Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Watchlist: Neverending Nightmares

Title: Neverending Nightmares
Developer: Matt Gilgenbach
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux, Ouya
Releasing Late 2013 (Ouya), 2015 (PC)
"Neverending Nightmares is a psychological horror game inspired by the real horror of my battle with obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression. It features a truly interactive narrative structure allowing you to shape the outcome of the game."
I first learned of the upcoming Neverending Nightmares from a compelling Polygon article about its developer Matt Gilgenbach  and his struggles as an indie developer and with obsessive-compulsive disorder. His life-long struggle lead him to pursue the deeply personal, disturbing psychological horror game Neverending Nightmares.
Inspired by games like Silent Hill and Amnesia, Neverending Nightmares revolves around a protagonist trapped in a cycle of nightmares where grotesque hallucinations and creatures terrorize the player. The story is built around branching narratives and multiple plauthroughs; your actions result in different nightmares and different endings.
Stealth and exploration are key game mechanics. Your character is weak and enemies are unable to be hurt. Hiding and fleeing are your only options. Neverending Nightmares also sports a striking 2D art style, in which dynamic lighting, shading effects, and the contrasting use of color give the game an eerie unsettling look.
The demo. which has you exploring a mansion's halls at night, shows great promise; a sense of dread and tension is quickly established and maintained throughout and the slow pace only adds to that tension. The art style is particularly effective at setting an unsettling and disorienting tone. 
If you're interested in Neverending Nightmares, download the demo, vote for it on Steam Greenlight, or back the game on Kickstarter.

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