Hidden Gems – Spooky’s House of Jump Scares
I would normally retain from writing about unfinished games, after all it’s incredibly difficult to know just how a game will turn out just by the early access release. Sure, the early access may give you the idea that the full release is going to be genius, it may have great mechanics or a suspenseful plot but how many times have we seen early access games build up hype and never finish? Or ruin it at the last moment in their full release? So this is definitely a gamble recommending an unfinished game to you readers, but there two important reasons why I am: one – despite waiting the last leg of the game to be completed, the journey getting that far is already quite fun, and two – It’s completely free.
You play the role of an explorer entering into a creepy mansion on top of a hill that turns out to be haunted, standard right? Except not really. The game replies on storylines, clichés and gimmicks from other popular horror genres but puts its own spin on it, making it both a parody but surprisingly with its own identity and original ideas.
As soon as you enter the house you are greeted by Spooky, an adorable ghost who challenges you make it through 1000 rooms in the house, ‘Oh my God she’s so precious’ you think; Soon after you begin your journey other cute little cardboard and stationary monsters pop out randomly causing the jump scares of the title ‘hahaha, silly monsters you’re not scary’ you again think as you’re lured into a false sense of security. Slowly but surely however, you begin to discover that perhaps the cute adorable pop-ups aren’t here to stay and get replaced with far more sinister things that await you the further you drive in.
As I stated, this game does make references to other horror genres, after every 100 or 150 rooms you enter into a lift that takes you down to the next level; what’s great is that on every floor there’s about 20 rooms that feature a classic horror setting like the space station where a subject has escaped or the abandoned rusty Japanese school and I’m almost positive a Zelda horror setting, most of these will set a creature of some kind of your tail that you must try to out run. Despite the graphics being pixelated it does provide a genuinely unnerving atmosphere and real scares without just replying on cheap jumping monsters.
It’s not a perfect game however, and being free I wouldn’t expect it to be. Similar to the SCP game the rooms are randomly generated, and you can explore for what feels like a long time without anything actually happening. Plus the ability to run quickly from room to room makes it lose a lot of the sense of danger.
For a free game its remarkably impressive, when it goes to full release it should still be free, it’s a game I would happily pay anything up to £10 for.
Still unsure? Check out this Let’s Play from Markiplier:
Sam Halford is a magazine journalist, you can follow him on Twitter.