Always short of a few bob and looking for something a bit different, each week I scour the internet for fun, interesting or just plain curious Indie Freebies. This week’s highlighted titles are: Spoiled Eggburt, an offbeat interactive adventure about a film snob and his favourite horror flick; Werewolf in the Wild, an intense sensory experience that puts you in the torn shoes of a werewolf; and OVERCURSED, a humorous and atmospheric pixel-art romp about a charlatan ghostbuster.
Much like myself Eggburt is a pretentious film snob with a fondness for horror. However, he gets more than he bargained for when he shows off his favourite flick to his love interest Bertha. No matter how many times he replays it, the film’s storyline keeps differing from his previous viewing.
In Spoiled Eggburt you find yourself controlling the protagonist of said film, which is about a kid whose drawings come to life and try to kill him. Trapped in your bedroom clues of how to evade the monster and escape the room come from Eggburt’s commentary. Each time you fail, Eggburt rewinds the tape, snidely mocks your mistakes, and informs Bertha of what you should have done. Over time he becomes increasingly frustrated and perplexed by how the movie has changed somehow.
Created in under 48 hours for Asylum Jam 2016 and from the creators of the brilliantly sinister Time to Wash Up (which I covered here), Spoiled Eggburt is a wonderfully humorous, inventive, and twisted interactive story backed up by some lovely child-like hand-drawn visuals that have been overlayed with nostalgic VHS tracking and static effects. And what a great ending!
Spoiled Eggburt is available on Windows and can be downloaded from Game Jolt for free here. It can also be played in a web browser.
Werewolf in the Wild
Created for a game jam revolving around procedural generation (ProcJam 2016), Werewolf in the Wild is more simulator than game. You simply explore a random rural landscape as a werewolf, seeing the world as it does.
It’s a highly visceral and intense sensory experience – a synaesthesia of sight and sound. You meander past the trees, megaliths, lakes, hills, and large stone towers, perceiving it all in an extremely low-key grainy monochrome, like an exaggerated rendition of German Expressionism. Your perspective is distorted, everything flickers fiercely, the harsh light of the moon (or is it the sun?) blinding if you turn to face it. There’s an incessant metallic scraping and scratchy static, your feet stomp heavily and menacingly on the earth. You snarl and growl, breathing heavily. Birds fly past, chirping merrily.
I love the feeling of speed and the sense of freedom as you sprint across the terrain. It’s both fascinating and stimulating, and definitely one for headphones. However, I wouldn’t recommend it for people who suffer from epilepsy or migraines, for obvious reasons.
Werewolf in the Wild is available for Windows, Mac and Linux, and can be downloaded from itch.io for free here. It’s listed as name your own price, so if you do enjoy it you should consider making a small donation. The developer, Murray Lorden, says that tips will encourage an expansion of the game and he has plans to introduce objectives and more AI characters.
Another Asylum Jam 2016 entry, OVERCURSED is a light-hearted and quirky horror point and clicker. You assume the role of a self-employed ghostbuster who goes under the company name OVERCURSED Inc. With trusty side-kick pooch Rocky always in tow, you deal with mundane problems that your clients superstitiously and naively attribute to paranormal activity. Phenomena like electromagnetic interference turning out to be the result of a wonky TV aerial. Well, that is until…
It’s short and silly, but also very funny – full of parody jump scares, film and TV references, and it even manages to sneak in a nod to the recent American election result. The creepy ambiance is superb, and the colourful and beautifully animated pixel art is to die for. I won’t spoil the awesome finale for you. But the real star of the show is the fantastic John Carpenter/Stranger Things-inspired soundtrack.
Sadly, the experience is let down somewhat by a fair amount of lag towards the very end. The developer is aware of this, and hopefully it will get fixed soon. But don’t let this put you off, I still managed to really enjoy it.
OVERCURSED is available for Windows and can be downloaded from Game Jolt for free here. It can also be played in a web browser.