Imscared – A Pixelated Nightmare

Imscared: A Pixelated Nightmare (2012)

Imscared Cover A

Imscared is a free indie horror game created by Italian Ivan Zanotti. The game graphics are pixellated and with a creepy atmosphere and a game that will play tricks with you like so few other horror games out there, Imscared is a feeling most will share once you start experiencing the Pixelated Nightmare.

CONTENTS

Review

Play Imscared – A Pixelated Nightmare.

Official Site – http://mymadnessworks.altervista.org/blog/

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Imscared – A Pixelated Nightmare Review

Horror games are about putting your mind into a state where the dangers and sounds that fill their worlds feel so real and for a split second, the barrier between reality and virtual are broken as you leap, jump or scream and curl up in a ball with fear. Imscared is a pixel horror indie game created and developed by the Italian, Ivan Zanotti where you awaken in a room and you must escape a pursuer as the begin to doubt the game world and your very self as you dive deeper into the world.

Imscared 01

The controls are simple enough and you’ll have to crouch to recover items, such as keys, which I wish were more obviously noticeable for I spent minutes stuck at one point only to realise I had passed by the item dozens of times. This is one of the features of the game, there is no story behind it all, no reasons it seems for your actions and no instructions on how to progress. You’re simply put into the game and it is up to you to figure out how to progress but thankfully the game never leaves you feeling too lost which is a praise.

Now how can I best describe Imscared. Simply there your moving from one area to the next along the way finding the items that will allow you to do so. The design of the environments at times really suck you in, for instance the intestine rooms and how one area will change from darkness to light as you progress and the bleeding walls, which due to a good decision on the field of view being short, you’re basically heading towards the darkness and I think the developer did a good job of making this graphic design work well in a horror setting.

Imscared 02

There are times when certain areas feel a little too bland. I think the game works well for it isn’t set in only one location, instead there are many different locations and rooms, each different from the next and diverse which make it feel like your actually progressing somewhere unlike some other indie horror games taking place inside an abandoned – (add location here).

The audio unfortunately is not as strong as it could be and takes you away from the horror experience. I understand that the game is more psychological horror but with a few ambient sounds or music cues, the game could have been taken onto a whole other level instead most of the time the only sounds are the same footsteps. Imscared sadly comes short in this area where audio, especially in a horror, is so important.

Certain areas in Imscared are unnerving.

Certain areas in Imscared are unnerving.

Now to get to why Imscared is such a different experience and how the psychological aspect comes into work.

After believing I had finished the game with the message ‘The End’ before me, after a few seconds,I went ahead and closed the window but before I could choose the tab on Chrome, another one had opened in its place. One with a picture of the pursuer, looking back at me. Surely I didn’t open this did I? Then all of a sudden, ringing through my headphones was that evil malicious laugh. I almost fell out my seat as that sneaky bugger was somehow still haunting me. That’s when two messages appeared inside the folder where the game is.

One with an image. Another with a note, stating how it isn’t over yet. There are several other instances as this one and to tell you anymore would be ruining one of the best aspects of Imscared.

Imscared 05

P&Cs

P – Interesting graphic design, truly plays with your mind in and outside the game, fun for a not to short or long experience.

C – Items hard to spot, some furniture to close to each other, confusing at moments.

Lupo Meter

Fear – More than making you jump, Imscared is about doing its best to mess with your mind.

Sound – Sound effects work though I wonder if any ambient music or sounds would have added more fear.

Horror – More psychological than anything, don’t expect much story besides

World – The game plays with your mind both in and out the game, as well as the pixellated aspect having a fear factor of its own.

Final Words

Imscared: A Pixelated Nightmare is a horror game that will unnerve you and put you on edge, everything unfolds well so our pursuer isn’t revealed to soon, the graphic design succeeds and the game’s great use of playing with your mind. Imscared a good game to play for a while though horror fans looking for scares and constant tension and fear should look for other games.

Among The Sleep Alpha Demo Playthrough

Welcome to the official Lupo playthrough of the Among The Sleep Alpha Demo. There will be a playthrough with thoughts and final comment at the end of the piece. Like or comment! Spoilers are to be expected.

 

Among The Sleep Alpha Demo

Among The Sleep since its announcement has been one of the game I have been keeping a close eye on eagerly anticipating. With the Kickstarter campaign now finished and having met its target, until the final release we have this Alpha demo to enjoy. The game for all those who don’t know about it you play as a kid, complete with the ability to crawl, who wakes up and trying to find his mother experiences horrors and visions in this living nightmare. I’ve been eagerly waiting for my chance to put my hands on this game so let’s begin.

Among The Sleep 03

The game begins with your mother singing you a lullaby and as you drift in and out of sleep you see your favourite teddy being dragged out the room and you’re suddenly launched from your cot onto the floor and as you look up the corridor light turns off and this is where we take over.

The controls are simple and are explained as soon as you start the game. Also seeing as the game is first person there was a need to pull of the first person view from the eyes of a child without ruining the immersiveness or seeming unnatural. I can say all the time throughout playthrough I felt as if I was the small child in this eerie world so no worries here.

That light was on a second ago...

That light was on a second ago…

So leave the room and head down the corridor. The game’s ambient sounds, sound effects and music all work well to create an atmosphere of danger and you’ll spend a lot of time looking around you or spinning round as you hear something smash or something moving behind you. The developers did a good job of making you scared of the very house where every corner could be nestling a danger ready to leap out.

You’ll arrive at a door and you can’t open it. You’ll have to push the chair nearby up to the door and climbing up it, you can interact with the door knob and open it. I actually enjoyed opening the door this way, it really makes you feel vulnerable and immerse yourself in the role of a child. Also the controls go smoothly and nothing about it feels forced on.

Moving on you’ll hear muffled yells so head down the corridor and once you do turn to  the right where you’ll see a washing machine running, so pull out the plug and open the washing machine.

:O

:O

It’s your teddy bear! Somebody tried to drown him! This sets the mood to a darker tone already and I think this scene is one of my favourite moments from a video game recently in all honesty. Just the bizzareness and unexpectedness of the situation is amazing. Now once you have your teddy bear back, by pressing G you can hug him. What this does is provide a torch of sorts illuminating a small area around you while a soothing tune plays. I liked this as it uses typical child behaviour (having a favourite toy) which is their source of comfort in this environment while being a flashlight. Up until this point they manage to pull every typical horror gameplay element without it feeling out of place with originality.

Among The Sleep 12

Everything will be safe from now on -_-

After your teddy thanks you he tells you must find your mother. Go outside and open the railing for the stairs. Go down them and you’re now on the first floor of the house. The game does a good job with random thunder which lights up the house and while the house is in a proper mess, the fear the rooms manage to pull, just by how items are placed or if the fridge door is open is great. I think also the fact that you’re a child and the world seems bigger and your field of view is low really adds to the fear factor.

Among The Sleep 15

Now go to the living room towards the kitchen and find a way to open the door to leave the kitchen. I used one of the chairs at the table close by. Once you’re through take on of the two different paths towards the bedroom. You’ll have to move something once more to open the door and once you do, finally mum and dad’s room.

Now climb up onto the bed and wake up your mother so she can protect you from all this madness.

Hello?

Hello?

Oh...

Oh…

Damn. After one of the scariest moments of the demo gather your courage and run back towards your room. Head back the way you came from until you reach the stairs, or what used to be the stairs. Go through the barrier and head down the stairs and interact with the orb.

Among The Sleep 13

Once you do you’re brought back to the real world only to find this place still exists. Now move the bricks and crawl under the fireplace. You’ll see you can climb up onto something in this room and once you do you’ll see there’s nowhere else but down this black hole.

Among The Sleep 14

Dive down it and you’re sliding down a slide and enter one of the imagination areas.

Among The Sleep 04

Down the rabbit hole we go

These places have been shown through concept art (Gallery)  and the place, though we see very little of it and spend little time here, are well crafted and the transition between the two areas was fun and worked well. Now keep your balance and cross the planks towards the small cottage.

Among The Sleep 06

A cottage and a small child, when has that ever worked out well?

I really liked this part as you chuck your teddy bear through to the other side and the door can be opened….

Get help teddy!

Get help teddy!

.. and there he is, come to life and this is when unfortunately the demo ends :(. No, I really wanted to have a talking bear sidekick, why couldn’t this demo have lasted a few minutes longer?

Among The Sleep 01

Final Words

Among The Sleep was already one of my most anticipated games of the year and this demo has confirmed that all the hype until now is fully deserved. A fresh and different experience, crafted well interacting elements of horror together with some simple puzzle solving, Among The Sleeps demo gives the player a perfect understanding of what they would get with the final product. Unfortunately the demo didn’t show us much of the enemies that will feature in the game and how we would have to deal with them as I’m sure this is still being worked on and they didn’t want to show us this feature yet.

Among The Sleep is an engaging horror game and I cannot wait to playthrough a full version of this game so I can see what Krillbite have in store for us.

Last Hours Of Funding For Among The Sleep & Dreadout

The Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaign to gather funds are ending in less than 24 hours for Among The Sleep and 48 for Dreadout.

Among The Sleeps campaign has been a success as the 200,00 target was met and is now +30,000 over!

Among The Sleep Target Reached

Dreadout Campaign Cover

Meanwhile Dreadout is still over 2,000 short of their target. If you would like to see the campaign page and possibly contribute, click on the links below:

Among The Sleep Kickstarter

Dreadout Kickstarter

Huntsman: The Orphanage – Game Voice Actor Online Auditions

Huntsman Online Auditions Cover

Huntsman The Orphanage after announcing the opportunity for people to voice talent for the game, the online auditions have officialy started and from the 18th of May until the 31st, by putting up your reading of the script on youtube you may win the chance to feature as one of six possible characters. Check out the summary and guide for entry below or check out the official page here – http://www.shadowshifters.com/ .

 

Official Shadowshifters Announcement

We’re looking for great talent for voice acting roles still open in “Huntsman: The Orphanage” – a scary game set in rural Illinois, USA, in the 1800s.

The voice acting roles available are for orphan children that mysteriously disappeared one dark night back in 1898, when they were taken from our thread of reality and placed in a limbo of darkness and silence in an alternate dimension. The object of the game is for the player to save these orphans and return them to their own time and space.

The winners of the auditions will record full custom voice-over scripts (up to 10 minutes duration) with Skype tutoring from our scriptwriter and our director, have their name in the game’s credits, and will be publicised in our promotions. Links to the best work will be published right here on this page!

 

How to enter:

1. Download the official Huntsman: The Orphanage audition script here.

2. Record your best voice acting of the official script on your webcam or mic. Be as natural and believable as you can.

3. Upload your video to YouTube with the tag “Huntsman: The Orphanage Game Voice Actor Audition”. Yes, you can enter different takes. If you don’t have a webcam, just use this image to show on-screen.

4. Email the YouTube link, along with your name and city, state and country to: auditions@shadowshifters.com.

Auditions close May 31st 2013. Please understand that Shadowshifters may not choose an entrant from this set of auditions if we can’t find the really great voices we’re looking for. But I know we will.

 

The roles available are:

MimMin
A young Asian orphan, could be male or female, sounds up to 15 years old.

Winnie
A young African-American orphan, male, sounds up to 15 years old.

Ingrid
A young Scandanavian orphan, female, sounds up to 15 years old.

Finn
A young Irish orphan, could be male or female, sounds up to 15 years old.

Bella
A young Italian-American orphan girl, sounds approx 15 years old.

Matron
An older woman, any ethnicity, sounds 60+.