Wednesday, July 18, 2012
The Slenderman mythos that sprang from the foul depths of SomethingAwful and has been at the core of the sometimes-brilliant Marble Hornets series has now been turned into a video game. Slender is free-to-download PC game that was released just a few short weeks ago at www.slendergame.com and has since gone quietly viral around the Net. Fact is, the download site has shut down - presumably under the traffic load - although I have to believe other download sites will become available soon.
So what's the big deal? Tonight I found out.
Part Marble Hornets and part Alan Wake, the game is short and simple. You're in the woods at night armed with a flashlight and batteries that will eventually wear out. You need to find 8 pages posted on trees and outbuildings - pages that tell a weird story of something else that might inhabit the forest. For every page you find, the risk of encountering that 'something' increases.
The graphics are simple and effective - especially the lighting. But it's the soundtrack and audio effects that convincingly create an atmosphere of walking through the woods at night.
In my own run-through, I encountered the Slenderman after the second page and it was unnerving (actual screenshot above). While easy enough to escape at that point (he never actually chases you), the effect was convincing and I found the hairs on the back of my neck at full attention. I even managed to scare myself a second time in true Three Stooges fashion when I turned too quickly and found a tree a little closer than I planned.
If you can find this game for download, it's worth the clicks to try it out. If you can't find it (yet), I recommend entering 'slender game youtube' into your favourite search engine. You'll find a few videos of people playing (and reacting to) Slenderman The Game.
As for myself, I need to go turn on a few more lights.