to rely on the sounds of your footsteps and the wind to remind you that you are alive.
The random nature of his appearance is the worst, because it makes each game different. He may appear right away, but he also might show up after 15 minutes of mindless wandering. The constant thought that he’s going to show up in fact prolongs this experience, making the horror very satisfying.
Slender is not for the faint of heart. While terrifying on almost every level, it might end up being too terrifying for those too scared to face him.
The scariest part of all of this? It’s free. You can download it here.
Okay, maybe the actual scariest part is that there is going to be a sequel. Parsec and Blue Isle Studios are creating a higher quality version of the first game currently titled Slender: The Arrival. If you thought you were safe after Eight Pages just you wait until the game has a story line, and is even longer. Now you get to spend even more time with him. Isn’t that everything you’ve always wanted?
Oh Jesus fuck, run away. Oh god. I’m going to die. I’m going to die.