A nightmare that will keep you guessing…
The scariest part of games is often before the player ever has their first encounter. At this stage, even if you have a weapon, you don’t know what to expect -what form the enemy will take, how it will move, how fast, how effective your weapon will be, and when that encounter will come… At this stage, the mechanics are unknown- but after that first enemy is overcome you have a ‘feel’ for what to expect.
“Nightmare House 2” is one of the best examples of keeping a sense of the unexpected and fearing the next corner that I’ve ever played. A full-length mod for Steam, as long as you’re signed up to a Steam account it’s available to download for free -The “2” is a bit confusing, since it includes a remake of part 1 and is thus the entire story.
The concept of Nightmare House is simple enough, but the difference between being derivative and iconic is how well executed something is. You do have weapons in Nightmare House 2, but they won’t always help you- what will happen next is always uncertain & unpredictable from place to place, corridor to corridor. The makers are never content to rest on their laurels and repeat an idea twice, and the whole experience is filled with a seemingly neverending stock of impressively inventive ideas, seamlessly executed. It’s a mastery of fear by keeping you unsettled, nerves raw, by the constant unexpectedness. The name is apt.
The term ‘psychological horror’ gets thrown around a lot in games, usually without anyone really justifying what they mean by it (often seemingly just twitchy creatures similar to the ones from Silent Hill). This game contains rare moments that play acute mind games with the player, completely subverting them, and for once actually earn the label.
And what better timing? An updated, remastered version has just been recently released, so it’s the perfect time to check it out.
(You can use the ‘use’ key to pick up and carry wooden crates.)
Its creators have also since gone on to subsequent projects such as “Underhell”.
Get on my horse