Slender

Posted: July 31, 2012 in Let's Play A Game
Tags: , , ,

Image credit: relyonhorror.com

Slender is a creepy indie freeware game currently doing the rounds. It seems like every gamer I follow is talking about it at the moment. I was already somewhat familiar with the story of “Slender Man” from a foray into the 4Chan paranormal boards a few years back, and was interested to see how someone had managed to work the concept into a game. So last night I dimmed the lights and fired up the old laptop to see what it’s all about.

So, Slender. You start out in a forest. There’s trees, there’s a fence, and it’s pitch black except for your torch. All you are told is that you have to collect 8 pages. 8 pages of what, who the fuck knows. I follow a path into a clearing with a gnarled and bare-branched tree, and an eerie, rhythmic drumbeat begins playing. I look up at the tree… and decide it’s getting a bit late. Probably time for bed.

I have a love-hate relationship with horror games – I love them until I play them. Then I get scared and remember how much I hate them.  Fully aware of this, my idiot boyfriend yells ‘ah!’ at me as i’m walking past the big scary tree. I jump. He thinks it’s the funniest thing ever. I ragequit.

***

So this evening I try again. I go about 10 paces in, stop, turn off my torch, and just stare at the sky. I like the sky. The stars dim and brighten in turn, partially shrouded by the hazy fog and wisps of cloud blowing across the sky.

The music swells. A strange noise in the distance draws my attention. It begins to get louder and more intense, and then a strange static begins covering the screen. I turn my torch on for a sec, then quickly switch it off. The static covers the screen… then recedes. OK. I explore some more, hit the wrong key on my computer (I don’t play many PC games, easy mistake to make apparently) and accidentally exit the game. Argh.

I start again. This time, I must go a different way, because instead of ending up at scary tree clearing again, I end up at some rocks. And I find – a page! Yay! Now I know what i’m looking for.

…there’s no limit!

I start exploring again with a renewed vigour. I start running, and come across a circle of rocks. Another page! This game is easy. I really don’t know what I was worried about. Feeling confident, I flash the torch behind me and… oh god, wtf was that?! Ok, ok, stay cool, just keep moving forward.

I get to the bathroom. I fucking HATE bathrooms. Anyone whose ever played Silent Hill or seen IT knows that NOTHING good ever happens in bathrooms.

Nothing good can come of this – image credit: http://bestofhands.tumblr.com

I carefully check the hallway, there’s a fallen over chair… it’s a dead  end. I start backtracking… it’s like a maze. Great now I’m lost in the bathroom. I turn around and.. oh shit! FUCK HE’S RIGHT BEHIIND ME *squeals* –  Game Over.

***

For what it is, Slender is surprisingly scary. The scenery and SFX build tension perfectly. I found six pages in my best run, but you will need determination to find all eight. In some ways it felt like getting further through the game was more about luck than skill, but I must admit I played it for less than 2 hours in total so there may be some trick to it that I didn’t work out.

Overall, I found it a highly unpleaseant and unnerving experience – exactly what I want from a scary game. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for future projects from Parsec Productions.

3 stars

 

Slender: Game Trailer

As punishment for scaring me, I also made my boyfriend play through the game because he really didn’t see how it was scary. Enjoy.

***

Related Links

Slender (free download): http://slendergame.com/

Slender Man – The Meme: http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/slender-man

Good Game Review (Video): http://www.abc.net.au/tv/goodgame/stories/s3557585.htm

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