I originally found out about this game from Kotaku. Since then, I’ve downloaded the game, played it maybe six or seven times, each time for probably less than ten minutes before screaming, getting chills, ripping my headphones off, and stepping away from my computer.
It’s a free game. You can download it right now and try it yourself.
The creator, AgentParsec, says via YouTube: “I didn’t expect this to be popular; I made it for practice so I could learn Unity, and was only really intending to post it to a few forums I frequent.”
Sometimes, beautiful things are created by accident. The game’s modest design works in its favor. Sometimes, the simpler you make your horror story, the scarier it becomes. I even like how when you die, the game just flat-out quits. No ‘play again’. No ‘new game’. Just blip. You’re done. Like not only did the Slenderman get you, he fucked with your computer, too.
Honestly, Slender may well be the scariest game I’ve ever played — and I’ve played a lot of horror games. Resident Evil, Silent Hill, Dead Space–all are great series with a lot of great scares, but nothing so far has been this effective from the very first seconds.
You have a flashlight. The batteries will run out, so you should shut it off when you can. You’re in the woods and need to collect eight pages, scattered around the area. You’d better keeping moving, though. He follows you. And he’s fast. I don’t know if he walks. It seems to me more that he jumps forward once you spot him.
Be careful, though … his blank white face can look a lot like a page from twenty feet away.
I have yet to collect more than three pages. The first one is easy, usually. After that, he starts to come after you.
It’s funny how many of my rules for horror this game follows: it’s really hard to win, making the bad guy pretty lethal and dropping a serious feeling of doom over the proceedings; there are no cops, no guns, no monologuing villains (in fact, there’s no dialogue at all); and atmosphere? It has that in spades, but it doesn’t overdo it.
If you like being scared shitless, try playing this game. It’s an amazing testament to the power of independent games.
I love it.
Now I’m going to have to go try it again …
(fuck you, Slenderman, those pages are MINE!)