Puppet Combo (originally known as Pig Farmer Games, real name Benedetto "Ben" Cocuzza) is an independent one-man game developer that specializes in a specific genre, by combining PS1 Survival Horror games like Silent Hill and Resident Evil with the aesthetic of retro low budget 1970s, '80s, or even '90s slasher films like Halloween, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, etc. He has made such titles as Babysitter Bloodbath, Power Drill Massacre, Night Ripper, Stay Out of the House and many more.
Soon however, he has started to publish games made by other developers as well. Puppet Combo also regularly has tracks composed by MXXN in his games.
List of games with their own pages:
- Babysitter Bloodbath (2013)
- Power Drill Massacre (2015)
- Night Ripper (2017)
- Buzz Saw Blood House (2017)
- Stay Out of the House + Night Shift (2018)
- Nun Massacre (2018)
- Feed Me Billy (2018)
- Murder House (2020)
List of other games:
- Minotaur (2012)
- Texas Butcher (2016)
- Meat Cleaver Mutilator (2016)
- Planet of Bloodthirsty Santa (2017)
- Spiders (2018)
- Power Drill Massacre (8-bit) (2018)
- Night Watch (2018)
- Blood Maniac (2019)
- Unfinished Worlds Vol 1. (2019)
- The Glass Staircase (2019)
- The Riverside Incident (2019)
- Christmas Massacre (2021)
List of games published (under the pseudonym Torture Star Video):
- SEARCH PARTY by Lum (2019)
- Tonight It Follows by Jordan King (2019)
- These Trees Are Spectral Fingers by kavvka (2019)
- Ski Freak by Jordan King (2020)
- The Enigma Of Salazar House by Maldo19 (2020)
- Bloodwash by Black Eyed Priest and Henry Hoare (2021)
- Night At The Gates Of Hell by Black Eyed Priest and Henry Hoare (2022)
- Deadly Night by Cubyte Games (2022)
Puppet Combo games typically contain the following tropes:
- Bittersweet Ending: If the game doesn't end in an outright Downer Ending, it's usually this.
- The Glass Staircase ends with the protagonist killing the monsters within the building, but she was unable to prevent the other girls' deaths and their spirits wave her goodbye as she departs.
- Murder House ends with The protagonist escaping when The Easter Ripper is devoured by his now zombified victims, but nonetheless is the Sole Survivor of the massacre.
- B-Movie: Their games emulate 1980s-era slasher and grindhouse films. In fact, almost all of them have a VHS filter.
- Crapsack World: The settings of their games are so seedy that one wouldn't be faulted for feeling like they need a shower after playing. Night Ripper is set in a desolate New York City terrorized by a Serial Killer, and Buzz-Saw Blood-House which takes place in a world with Dark Web sites where sadistic perverts pay to watch kidnapped female teenagers be hunted down by a chainsaw-wielding maniac while traversing a house filled to the brim with titular buzzsaw and chainsaw traps.
- Decoy Protagonist:
- The Glass Staircase has you play as a series of servant girls who get picked off one by one by a giant mutant monster. It's only the more weary and skeptical Final Girl who becomes the hero, kills the monsters, and escapes alive.
- Murder House starts with a prologue section in which you play as one of the Easter Ripper's child victims trapped in a mall after closing time with the serial killer. The main game has you play as an intern in a camera crew exploring the Easter Ripper's home.
- Deliberate VHS Quality: Pretty much a signature style of almost all of his games. To properly emulate videotaped horror movies. Complete with most of the menus using blocky monospaced font that people whom have seen VHS tape before would be familiar with.
- Downer Ending: Almost all of their games end with this: In Power Drill Massacre, the heroine is either captured and murdered with the titular power drill or is last seen trapped in an endless, supernatural hallway, after which it is revealed her stranded boyfriend starved to death waiting for help while she has not been found. In Night Ripper, the protagonist manages to escape the serial killer and get back to her apartment, only for the Night Ripper to break in and close in on her.
- Fanservice: Some of their games have this, such as Spiders, where the protagonist's wife has a black crop top and a pair of shorts on. Can be Justified in that one of Puppet Combo's biggest inspirations are the '80s-era horror movies, which are rife with fanservice.
- Hell Is That Noise: If there's one thing that's to be expected in a Puppet Combo game, it's absolutely hellish sound design that will do its damnedest to terrify you. Nun Massacre and Power-Drill Massacre are especially infamous for this, due to the sounds their respective monsters make when spotting and chasing the player, the Nun's bloodcurdling shriek when she spots you and a bell-like clanging when she's chasing you, and the shrieking drill-like sound when the Power-Driller spots you and his strange moaning as he chases you respectively. What makes Mother Apollonia's screeching even more horrifying is that Puppet Combo siphoned the audio for it from a supposedly-real 911 call in which a woman was murdered during the call, and her screams were used for the Nun's voice. It's heavily debated online as to whether the audio is real or not, but if it is, that's really disturbing.
- Jump Scare: As is to be expected from slasher film homages.
- Monster Clown: Many of the games have clown-based killers or antagonists, such as Babysitter Bloodbath and Feed Me Billy. Not only that, there's also Evil Clowns, an FPS based on the Light Gun Game CarnEvil, where well. You have to fight through a carnival filled with evil killer clowns.
- Retraux: Not only do their games emulate 80s-era slashers but also early PS1-era games with their blocky and low-poly textures.
- Sensory Abuse: Pairing off with the Hell Is That Noise trope. Puppet Combo's scares are (in)famous for being intense and loud, which normally wouldn't be effective by themselves, but with the exquisite balance of their games being mostly silent otherwise and the atmospheres being perfect, needless to say the loud noises suddenly become incredibly effective at scaring the hell out of you.
- Serial Killer:
- The antagonists of all their games, ranging from escaped mental patients to manchild-like backwoods killers, and even a bloodthirsty alien Santa!
- Interestingly enough, Feed Me Billy, Christmas Massacre, and The Riverside Incident are some of the exceptions, because you're the one playing the serial killer!
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Tonight It Follows ends with the main character being told to give up and walking into the embrace of the final monster.
- Stealth Sequel: Night Watch turns out to be one for Power Drill Massacre.