October Terror Story #02 BASEMENT

by Robert Fenner

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Basement
Get it at Itch.io

 

Caelyn Sandel's BASEMENT is a short graphical adventure set in--you guessed it--a spooky old basement. There's a heavy door at the top of the stairs that you'd like to get on the other side of, but unfortunately it happens to be locked and you're without a key, so you've no recourse other than to explore these dank environs to see what you can do to get out of this mess.

This description makes BASEMENT sound like a relatively straight-laced take on a common childhood fear, but it soon becomes apparent that there's entirely something else happening within this subterranean world. You see, you're not just trying to get back upstairs into a welcoming home--PARADISE is rumored to lie beyond that heavy locked door. What exactly that entails remains unclear, but you're not alone in the basement. A whole host of bizarre characters have made their home in the corners of the cellar; some malevolent, some friendly, others indifferent, but none of them human.

My only real gripe with the title is that you occasionally find yourself pursued by stalker that ends you upon contact. You get Hunt the Wumpus-esque text clues to hint at how near or far it is from you, but if there's any way to divine an escape route aside from trial and error, I haven't found one. However, BASEMENT can be finished in 20 minutes, so once you figure out the steps you need to take to ensure your egress, lost progress becomes a minor inconvenience. I was compelled enough to see it through to the end, but saying much more would do it a disservice. See BASEMENT for yourself via the Itch link above.

Index

October 3rd - Katamari Damacy
October 2nd - BASEMENT
October 1st - Lights Out, Please

October Terror Story #01 Lights Out, Please

by Robert Fenner

It's October, and we thought we'd do something a little different this year. For each day in October, MisanthroPop will be highlighting a different horror game that we feel is worthy of your attention. Please do check back in every day until Halloween for a different spook.

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Lights Out, Please
Get it at Itch.io (pay what you want)

Collected by Kaitlin Tremblay, Lights Out, Please is an collaborative anthology of thirteen short horror stories written in Twine, each by a marginalized creator. Some are wholly original, while a number of those are unique spins on popular urban legends; both Western and Japanese. The horrors of each story may be supernatural or mundane, but each tale has a distinct message that warrants further reflection after one finishes reading.

My personal favorites are Porpentine's retelling of toilet stall terror Aka Manto, and Carli Verlucci's gristly examination of Kuchisake Onna as a victim of toxic masculinity...as told through the eyes of the aggressor. Favorites aside, all thirteen stories are outstanding.

Lights Out, Please is a chilling experience through and through, and one that solicits empathy from its readers. It's hard not to be moved by this collection. Fans of Ellen Datlow's anthology Little Deaths will find a lot to enjoy in Lights Out, Please, but much like that collection, do know going in that a few of the stories touch on sexual abuse. Highly recommended.

Index

October 3rd - Katamari Damacy
October 2nd - BASEMENT
October 1st - Lights Out, Please