In this Tiny Horror Game, it's Just You and the Apocalypse


#1

‘Pacific’ hints at a terrifying reality.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/kzqd5n/in-this-tiny-horror-game-its-just-you-and-the-apocalypse

#2

Playing this after playing Anatomy recently, it was interesting to compare. I haven’t played many horror games because I feel like I’m signing up for nightmare-material and I like to sleep. I actually appreciate how mild this was. The pixelation shader(?), reliance on (what I assume are) public-domain recordings, the giant gait, player height, and impatient pace didn’t allow FEAR to really soak in at all; I don’t always want the FEAR to soak in. I felt like I was holding my shit until a cat jumped in the window IRL while playing.

What I enjoyed most were the few instances where the developer lined up a context for a surprise. For some reason my favorite wasn’t the erection of the bodies or the unaccounted disappearance of a body-bag, but the tape I picked up in the corner triggering the teleportation after I had been in the habit of manipulating it solely by closing doors (or I thought that was the only way it was happening). For some reason, that gave me a spike of excitement and I felt like it was slight enough to not be too clever.

The military-experiment context made the use of bodies in a horror game odd. The way they are arranged so orderly, symmetrically, and uniform evoked a sense of casualties as a number, unlucky volunteers whose deaths were necessary for the greater good of the state. I’m sure there is a long history of horror-stories where the ghosts are created by military-experiments, but the brevity and scope of this game made it feel different to me. I was never convinced that this was a large operation (I guess I always assume military operations as being larger) so the game’s scope and scale removed me from that context a bit which created a different type of eeriness. Something more like an art-installation that was put together to remind the public of the costs of a particular decision the military made. Or a haunted house at a rural fair somehow sponsored by RT.