(Late) Video Wednesday: Little Phobia

It's late, it's super late! But Leon gave us some footage of Little Phobia, and you shall watch it regardless!

It's a fun, and even quite challenging horror platformer, plus, it runs directly on your browser. I wrote some words on it that you can read here, but in any case, I suggest you to check today's video nonetheless.

Leon's Youtube channel is consistently offering some great content. If you want to see more of it, subscribing to him is free. What are you waiting for?

A modern Frankenstein: Belladonna

For those who still don't know, I'm also sharing cool games on Warp Door. Plus, above all the cool initiatives run there, I myself contribute once a week with a Screenshot Saturday round-up. Where, basically, I pick the most interesting screenshots of games in development and then dig into their stories. Last week, I stumbled upon Belladonna in development by Niklas Hallin, and after a closer look, I thought that you may have wanted to keep track of it as much as I do.

There isn't anything playable right now, and although I know that I've lost already half of the readers, I just wanted to get that out of the way. I'm here to share my excitement about games in general. It doesn't matter whether they're already out, or still in the protptyping stage. Belladonna is a classic point and click adventure game. It's set in a Victorian-styled mansion, and by guessing from the several screenshots on its website, most of the backgrounds are entirely hand-painted. The compelling trailer, at the end, was supposedly suggesting that the game was coming out the past summer. Which didn't happen, evidently. Though exactly because I found it through the Twitter's #screenshotsaturday hashtag, we can be sure that it's still being worked on.

The story remains partially undisclosed, and most of the assumptions I'm going to make, are solely made based on the rough guideline available. Belladonna, main character and wife of doctor Wolfram von Trauerschloss has lost her child. The dramatic circumstances, lead her husband to perform dangerous experiments centered on overcoming death at all costs. However, it seems like his first attempt at creating a sentient entity out of mechanic parts and flesh, will be actually performed on none other than Belladonna.

Playing as what's left of her body, you'll have to dig deep into your memories and look for clues around the castle to finally unravel the many mysteries behind the events of your "initial" death. I couldn't find the platforms on which Belladonna will run, but I'll make sure to let everyone know as soon as there are more details about its release. The website is often updated, so you can check it too!

Biblioteca, a horror browser-based RPG

In case anyone wonders, biblioteca in italian means library. Then guess it? Yeah, the game I chose today is indeed set in a library. What a fantastic coincidence, I might say. Anyway, Biblioteca has been developed by Vitaly Margevich, and, above everything, it's always good to play something complex without the need of downloading anything.

Biblioteca comes with pretty much all the visual elements that I would expect in an RPG Maker game. However, the last time I checked, it wasn't possible to bring games made with it on any browser. But let's move on. We're talking about a horror RPG game, and like most of them, it heavily relies on easy puzzles often about finding keys to unlock doors. Other than that, since it's obvious that you can't expect people to be scared of tiny 2D characters, the developer did a great job on the sound department. The so called jumpscares are limited, and when they happen, it's best to have the volume (especially if you're a headphones user) turned down to the minimum.

The plot could've been definitely better. Creepy mansions in which you're locked in and screaming ghosts don't exactly feel fresh anymore. However, I liked the premise that casts yourself in a playable version of the nightmare that the main character has every night. As a natural follow-up, the whole story will be then set in the run-down library of the dream that you've finally been able to recognize. The game doesn't go easy on you, as it presents almost instantly chopped heads laying on a table, or even the first apparition of a ghostly girl that you'll eventually hate as the events unfold.

What's even better about this, is that the game, divided wisely in acts, has a sort of built-in save system. Of course, you need to keep your browser cookies intact. But then, providing that you haven't anything to do with all of that geeky business, you can leave the game whenever you want without having to start over the next time.

Biblioteca can be played directly on itch.io.

Crystal Rift, horror challenges ahead of us

Whenever I can't find anything worthwhile already released, I like to surf Steam Greenlight pages. Most of the times, I must admit, it doesn't pay off. But today, I'm instead so proud that I haven't spent my time for nothing that I can't stop giggling. Crystal Rift is being made by Job Hibbins and Nick Pittom, and is supposedly going to come out in the third quarter of 2015. Moreover, regardless of it being still in the early stages of development, playable builds are being released as new features get implemented.

Crystal Rift is described as a first-person challenge game. Which practically, means that the gameplay revolves around overcoming increasingly difficult levels through mysterious and dark locations. Deadly traps are set up in order to prevent you from discovering the dark secrets hidden in the dungeon you're exploring, but that, shouldn't be your first concern. The game's horror elements are a lot and pretty varied, that's what worries me the most.

Furthermore, it's good to notice that the game has been specifically designed to be played with virtual reality devices. The devs, however, are also planning to release its 2D version, which is coming respectively for both Windows and Mac systems.

The story will be unfolded only by playing it, and if you're having troubles to visualize its playstyle the trailer should help you out. I wonder how the grid-movement system will work out considering that everything seems to be running in real time. Though regardless of that, the more I read about Crystal Rift, the more I think of it as a horror-styled Legend of Grimrock.

An Oculus Rift alpha version can be downloaded for free on IndieDB. I honestly tried it without having the right tools just because I wanted a sneak peek. And if I have to be honest, it's been enough to make me want to play it as soon as it comes out. Thus, if you're interested as much me, you can help it out by voting yes on its Greenlight page.

Outrun by Winter, a creepy interactive reading

While we've already understood that I'm not that much into visual novels, I'm bringing you Outrun by Winter to prove that it's not because I don't like games with a lot of reading involved. I found this earlier today, lost in the wall of games over at onegameamonth.com. It's hard to get your game noticed when you just have a (roughly) 16x16 preview image at your disposal. I generally go over each one of them regardless, but I remember that this one, looked interesting at first sight.

The developer refers to his game as a mere story, though in my opinion, calling it a first person interactive story suits it much more. In fact, although there's indeed a creepy poem to read, you skip through its verses by actually exploring the woods in which you found yourself. The visuals are quite unpolished, and, if that matters, I think it's just due to the fairly outdated game engine that I wasn't able to recognize. You move with WASD or the arrow keys, while the mouse, it's better to be left alone as it only interferes with the yet already clunky controls.

The character wakes up in the middle of a forest. It snows outside, and most of the sound effects, are what made the whole scenario rather scary. Once you get used to the movement, you might want to start looking for the tight paths between the black trees. It will take less than a minute before Outrun by Winter will reveal itself for what it is for real. A surreal bone-chilling exploration that doesn't require any sort of good graphics to back it up.

There's an entity which distorts the reality in order to catch you. At first, its presence can only be heard, but while moving on, it will set up traps and other threatening illusions. For instance, I went into a corridor that I could've sworn it didn't exist a second earlier. It was there, in the middle of nowhere. And to add onto that, my first death was awaiting right behind that very corner. Outrun by Winter can be downloaded here, but it's just for Windows unfortunately.
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