Andrew’s Top 15 Games of 2018
2018 has been the best year for games in the history of the medium. Indie outlets have expanded with increased popularity; AAA developers have displayed a recognition of indie influence through their own works; media have called out big publishers’ greedy exploitation of consumers following the releases of titles like Far Cry 5 and the unfinished Fallout 76; a startlingly evocative pioneer of the walking simulator was finally released on home consoles (see below).
Most importantly, a plethora of innovative, thought-provoking, challenging, and genuinely unforgettable games have released. The year’s output stands as a testament to the creative maturation inherent within the entire industry as time marches onwards. The greatest works of 2018 have offered hours of content, wracking players’ brains with meaningful platforming, symbolic and ritualistic puzzle design, enigmatic worldbuilding, representational functionality, complicated detective work, chess-like strategy, and even evolutionary context regarding AI.
If the year has taught us anything, it is that audiences are beginning to demand more from games; to leave behind the AAA trends of yesteryear and focus on building inhabitable spaces enriched by escapist fantasy. Checklists no longer inspire captivation, but systems which reward players’ tendencies to help themselves allow them to truly be immersed within the fictional borders encasing them. Here are fifteen games which more than satisfy the craving to become lost in an artist’s world, and are paving the way for an even more effective future for the medium.
Honorable mentions: Minit, Subnautica, Dandara, Gris, Dusk, Chuchel, Unavowed, SEPTEMBER 1999, Hitman 2, Below, Feed Me Billy, Zones, Visage, DeltaRune, Wandersong, Lucah: Born of a Dream, Concluse, Donut County
15. Red Dead Redemption 2
Red Dead Redemption 2 is the epitome of presentation over functionality, perhaps a game’s greatest possible sin. It glorifies violence through its repetitive, satisfying combat mechanics while the narrative — a redemption arc which primarily purports the rousing credence of community as an objection to the dehumanization awarded by American progress — paints its “bad men” as figures to root for. A game heavily conditioned by its cinematic aspirations, but oh how gorgeous the imagery presented continuously proves to be. Wide open valleys, rocky mountain sides bleached white by snowfall, rivers and canyons suggesting a world swallowed up in the process of time. And in the middle of it all stands Arthur Morgan, the main star of a diverse cast of characters each set on forging their own legacy within the contexts of those wide open spaces housing them.
The game is at its best when confronting the egos of its protagonists, and allowing the players to lose themselves in the open world Wild West setting to roam as they please; at its worst whenever it seizes control, or forces them into the umpteenth shootout against mindless AI bandits. For RDR2 speaks through violence, and its language is articulated via the barrel end of a gun. Perhaps the game’s greatest failing is its insistence upon violence as a constant means of solving problems, even as the bloodshed begets further bloodshed. The plot never directly questions our inherent instinct to blow enemies away for the sake of progression, though it will tease at the notion of ruminating.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is, ultimately, a tale of perseverance amidst befallen consequences outside of human control, and the survival genre-esque gameplay is meant to support its narrative ambitions, even if it does often fall short of full realisation. Perhaps the game’s greatest achievement then lies in the grandiose proportionality of its open world; the player stands tall amongst a riverbed besmirched by dozens of slain victims, but the forest trees and hillsides tower above them, a reminder of the natural power dominating every scene in the game.
14. Perfectly Ordinary Ghosts
Games fundamentally offer a sense of control over the pacing of a story, but often only within the limitations of the author’s own established universe. There is little room for imagination from the player’s perspective, as every detail of the environment has been etched out accordingly for them to explore. Text-based adventures therefore rewrite the rules of a graphics-forward title, relishing in the creative mindset of the audience alongside the developer, in a sort of collaborative effort to forge an effective experience.
Victoria Smith’s Twine masterpiece stars a “real house made imaginary,” a setting illustrated only through language and the blindingly white facade of the user’s computer screen. Smith constructs her Gothic horror fable around the notion of exploring a homestead by turning the pages of a digital book. The modernization of this concept, as transmitted through the frame of a PC, inherently demolishes the separation between the past and present; the mythology of ‘ghosts’ is literalized through the game’s simplistic design. Every moment spent lurking the suggested hallways of Smith’s haunted house is seeped in expectant dread; a harrowing climax is often insinuated, only for the creeping tension to fall flat in a static sort of disappointment. Much like Kitty Horrorshow’s incredible Anatomy, Perfectly Ordinary Ghosts is fascinated with the human attraction towards the unknown. What lurks just beyond the decrepit doorway, however monstrous it may be, no matter the consequences, we must see to believe.
13. The Hex
Daniel Mullins’s games are nothing if not ambitious. However, that may be disingenuous a description. They are also nothing if not satiric, and self-aware, and genuinely hilarious. For Mullins, as a game designer, is fascinated with the very concept of game design, particularly how particular genre tropes seem to trap the medium’s ability to mature and develop. His 2016 title, Pony Island remains a piercing, horrific satire of arcade systems and the ability of AI to articulate human attributes. It stands as a marvel thanks to its constant flow of energy, one second forcing players into deliberately hokey arcade sequences, the next adamantly breaking the fourth wall in shocking jest.
The Hex, the latest project from Mullins, dispels all notions of definition, replicating every single game genre it possibly can, resulting in a truly genre-defying experience. But what lingers long after the credits roll is the very human account associated beneath the toppled layers of gamification, a record of genre-trappings, review bombs, media coverage, and developer woes. The developer strictly reminds his audience throughout that games are made by people, for people to enjoy, and the legacies of iconic characters or series should never overshadow the efforts placed into forging them. Through misguided platformers, arcade beat-em-ups, RPG clones, and more, The Hex humanizes its cast of game characters as a direct means of humanizing their creators; for every work of art has an author, and with his latest masterwork, Mullins proves the authenticity and significance of his own craft.
12. The Red Strings Club
AI, cyberpunk, neon; ah yes, another masterschlock of style over substance from an indie developer honing in on their skills at writing dialogue but failing to present natural communication between the central cast of part-robot characters. Or, wait, is it? Indeed, regarding the fine, fine details, The Red Strings Club offers very little new to the oversaturated genre it so fanatically embraces. However, what the game does deliver is a wonderfully diverse assortment of influences, from adventure game stylings to hacking simulators, infused with humor and bona fide personality amongst its bevy of convincing personas, a mesh of emotionally-instigated elements feeding its philosophizing plot with sincere humanity. Every mechanic and design element functioning as a direct reference to the underlying social commentary presented throughout.
In other words, Deconstructeam’s game is the ideal and necessary evolution of cyberpunk: as a genre, as an aesthetic design, as a storytelling device. Every moment is seeped in existential rumination, each scene demanding the player to study the key NPCs and their motivations, offering puzzles by way of interacting with others. The core game mechanic involves manipulating people through emotionally-responsive drink-mixing, a brilliant parable for the influence of governing powers over vulnerable candidates.
During what is perhaps 2018’s greatest gaming moment, a friendly AI unit prompts questions to the player considering the validation of the death penalty, and its association in an ideal society; their response encapsulates the confounding politics of humanity, examining the hypocrisy of impulsive reactions to global investigations. There are no sides, only circumstances governing response. The Red Strings Club paints a bright, vivid future devoid of apocalyptic intentions in spite of its own humanistic pondering. A tale involving the possible evolution of humanity by its own hands; a tragedy befuddled by mindful contemplation, all presented within one of the most polished, fully-realised genre pieces ever conceived.
11. God of War
There has been much talk of God of War’s single take camera perspective. The irony of this stylistic gimmick, of course, lies in the fact that the shot is in fact interrupted at any point when the player opens the menu screen, solidifying a blatant disregard for a sense of cohesion across its various layers of design. The sly method in which the game embraces cinematic idealism over its own medium’s strengths illustrates its greatest failings as a narrative venture. However, Santa Monica Studios’ reimagining of the violent, mythical series evokes such a startling sense of self-awareness, as well as a desire to mold its iconic embodiment of toxic masculinity, into a cognizant character willing to change for the sake of others; the game stands as a greater product than the sum of its messy parts.
At the heart of God of War lies a chiefly convincing tale of a father striving to navigate his son towards a more auspicious future than his own, and often failing because of his own lack of self-control. Directing the young Atreus at the push of a button syncs the two characters as a singular unit to be managed, interpreting Kratos’s teachings as being infused within the boy. The story is at its best when disregarding AAA conventions and focusing on its personal affiliations regarding fatherhood, and how men often fail to practice the very lessons they preach to the young; and mostly whenever articulating these thematic devices primarily through gameplay. The monumental mountain stands tall in the distance, its peak visible at nearly every moment of the game while above ground; a stern reminder of an eternal motherly presence, simultaneously leading the boy’s charge into development just as it advises his father to not make the same mistakes of his past.
10. The Missing: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories
The post-credits to The Missing projects a slew of various info regarding the player’s experiences. How many steps were taken, how many items collected, limbs lost, blood spilled. It’s a fitting conclusion to a game about struggling to overcome an internal rejection of prescribed realities; of transitioning, venturing to realise the solidity of an idealised character. The self-harm which mutilates the conflicted protagonist, JJ, eventually proves a learning process through which she is finally able to accept herself. Intimate pain is externalized over and over again, and the data displayed after each playthrough serves a justifiable record of the player’s many accomplishments in stomaching the dismemberment.
Of course, the player is separated from JJ’s physical suffering, which necessarily admonishes the fact that this young woman’s story is her very own. We are mere onlookers pushing her through a gauntlet of torture as we play, and her capitulation to such bloody means of progression aid in her enlightening journey towards self-acceptance. Swery’s game is a personal venture, with universal themes accentuated by familiar pressures inherent in modern societies: text messages enforce commonplace forms of communication; schools set a stage upon which every student is their own actor playing a role; the rural settings throughout accentuate the familiarized constructs of small-town organizations and social Life.
Ultimately, The Missing illustrates the mental impact of peer pressure in everyday Life. JJ is beaten and battered by sharp, oppressive judgements surrounding her, which coalesce into figments of dreadful monstrosities intent on her destruction. The role of the player is to inhabit her body and grow to understand exactly who she really is, following her on her own journey of self-realisation. A brilliant parable highlighting a very modern and progressive state of actualization, hampered by gamified frustrations, yet fortified by its persistent ability to engage through artistic and symbolic design. It is the logical evolution of side-scrolling simulations a la INSIDE: as much a commentary on a lack of control as it is both emotionally-devastating and genuinely uplifting.
9. Cheap Golf
The subject of AI is usually regarded with the intent of self-destruction, apocalypse brought upon by ever-developing scientific breakthrough. The cost of humanity is dealt by its own hands; the cost of intelligence is mankind’s ruling power over the world. Perhaps this is what makes Cheap Golf such a fascinating narrative experience, however much there really is. Essentially a character study on an inhuman persona, there is an air of sustainability to SUSAN’s gauntlet of golf-inspired puzzles, even as progressing through them directly inspires her own evolution as a species.
Each level serves a sort of test for the human player, tasking them with a simplified version of a familiar game. The irony is how golf’s physics normally implore a three-dimensional space to account for environmental resistance; whereas Cheap Golf’s underdeveloped functionality stands in stark contextual contrast to the larger scenario at play. With each flick of the computer mouse, SUSAN learns more and more about human brain function, garnering the ability to solve complex problems and thus further developing the means of crafting problems for the player to decipher.
The result is a methodical bridge extended between the audience and AI, the real and the imaginary, where the imaginary becomes its own genuine form of being. If existence is defined by the ability to utilize logic for the sake of survival, then what is SUSAN if not an ever-developing being herself (itself)? The game offers existential rumination without feeling obligated to attach tragic connotation to the future of gamified properties. Instead, Pixeljam’s refreshing and manic masterpiece is a happy-go-lucky tale of evolutionary progress, where the AI protagonist is far more inclined to learn and spout popular lingo than take over the world.
8. Into the Breach
I do not want to stop playing Into the Breach. In spite of all the failures (my failures), the consistent tragedies befalling the civilizations I have been tasked with protecting, across numerous timelines establishing the game’s frankly brilliant method of both rewarding and refusing second chances; through the thick of it all, ItB demands its audience to jump right back in, ceaselessly. Designed like chess where the game pieces resemble Evangelion mechs, Subset Games have proctored a slyly complicated, subtly philosophically-charged turn-based strategy title in which mankind repeatedly condemns itself over and over again.
It takes a focused hand in crafting a game so complex yet accessible, where every misfortune on the playing field could have been so easily avoided, if only human miscalculation had not been factored in. Which wonderfully evokes the title’s core argument regarding the course of history: humanity’s longevity has been doomed from the get-go. Fortunately, the willingness to strive onwards promotes the impulsive nature of continuance, a notable philosophy for a game which proves as unforgiving as it is consistently rewarding.
RTS games often fail to elicit a fundamental human experience, even when so many establish themselves around a natural struggle to survive through tactical provocation. Into the Breach capitalizes on its familiar plot blueprint by constantly reminding the player of the lives delicately dangling from their very hands, providing various authentic details illustrating political strife resultant from a seemingly-unstoppable inhuman invading force. Each match ends with a detailed account of the player’s achievements and failures, with worldly context allocating their own internal sense of accomplishment, depending. It is boldly compassionate, without ever sacrificing player agency for the sake of sidetracked narrative details. Humanity crusading for the ability to thrive, the most elemental of moral dramas, complicated by ceaseless opposition.
7. Rusty Lake Paradise
Family is provided by faith. In each other, in God, in the hypocritical notion that the world remains constant. Rusty Lake Paradise, the third installment in the Rusty Lake mythos, likely most thoroughly illustrates this concept. A subtle transformation weaves through its otherwise consistent setting, exhibiting further depth to its structure after each chapter’s conclusion. But sex and religion go hand in hand, each act of symbolic intercourse itself a dark ritual, inspiring the transformation of a body as well as a sickly defamation of faith.
The family unit is the very structure of the game. That and the levels based upon each of the ten biblical plagues. The irony is that this family warmly welcomes the plagues, conditioning them as some means of reconstructing modern familial morality, accepting the antithesis of God for the sake of transformation, though not necessarily the anti-Christ. But Paradise does not lack for subtlety; in fact, its storytelling is rich in allegory and subtext underlying the often remarkable puzzle design.
At the heart of Rusty Lake Paradise is the essence of transformation. Metamorphosis of the body, of the mind, of the family unit, of modern morals. ‘Paradise’ is relevant to the individual’s concept of an ideal reality. Hell, therefore, could even be considered a masochist’s isle of serenity. Puzzles become rituals, defined by religious allusions and sinister plot repercussions. Not since Portal have I witnessed a game so invested in explaining its universe through progressional methods such as this, finding humor in its horror, emphasizing the irony of the player’s own eager participation. It can be hypnotizing, problem-solving often is, which is all part of the macabre point.
6. All Our Asias
Oh father, won’t you come home? The land has grown infertile, stricken by a povertous ailment, refusing to thrive even as winter draws closer. I can feel the isolation, as severe as the piercing gaze of others as I walk past them down crowded city streets. I have been forced underground, and I draw further into myself, my mind beginning to collapse under the weight of my rejected being. I am beginning to suffocate, surrounded now only by equivalently obfuscated individuals I consider familial.
I escape, into the confines of another reality existing within our prescribed own. The digital world houses no faces, no judgements, only language as determined through mechanical impulses. I search fervently for you, I step into your own shoes of a past Life founded on prejudice and constant struggle for success. Your politics do not fit the system; the simulation is deteriorating; I am running out of time.
When I was a boy, I wanted girls, I wanted acceptance, I wanted civic affirmation, I wanted to speak with others, I wanted to party, I wanted to explore nature, I wanted to lose myself in the big city. I wanted to find myself, the only way I knew how: by finding you. But self-assurance can never be obtained through denial; I know what I am, who I have become. Development does not necessitate particulars, it is bred through social synergy. Mankind is shaped by their experiences; but enlightenment means rejecting the notion of negativity as a necessary construct. Culture is an ever-developing history of communal experiences, made personal by their afflicted individualistic impressions. Father, I have never felt closer to myself than ever before. Into the valleys of all our Asias shall we ascend and flow across the effervescent skies towards prosperity. Thank you so much for playing.
The greatest lesson games can teach us is the ability to accept a traditional ‘death count’ as a mandatory process for self-improvement. Every failure incites a variety of emotional responses: disappointment, regret, pain, retraction, composure, optimism, enthusiasm. A stringent methodology is arranged at the moment of defeat, culminating more often than not in the eruption of vindicated aspiration.
Celeste is the proper evolution of platforming. A genre piece entirely devoted to its mechanics and level design and how they serve to accentuate the emotional aspirations infused within its wonderfully straightforward narrative. A game where the natural struggle of ceaselessly pushing oneself through an assortment of increasingly-challenging platforming ordeals emphasizes the personal significance of modest achievements. How they amalgamate into potentially Life-affirming accomplishments when viewed as steps along one grand journey up a perilous mountainside.
The developers as Matt Makes Games are primarily concerned with prompting depression-prone individuals to utilize their game as a means of self-recovery. Celeste functions similarly to learning an instrument, to continuously attempt a pattern necessary for progression until success is fulfilled. This universally-rooted human attribute helps to psychologically define a person’s ability to keep moving forward as a self-ascribed ability.
Every facet of the game’s design promotes the urgency of committing to recovery, from its rhythmically designed platforming segments, to the immediacy of its retries, to the personal narrative bolstering its mechanical philosophy. A platformer where the MacGuffin is all but erased, an internalized output to support an enlightening journey towards self-assurance, amidst ceaseless obstacles standing in one’s way.
The wonder of this interactive medium lies in its capability to produce so much with so little. Florence tells a romantic tale, one familiar to every era of storytelling, but it is soaked in modern contextual significance, and entirely predicated around the user’s very relationship with the mobile phone sitting in their hands as they play. At once an intimate character study indicating a universal portrayal, the developers at Mountains form a stirring thesis involving the importance of self-dependency in contemporary society.
The developers take this principle concept and progress the story entirely through the actions of the player, throwing in as many successful touch-screen gimmicks as possible to emphasize the direct connection between context and player. A turning point in the titular protagonist’s Life prompts the user to turn their phone around; conversations between characters grow more relaxed, brilliantly illustrated through puzzle-piecing together text bubbles; both memories and ambitions materialize at the swipe of a finger. This is mobile gaming at its most sophisticated, infusing familiar functionality with emotional connotation.
Perhaps most telling is a sequence in which Florence mindlessly scrolls through a social media app, ‘liking’ and ‘sharing’ various pictures from anonymous internet acquaintances. As though it were a game; and social media is a game, one that has seeped outwards into the realms of real-Life communication, both distancing ourselves from others while bringing us closer together than ever before imaginable.
Florence directly confronts this new form of social bonding, not necessarily condemning it, but examining the structural assets which employ an individual’s sense of reliance. The game’s apt conclusion wonderfully portrays a woman at the height of her creative and personally-applicable aspirations, finally convinced of her own self-worth. Florence is a perfect proponent of exercising the creative process, articulated through one of the most creative works of this generation.
3. The Night Journey
Games inherently procure an ability to grasp at the souls of their audiences. Ironically, more often than not, games exhibit their own sense of control over players, as opposed to the other way around. Perhaps the most important release of 2018, The Night Journey has finally found a home on consoles and PC after 11 years of exhibition. The result is a sublime simulation just as forthright, delirious, and exceptionally meaningful as it was over a decade ago.
For a game so firmly rooted in existential meandering, Bill Viola and his team at the Game Innovation Lab have forged an experience so devoid of specific meaning, it naturally captures what so many walking simulators, which the game has gone on to inspire, have failed to do. Renounced are the typical narrative conventions which often sully the medium’s own capabilities of personal experience; tossed aside are any and all systems offering comfort and pleasure. The Night Journey is a deliberately slow, sodden, perplexing venture, painstakingly inaccessible as to promote the patience necessary in reaching individual enlightenment.
These trivial systems culminate into a situation where time essentially ceases to exist. Much like Lucas Pope’s Return of the Obra Dinn, Viola’s project is rooted in an abstract explanation of Time as fallacy, where the past and present (and perhaps future) simultaneously merge on-screen before our very eyes. The bleak imagery clashes with naturalistic viewpoints evoking disintegration through historic proceedings, creating a singular moment in which objects are trapped in eternal decay. The result is a game that seems to actively work against its participants, in a similar vein as the classic Pathologic, offering a challenge which revolves around the necessity of endurance for the sake of fulfillment. In many ways, The Night Journey depicts the very act of existence itself: a lengthy process, diluted by natural processes actively working against their bewildered client.
2. Return of the Obra Dinn
“I wanted in the game to show some of that, where you really only think about them as names at first, but you get to know them and you realise that they’re more than names, they’re people.”
Time has a wonderful way of diminishing solicited compassion. Wounds heal, but only because people grow further and further away. A projected reality moves forward in time, which makes it easy to assume the insignificance of ancient history; to forget that people have always been people. Philosophy is the study of all that is or ever will be: there is but one moment, all of existence a blur, viewed by each through a unique perspective. What gives Life meaning is the very notion of compassionate appreciation for others.
Technology has a similar way of evolving; computers leave themselves behind, like shedding their reptilian skin, as they develop into superior machines. Graphical input on a PC’s screen can process more digits, more pixels, more data as the tech improves, leaving little left to a user’s imagination.
History itself becomes obscured through the lens of the young. Textbooks and school teachers detail events of past wars with the urgency of a bookkeeper. Colonization is overlooked for the sake of modern progress, as though accepting historical harm placed unto others is equivalent to committing the act. We deny empathy because it allows Time to move forward in its socially-defined manner. Showing empathy means disrupting corporate flow. Now take this log book and assess the damages done onboard. “I don’t like reducing somebody to a letter.” Do your job.
This is all to say that, within the contexts of building a cohesive story, Time is central to a game’s pacing. Yet what allows Return of the Obra Dinn to so meticulously function as a prime exemplar of the power of human compassion, in spite of a separation in Time, is the wholly annihilation of Time itself. The single ability awarded to the player directly engages with the concept of Time as a fleeting moment, deceptively perceived as forward-moving. Aboard the Obra Dinn, an entire history of sixty distinct individuals exists, each of their deaths fit to simultaneously occur in spite of a given timeline.
Lucas Pope attempts to ignore the evidence of chronology even as the audience instinctually begins to piece one together. The tragedy of the titular vessel is a mesh of tragic events, woven together into a unified whole. Pope’s game primarily concerns the player with pulling the strings apart to examine each on its own merits, bringing them closer to history than modern reality could ever allow.
The result is a fervent portrait of human connectivity; a wildly-complicated array of identity puzzles, each morbidly dependent on one another — as above, so below. A fantastical nautical tale, described through stylistic illustration befitting both the notion of shrouded biography, as well as technological advancement. Never before has a puzzle game, one so methodically calculated, breathed such a Life-affirming experience into such a deathly tale. Pope has forged a genuinely unique masterwork, a mind-boggling technical achievement which exhilarates in its human exemplification.
We are finally beginning to reach the limits of interactive fiction, and rabidly break through them with the abject force of a quiet, muddled murmur. Paratopic is, frankly, perfect, an assertion not to be taken lightly. An amalgamation of increasingly dreadful, opaque vignettes drawn together with the urgency of a gunshot. The game’s greatest asset is its potent, strict and deliberate pacing, which conjures an assortment of emotional feedback to startling violence, empathic humor, and everything in between. There is no moral deliberation at play here, no essence of saintly redemption by conclusion of the brief venture. No, this is a road trip through hell that invites players to sit back and try to enjoy the sights, even if they are not fully concerned or acknowledging of what is even going on.
Which is not to argue that Arbitrary Metric (a collection of three ambitious designers who fittingly conspired together across the internet) lack focus and direction in creating their game. Quite the contrary, Paratopic exudes the confident cadence of a Lynchian project, forthright in its shocking imagery as it is meaningful in impact and connotation. The PSX-style visuals and obfuscated tongue serve to confound, but they also seep the experience in a nostalgic sort of dread, a psychological menace proposed around the notion of regressive decay. In other words, the game manifests within the darkest recesses of the subconscious, wrestling with the user’s attraction towards gamified brutality without ever actually getting them off.
Instead, the climax, a lone jump scare of monumentally disturbed inflection, offers satisfaction in the most unpredictable manner. Paratopic wholly disempowers players along its quest for remedies, even when handing them a revolver; an ironic showcase where videotapes tear at the flesh of their audience in an inherently masochistic roleplay. The message is befuddled, yet succinct and fully realised. It serves its grand purpose as the “anti-walking simulator,” signifying the evolution of a genre as it passionately rips it apart at the seams. Violence and decay do not only infuse the experience with a grim atmosphere, but they encourage the deliberation of human desire as an intrinsic death march towards chaos, emotional disarray, schizophrenia.
Paratopic may be shrouded in ambiguity, but its context is wholly informed by its ability to let the experience speak for itself. In this modern generation of overt explanations and unnecessary mythologies, this groundbreaking, genre-smashing horror venture dares to obscure its storytelling at every moment possible, allowing the manic events to unfold with astonishing cogency. And if this title’s well-deserved success is anything to consider, then the future of indie game development has truly never looked so promising.