HIDE is a short indie Survival Horror game by Andrew Shouldice. It takes place in a snowy, night-sunken forest patrolled by shadowy, flash-light wielding enemies as a loud alarm bellows throughout the background. The player must evade the spotlights of enemy patrols and the helicopter watching from above as they find five locations, each housing notes reading out a specific crime. Made and published in 2011, it's likely the direct inspiration for Slender.
The game provides examples of:
- Ambiguous Situation: The game is intentionally as vague as possible. At first glance, you could assume you're a concentration camp escapee getting hunted by SS officers whilst looking for notes of crimes you and your peers were victim to, but the helicopter invalidates that theory, on a realistic level. It's more likely you're a wanted convict and the notes read out the sick shit you've done.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Two of the locations say "TORTURE" and "STARVATION", likely one of the protagonist's many crimes.
- Don't Go Into the Woods: The setting is a wide, wintry forest in the middle of the night, swarmed with enemies.
- Downer Ending / Bittersweet Ending / Shoot the Shaggy Dog: This game is a very bizarre example of all three. At face value, it's just a typical Shoot the Shaggy Dog ending, where even if you find all five locations you'll get caught, which the end screen rubs in further by saying your struggle was utterly futile. However, it says "You will be brought to justice and they will never be.", which can be interpreted as you'll be rightfully punished for your awful crimes (subscribing to the convict theory) while your victims will always be just that - victims who never got any justice.
- Featureless Protagonist / First-Person Ghost / Heroic Mime: As per usual, for an indie survival horror game. Although if the convict theory is true, "heroic" couldn't be further from the truth.
- Hero Antagonist: If the well-supported "you're a wanted convict" interpretation is true, the enemies are just law enforcement hunting down a sick bastard.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: One of the locations says "RAPE", likely one of the protagonist's many crimes.
- Retraux: The game's artstyle is a strange but unique blend of 3D and 8-bit.
- Serial Killer / Serial Rapist: The player is possibly one, as you've inflicted murder, starvation, rape, and torture upon multiple people (as the end screen says "they", although that could just be a gender-neutral singularity as well).
- Spiritual Successor: It's a spiritual predecessor to Slender.
- Villain Protagonist: If the well-supported "you're a wanted convict" interpretation is true, the player character is guilty of murder, persecution, starvation, rape, and torture. The end screen implies you've done this to multiple people.