Thursday, November 27, 2014

Free-to-Play Week: Haunted Memories

Hello there and welcome to Day 4 of Free-to-play Week. First off, I hope folks had a fun-filled Turkey day with friends and family and everything went smoothly. If not, maybe a video game is in order for you. Journey with me to Green Park, a site designated for a sanctum for what end? Not sure but apparently this area has been closed off to the general public for some form of experimentation as it seems to have a unique paranormal phenomenon about it. This is Haunted Memories: The Haunt.

The forest ranger looks pissed. LEG IT!!!

Brought to us by Madmen Theory Games, this real time horror game gives no hints and offers save points that you must search out for. Our story begins with rainfall in a dense and lush forest. Is federal or city owned is not clear. As you seem to have been left in the pouring rain about 300 feet from your car, your character seems baffled as to why you are on in said rain. Hobbling up to the car you come across a folder, flashlight and gas can. The car is playing some golden oldies and you cannot seem to enter it so up and onward you go.

Green Park seems to have a psychic or paranormal entity called the Slender Man roaming about but that's just an urban legend. Loosely explained about the passing of one Mark Slender. It is almost as you have been swallowed up by what passes for his mind or possibly his nightmares. Who is this man? How has he brought me across to this world of darkness and rain? Why does my character look like the Brawny Man in the cut-scene? To get technical on you know. This is a six-part indie horror chapter game that seems to play on the macabre rather than gore. As we are at first chapter you wake in the rain with no memory of what has transpired nor where you really are.

Eerie evening... wait a minute, it's three in the afternoon!!!

These nature trails are fairly well marked but the lighting of the area is only the occasional lightning bolt or the paltry flashlight you have with weak batteries. Our audio combines an eerie soundtrack with faint footsteps, twigs snapping and playing havoc with your peripheral vision as you swear you keep something out of the corner of your eye. Make no mistake, folks this one plays on your fear of the dark and the unknown more than anything else. Your own paranoia from such horror games is waiting for the other shoe to drop that the subtle context of the game works well.

Just a few comments on the game now. The equip button is E and standard WASD for movement. There does not seem to be an increase in speed so super run away is not an option. This is a POV established game so if you are photo sensitive or phobic in that nature, you may want to pass as the camera view is a bit shaky giving it that slow clambering through the woods and on uneven surfaces.

Weapons such as: crowbars, fire axes and even a 45. Colt are about but you have to go looking for them which means hazarding taking 10 to 20 for looking around. The Slender Man follows you about and you can lose him if you do not gaze on him extensively but do NOT lock eyes with him as he tracks up to you and you die being in his presence. Some of the interaction with items and objects is sensitive but just adjust your mouse's settings and it is easier.

The graphics capture this awe inspiring moonless night full of nature noises, rain fall and that leaf crunch you swear you did not make. To put it thus, you will end up scaring yourself more than the game has to make effort as it seems to adhere to the rule, less is more. Scary does cover the overall vibe and I am looking forward to Chapter 2.

You are here and your Traveler's checks are there.