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Horror Darlings: I Can't Escape


It made me question the rules of the game and how safe I felt in my conclusions about the floors and environments, putting me at a point where I started to question other things I thought I knew about the game. After all, if you can't trust the floor under your feet, what else can you trust? What if those ghosts turn lethal later? What if those footsteps do mean something? You might know for a fact that something is meaningless from hundreds of attempts at the game, but it does such a good job of making you feel unsure of the game's rules that you never feel comfortable or safe. It'll do that without the player realizing it, soon leaving you in a state of blind panic that will lead all the way down, down, down into the game's depths, cursing yourself for the failure you deserve.

Because it can be beaten. There is a way out, but unless you can overcome your feelings about the game you won't find it. You could argue that's the weakest point about the game, as a careful player who observes everything and doesn't give in to the game's atmosphere will probably get out without much trouble. It was a necessary element to give the game a reason to be played, but it still undercuts the game's main goals in a way. You win by spiting the game's attempts to scare you.

How could you be afraid without that chance of escape, though? Doesn't the fact that you can win, that you can actually get out of the maze, make failure and panic all that more bitter? When you're running through the halls in a panic and looking for an escape route, you're doing it because you desperately hope that you can get away. If you didn't feel that there was some hope, you might give up and shut the game off, but it's that glimmer of hope that kept me going. I think it'll keep you going too, long after you've fallen so far you may as well give in. Even in that last area you'll be hammering away at the walls, hoping against hope for an escape route that you'll never find.

Not bad for a free half-hour long game, right? If you want to try it yourself, go give it a shot on Newgrounds.
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Nic Rowen   1



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About JoelCoutureone of us since 11:26 PM on 05.27.2013

Contributing Editor for mashthosebuttons.com, destitute but determined fantasy novelist & short story writer at joelcouture.com. I wish I was paid for either of those jobs.

I love horror games. If you scare me, I will give you money. I also love terrible games, as it's a lot harder to make a game that's so bad it's hilarious than it is to make something that is just bad.

For some reason I'm not super clear on, I am obsessed with J. Jonah Jameson.