October 28th, 2012 | By Petey A.M.
Tagged in: 5 | Benjamin Rivers | budget | Erie | Fibrillation | halloween | home | horror | Kikiyama | Mark Hadley | Mechanical Starling | The Budget Gamer | Utah Game Forge | Where Am I? | Yume Nikki
Welcome, welcome, and welcome to the 4th and most Halloween edition of “The Budget Gamer”. Last week I nailed the nail on the head and gave you a heck of a list of 5 games. As I do this column each week I am beginning to realize the true glory of free and cheap games; they are abundant and spectacular. This week, in honor of the timely and somewhat confusing tradition of Halloween I am going to give you a list of 5 spooky horror games, which can easily be played for the measly sum of $5. So, without further ado, here is how to get scared poopless for $5 next week.
Recommendation for Monday
Erie from Utah Game Forge (Price: $FREE on Desura)- We are starting Monday off right with a full but free experience. I do not want you spending money this early in the week as you have probably invested $10 into candy for the neighborhood children and had to adjust your budget to do so. Or, if you happen to be me, you invested in child repellent noises. Kids think they can just walk up to my house without having me destroy their measly ear drums. They are wrong.
Enter Erie, the top choice for free horror games on Desura. Erie places the player in 1966, wherein begins the player’s attempt to escape the dark undergrounds of a Michigan Town. The player takes on the role of Oliver Victor, a Red Cross Investigator attempting to get to the bottom of mysterious disappearances from the town. As the game progresses the player finds that Oliver Victor is not alone and must escape becoming the prey of beastly botched mutation experiments. Terrifying enough? Excuse me while I change my drawers. For more info on Erie, check out the linked Desura page above and the Erie official website.
Recommendation for Tuesday
Home from Benjamin Rivers (Price: $2.99 from Home’s Official Website and Steam) Some people claim that “Home is where the heart is.” I claim that “Home is a terrifying game which challenges your psychological understanding of what creates a horrifying story.” I suppose those same people are correct when they say “Tomato, Toematoe.” I apologize for using complex linguistics around the holidays, but it helps me convey the amazing qualities of Home.
Home is set as a 2D sidescrolling adventure game and aesthetically looks like Lone Survivor. It plays much differently though, focusing less on combat and more on subjective storytelling. Players can find items and discover aspects of the world as the game progresses, ultimately working to solve the mystery of deaths in town. If I told you anything more about the story I may ruin it, but to truly get to the bottom of the mystery, multiple playthroughs will be required. Home serves as a great change of pace from everything else I will make you involuntarily play this week and comes highly recommended as a variation on the horror genre. For more, hit the two links above. On a completely related note, you can alternatively purchase Home in the new Indie Royale bundle, if that is your preferred method of purchasing you thrifty ol’ thang you.
Recommendation for Wednesday
Fibrillation from Mechanical Starling (Price: $1.99 from Desura or the Fibrillation Official Website)- I did not want to overdo the whole “first-person horror adventure obviously inspired by Amnesia” genre. So I decided to limit myself to two games which share that distinctive physics-based engine and Fibrillation seperates itself enough (as well as fitting into that $2 price niche) to be that second choice. It is also considered worthy by Alex Wilkinson and anything that guy approves is more than good enough for me; therefore, this is my Halloween night game of choice.
Fibrillation essentially boils down to a psychological, philosophical, and experimental first-person horror game. Okay, maybe that is quite the large portion of details to boil, but the experience stemming from these qualities is dynamic and fascinating. Fibrillation does what it does well and fails where you would expect it to, but most importantly, it is a scary and undeniably filling experience for such a small price. Do not expect to be fully shocked by what it will give you, but expect to be pleasantly surprised by details throughout, even if the blinking mechanic makes you incredibly angry. For more info check the wonderful links provided above.
Recommendation for Thursday
Yume Nikki from Kikiyama (Price: $FREE from TIGdb)- So, of course we come to my obscurest choice of the week, a Japanese experiment in somewhat freaky dreamscapes. But that is what Thursday is for, experimenting in the weirdest of Japanese culture. Last week I presented Dinner Date as my sort of experimental offering in storytelling and this week Yume Nikki fills that video game experimentalism void with grace and eerieness.
Just to be clear, Yume Nikki is not a jump or cringe inducing horror game so much as it is a creepy expose on the workings of the mind of a young girl. It has also been around for quite some time, but remains a classic to this day. Players are shoved into the role of Madotsuki, a girl living alone in an apartment. She cannot leave this apartment and the only activity she can partake in is sleep. In that dream Madotsuki must find 24 effects, which are event-inducing objects. One may wrap the player in a blanket, while another could turn the player into a demon. It is a game to be mulled over and the purpose of its creation is heavily debated (spoiler alert). It is one of the better freeware games ever created, and is a good break from the pop-out scare tactics you may face in the other games presented this week. For more info check out the Yume Nikki wiki (words are fun), as there is no official dev site for the game. A game without a truly known developer; creepy right?
Recommendation for Friday
Where Am I? from Mark Hadley (Price: $FREE on Mark Hadley’s Official Website)- Friday has rolled around at this point and you have decided to hang out with friends. Go ahead, I will allow you too. Still, despite your newly acquired social graces, you still enjoy the prospect of scaring the unknowing. Therefore, you need a short and solid game to play that can get some jumpy screams.
Where Am I? is perfect for this situation. A Ludum Dare submission from the guy who made Slender, Where Am I? is a concentrated 5 minute horror game, which fools you into complacency, then scares the Timothy Dalton out of you. Or maybe it scares you and then lulls you into complacency. I would not dare remember, but all I remember is that things got very very fuzzy. Click and enjoy, and then use your knowledge to terrify your friends.
Thank you once again for reading. I truly love doing this article and enjoy the community growth involved with the article. I, of course, want to further that community and am trying out a method for doing so. I started a weekly Twitch cast this past Tuesday at 11pm EST and am going to proceed to do so each Tuesday proceeding. You can watch the cast again on my Twitch account. The goal was to make a cast which encouraged indie devs to bring me their game and watch me play them live as well as promote communication and interaction.I am hoping to move it up to 9 pm EST as soon as my schedule allows me to do so, and check with me on Twitter to get updates on scheduling.
Otherwise, enjoy your Halloweek. I will be producing a Halloween edition of “The Why of Indie Games” for Monday then I will be celebrating Halloween by destroying a copy of the Necronomicon and fearing the “Lovecraftian” consequences. So, until next time, I bid you a fond ado, but for these columns and for all your other indie gaming stuffs, keep it right here with Indiegamemag.com.