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terra0nova

Ambient Horror Exploration Game "I Can't Escape"

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Well, it was a bigger project than I had thought, but I finished my January 1GAM, and I think it came out very well! The best way to experience it is to play it, so give it a try here: http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/610205

 

Chris Priestman at Indie Statik also gave it a very nice review, which you can read here: http://indiestatik.com/2013/01/31/i-cant-escape-is-a-freebie-that-suprises-with-ambient-horror-trickery/

 

Game Description

You have fallen into a vast underground maze. Can you find your way out, or will you end up trapped in darkness forever? As the title implies, you find yourself falling deeper into darker and creepier levels even as you try to go up towards freedom. The game is fairly experimental, with a psychological undertone, and it was designed to defy players expectations.

 

Screenshots

 

ICantEscape1.jpg

 

ICantEscape2.jpg

 

ICantEscape3.jpg

 

If you want some secrets/insight into the game, you should follow me on twitter (https://twitter.com/DavidMaletz) - I'm terrible at keeping things secret haha!

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For people who haven't played, don't read my post, and don't read the hints and tricks link until you've played :3

 

Just played it. I love it!! At first, I was thinking "Hmm, this is not very scary... maybe even kind of cheesy." So I walked around a bit. Was easy to get used to the controls, since it's just walking, and there are not a lot of weird game systems that you have to learn. So it's really easy to get into which is good.


Then I fell once, there was an eyeball on the wall, and I was thinking "Oh man, this will never be scary!"

 

Then I fell some more, and it got darker, the music changed... the blue man thing started floating around, and I thought "This is getting kind of creepy." I chased the blue man thinking maybe he was a clue or something, but tried to stay kinda far from him, too... He ended up not leading me to a clue. But then I kind of felt a bit of a rush after chasing him... I felt like I needed to be moving faster. So I started moving more haphazardly, and then a blue man appeared out of the corner and I jumped ^_^ So the game is genuinely creepy, and I feel the further you fall, you feel more of a sense of panic and urgency, which I liked a lot... it gave the game a nice atmospheric feel.

 

Sometimes I think the music is too much (sounds too much like music... what I like about horror music is that the music is more just 'noise.' It's still music, but it's so slow and not many instruments and usually no easily-recognized tempo, so it makes it feel very eerie). So sometimes the music made the game less scary to me.

 

Anyway, I played a couple rounds of just playing around and seeing what I could discover... noticed a few things about making my way around (trick doors, walls, floors, keys, whatever I could notice) and I really look forward to getting out some paper and mapping this game out. In the dark. :3

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I played this after your first post but forgot to comment. It was quite well done, congrats biggrin.png

 

At first, I was getting a bit bored exploring this little wolfenstein dungeon, not knowing what I'm meant to be doing. I found some secret walls and assumed there must be some purpose to exploring. Then I fell, and it got a bit darker, so I thought, "ok, guess I've got to try and get out, hence the name". Then I fell again, and it got darker, and tenser. Then I found a ladder, and got back up a bit, and found some hope that there must be a way out. Then I fell again, and again. I was teased by keys, and sights of ladders behind bars, but couldn't find my way back up anywhere. The sense of dread and fear that sets in as the darkness takes over, the music picks up, the textures get spookier and the pace of events increases, was a very well made composition of fear.

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Thanks a lot for your comments! I'm glad you enjoyed it, you guys really "got" the game! Even though nothing seems particularly scary by itself, the atmosphere, the music, the art, even the game mechanics and several subtle tricks all come together to create a sense of dread and fear.

 

As for the music, I think it's interesting how it has a musical quality. The game is not in your face scary, so neither is the music - it can even sound somewhat nice at times, but there is always this subtle "something is wrong" feeling. Someone commented that eventually even the eyeballs began to feel comforting, as at least it didn't feel like they were all alone (which shows how dark the atmosphere gets)! If you start to map out the maze, you'll notice something else is quite wrong with the maze as well!

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