Its a Slender Success!
Article on a great new game! See www.tha-one.com for more.
I wont lie I do I like reviewing free games sometimes. There are some truly excellent ones out there that don’t normally get as much publicity as their pay-to-play counterparts. And the fact they are available online for no cost at all means that, if you like the sound of it, you can go and try it out for yourself straight away without deciding whether it’s worth the money. For this reason, I’ve decided to now bring you a review of the excellent horror game Slender.
Slender draws on the Slender Man mythos, particularly the popular Youtube series Marble Hornets. Slender Man is a monster developed entirely on the internet, but one so effective he’s often mistaken for a genuine figure of folklore. Marble Hornets is a Youtube horror series (also free and worth checking out), which has no official link to Slender but is clearly the chief inspiration.
So what can you expect when you play this game? Well the first thing it does is drop you in the woods with a torch and video camera. The game is viewed through the latter, which makes two differences overall. Firstly, you can zoom in and out while in normal view. The second and most important reason is that Slender Man interferes with electronics. The camcorder acts as your early warning system. If you see static, he’s after you.
The game itself is so simple that, on paper, it sounds outdated. You simply wander around the woods collecting pages written about Slender Man. If you collect all eight, you win. Like I say, pretty dated on paper. In practise, this isn’t really a problem. The game still presents a challenge, and most of all it is about building atmosphere and scaring the hell out of you!
And that scariness is helped an awful lot by how little the game gives you. Pretty much your only defences are the camera static and your ability to run. This is perfectly in keeping with the established Slender Man mythos. He has no fangs or claws. He’s just creepy, and the fear comes from that and the knowledge that if he gets his hands on you you’re doomed. Your only hope is that he tends not to bother running after you that much, (he prefers to either get you later or keep stalking you until you lose your mind) so if you’re quick you can get away for the time being. InSlender, you are similarly defenceless. He can pop up at any time, appearing more frequently the more pages you get, and if you so much as look at him for too long then you lose. In difficulty terms, the fact you can flee keeps this from being as overpowered as it sounds. And in horror terms, it’s a masterstroke. You don’t have the comfort of knowing that when the enemy pops up, you can shoot or stab him (even if you had weapons, most people agree they wouldn’t do much to Slender Man). Instead, you just have hope. The hope he doesn’t turn up, and the hope that you can run away when he does. And this makes you really feel the threat. It makes you feel hunted. It makes you feelscared.