Sunday, August 26, 2012
Slender Man Video Game 'Slender' is Wonderfully Scary
A few weeks ago I came across a shareware Slender Man game called "Slender" by Parsec Productions.
Slender is a short, experimental horror game in which you must travel into a dark woods at night, with a simple goal: find 8 pages that are scattered across the woods. But as you are looking for them, you are being stalked by an entity that grows more persistent and relentless as each page is collected, an entity that you cannot even look at for long, let alone fight. Your only hope is to collect all 8 pages before it catches you...
"Slender" is one of the most scary video games I have ever seen. I wanted to do my own play-through review, but unfortunately, the computer I work on at the House of Horror is really old and can't support the graphics to play it properly. (It stutters like a mo-fo.) So I watched my SO Shane Strange and our pal Razor play it, and man does this game get to you quick. It's so spooky, I love it!
In this first person game, you are armed with a flashlight and nothing else. The flashlight battery drains as you use it, so there are times when you have to walk around in the dark as it "recharges." While the flashlight is off, it is pitch black outside, so you never know when you'll turn your flashlight back on and Slender Man will be standing right there in front of you. And of course, if you look at it, it catches you and you lose the game. When Slender Man approaches you, the game does the same video and audio distortion that Marble Hornets brought to the Slenderverse, which makes it a startling and heart pounding ending.
In "Slender," you can't fight Slender Man, all you can do is run away from it. This, I think, lends a sense of you playing as yourself, as the common Every Man character that trips over rocks and not the muscle bound, roided out Action Man that can leap over any obstacle. *ahem* Chris Redfield. I'm looking at you...
The fact that you are playing a vulnerable, average person that can't leap out of trees and attack Slender Man like a crazed monkey wielding a knife, makes the game play all the more intense, as it creates not only a sense of vulnerability (which makes things scary), but a feeling of being alone in the dark in middle of the woods, which is scary in real life.
The sound track of "Slender" has a heart-like drumming bass sound that quickly starts to get under your skin to create suspense and increase the tension you feel while you play. The crunching of shoes on dead leaves and underbrush, chirping crickets, and the dark, impenetrable night when combined with this sound really makes a wonderfully creepy atmosphere that most horror games now lack.
Slender Man's silhouette mimics the tall skinny trees of the forest. As you play the game you'll soon start seeing Slender Man at every turn, and most of the time, its just your eyes playing tricks on you.
While the graphics certainly aren't on the high price scale end of development as far as video games go, I think that the simplicity of the game design really helps to create terror and suspense that is just delicious.
If you like horror and really want to play a game that utilizes atmosphere and aesthetics to scare the crap out of you, you really need to give "Slender" a try.
Check out the Toonami review of "Slender!"
You can download "Slender" for free at Parsec Productions.net. Just click the link and then click "Game" to reach the download page where there's a Windows and Mac version available for you to download.
Watch the "Slender" teaser below!