TL;DR: scary, pixelated, exploration adventure. Download here.
Welcome to the third article in the Free Fun series, bringing you great free gaming experiences every month. This month’s game is Imscared, a first-person horror adventure available for Windows.
Article disclaimer: I am terrible with anything scary. Action films have enough startling moments. I stopped playing Bioshock because it was too dark and spooky. I beat Amnesia: The Dark Descent in two player mode (spoiler: it’s a one player game). I watched one horror film in a theatre my entire life, and it was with my parents. Therefore, I might (read most definitely) exaggerate scary situations and this game is no exception.
Imscared – A Pixelated Nightmare is a adventure horror game created by Ivan Zanotti. It’s a fairly short game that can be finished in under half an hour. The game has pixel graphics as advertised. The pixel resolution is far too low to show off any detailed nasties such as gore or disfigured monsters. The creepiness of this game is largely achieved through atmosphere. The music and sound effects combined with the extremely low view distance made me question my dedication to video game journalism.
I will not go into much detail about the plot because it would spoil the horror. You are interacting with the game. That is, you are playing the game with the game. I hope that sounds confusing but intriguing. This whole ordeal takes place in what seems to be a building. You mysteriously start off in a room. It’s a clean room with a bed, a table, and a closet. There’s no context as to why you are here. Nothing seems entirely out of the ordinary at this point. If you ignore the fact that this game has “Pixelated Nightmare” in the title, there’s no reason to be afraid. Thus begins our quest. Let’s get scared.
The first section of the game is a collection quest. Your task is to presumably open the door labelled “Exit”. In order to do that, you must unlock it with a pulsating heart. The controls are fairly basic: you can move in the four standard directions, run, crouch, and interact with objects. There is no jumping so no worries about platforming sections. Also absent from this game is an inventory menu so no need to desperately mash items together in hopes of creating something useful. The gameplay mechanics are simple and so this game is fairly relaxing to play from a gameplay perspective.
The premise is simple: explore the place. There are locked doors. There are keys that open such doors scattered around. Find the keys and open the doors if you wish. While this game lacks in graphical fidelity, it creates a great atmosphere with sounds. Sounds and atmospheric music will trigger and play as you move around the place. Personally, the sound of my feet as I walked across the starting room was enough to erk me a bit. Something unexpected happens after you complete this first section. The game is not over yet. Remember the message from the start of the game and you will find a surprise. The rest is up to you to discover.
Imscared – A Pixelated Nightmare is a horror game that interacts with you in a way unlike any other I have played or seen. It is a cool, creepy experience that lasts under an hour but lingers on in your head. As with any other horror game, you should play this at night and/or in a dark place by yourself with some comfy headphones. It is a short game so you can complete it in one sitting and still have enough time for a good night’s rest if you can fall asleep afterwards. You can download the game via Game Jolt here. Make sure it’s set up correctly. Enjoy, and Happy Halloween!
The picture captions referencing “Lose Yourself” by Eminem are property of their respective copyright holders.