The Dread X Collection is a series of small games created by a collaboration of indie devs, all with the same mission: create the "P.T." for the horror project of their dreams. It was released for PC on May 26, 2020.
The developers, their creations, and their associated tropes, are as follows:
Dread X Collection
- Early-Installment Weirdness: While the launcher still features the Framing Device of the series, it lacks the interactive 3D environments its sequels do, and is much more minimalist regarding the overarching plot. The games in the collection also have no apparent unifying theme (being largely based on the devs making their own personal "P.T"), whereas all succeeding entries have atleast a specific theme or overarching style.
- Art-Style Dissonance: Both the game itself and its border art are meant to evoke nostalgic memories from past decades, which juxtaposes with the creepy events that escalate over the course of the game.
- Chest Monster: Around the halfway point, one-eyed mushroom Yokai appear alongside the collectible mushrooms, requiring the player to back away quickly or take damage.
- Controllable Helplessness: In "Hairy Situation", the player character is pinned to the right of the screen by two monkeys while Death emerges from the top of the screen and descends down on him.
- Emerging from the Shadows: In the final segment, outside of the LCD game in the house, the area above the staircase is pitch-black. This is where Death emerges from.
- The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: In-Universe; the final challenge is getting new batteries for your game...and Death appears to stop you.
- Maniac Monkeys: Monkeys appear as regular enemies and impede the player with piles of poop. It's telling they're the least scary enemy in the game.
- Nothing Is Scarier:
- Certain levels have absolutely nothing happening in them: no enemies, no mushrooms to collect, not even any sound besides the player character's movement and the suspicious noises outside of the LCD.
- The final segment forces the player to leave their room and rush through the dark house to find new batteries. Everything is quiet at first, until Death descends from the staircase and chases the player with droning static.
- Post-Climax Confrontation: After the LCD game runs out of batteries, the player is then tasked with finding batteries in the player character's real world, all while Death is chasing them and posing a mortal threat.
- Retraux: As stated, it's presented like an LCD game... mostly, as you can also see the game console itself. And the house of the player, when the battery dies, is reminiscient of early 3D games.
- Schmuck Bait: Both the store page description and in-game content warning state that it's not a scary game. The latter also recommends playing with earphones and dimmed light.
- Toilet Humor: Monkeys mainly prevent you from collecting toadstools by leaving a cartoonish poop in front of them.
- Unexpected Gameplay Change: After the game within the game is complete, the game will switch to a three-dimensional environment, where the player must run to get new batteries before Death catches them.
- Watsonian versus Doylist: When the LCD game runs out of batteries, it promts the player to use the WASD controls and mouse to move around the house outside of the game. It doesn't make any sense in-story why an LCD game would instruct the player to use controls specific to the computer, but it's necessary to help players adjust to the Unexpected Gameplay Change while still keeping them immersed in the setting.
- Weird Moon: The eye of the moon in the background gets progressively more...distorted, as progress is made. A giant millipede enemy bursts from it in the penultimate level.
- Worse with Context: The titles for each stage technically relate to the events that occur on each stage, but prove to be less innocent than they initially appear.
As an employee of a secretive facility, wander its dark hallways and prepare for work.
- Ambiguous Situation: THE GAME. The player character is not even a real scientist; a collectible note talks about how the security guard you are heavily implied to have shot and killed died of overdose induced heart failure; researchers are not allowed to interact; some kind of screen distortion happens at the mention of your character getting nightmares from sleeping in his office; the insistence of staying the light when walking down the halls, with lights shutting off as you pass; the clown mask in the character's collection going missing and appearing in midair; the bloodstained lab coat; the list goes on....
- Floating Mask: The clown mask does this at some point.
- Gory Discretion Shot: The game Fades to Black when the player character shoots the security guard.
- Mad Scientist Laboratory: The playable character works at one of these. One of the specimens escape in the end....
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: The PC you play as freely admits that he never studied to be a scientist and just enjoys recording notes and results, which itself is dangerous when the subject of his studies involve human behavior.
- Standard Office Setting: The game takes place in a highly secure office building of some sort.
- Title Drop: The character says the phrase "The pay is nice." after almost every Internal Monologue. Possibly a Madness Mantra.....
As an Adventure Archaeologist, uncover the ruins of a long-dead civilization, and try to avoid its various traps.
- Adventure Archaeologist: You play as one IN SPACE!!
- Ancient Egypt: The main aesthetic of the temple you're exploring.
- Dead Guy on Display: You have to collect pieces of a chopped up corpse to put upon the main altar of the main chamber. Doubles as a Dismantled Macguffin as assembling the corpse opens up the door to the final chamber.
- Glowing Flora: Bioluminescent grass grows all around the temple, particularly in long dark corridors.
- Pendulum of Death: Mostly found in the final corridor.
- Spikes of Doom: Of the retractable variety, from the floor. Again, mostly in the final corridor.
- Temple of Doom: IN SPACE!! Comes complete with indecipherable hieroglyphics, barely lit rooms and corridors, death traps, and undead monsters chasing you.
- Uncertain Doom: After reaching the artifact, the temple is about to collapse, your oxygen levels are practically zero, and the only entrance to the chamber you are in is shut tight. Fade to Black.....
As the lone survivor on an otherwise Deserted Island, try to survive while sacrificing your tools in order to appease Mr. Bucket.
- Companion Cube: The protagonist has done this for literally everything on the island, from the titular "Mr. Bucket" to "Mr. Berries" and "Mr. Wiping Leaf".
- Deserted Island: The setting; aside from the protagonist (and possibly "Mr. Bucket"), there's not another soul on the island.
- Human Sacrifice: Well, "Companion Cube Sacrifice", actually; every night, as penitence for throwing Mr. Bucket away when he broke, his ghost forces the player to throw one of their three most useful friends/tools into a bonfire.
- Resources Management Gameplay: The player's goal is to survive roughly four whole days while managing their Thirst, Hunger, Hygiene, Stamina, and Need to Poop. The trick is that the best tools for these slowly dwindle away, requiring less effective replacements (for example, Mr. Towel completely refills Hygiene after a poop, while Mr. Wiping Leaf restores only a fraction and consumes more stamina to use).
- Solemn Ending Theme: Surviving to the very end has the protagonist leave the island on a raft, accompanied by a song about his experiences and the possibility of him being a jerk to his tools. And then a giant Mr. Bucket pops up from the horizon before kicking the player back to the title.
- Through the Eyes of Madness: As the game goes on, the protagonist's mentality clearly degrades, which is represented by seeing Mr. Bucket everywhere, a billboard with "We Hate You" written on it, a discarded ax talking back, a boombox somehow pulling a gun on you...
As the apprentice of a wizardry Master that has long tormented you and now trapped you within a realm of his own creation, learn the spells you need in order to escape.
Here's a teaser.
- Batman Gambit: The Master managed to make what was actually a resurrection spell look like a banishing spell, with none of the other wizards questioning it.
- Banishing Ritual: The ultimate goal of the game; your Master's physical body has died, and you're trying to banish his soul. You're actually doing the opposite.....
- Big Bad: The Master
- Blood Magic: At least one spell requires the player to stab themselves with a sacrificial knife to use their own blood.
- Dark Fantasy: Dark sorcery, blood magic and hooded wizards abound.
- In the Hood: Every single NPC except the Master. Justified as you and they are all part of a group of wizards.
- Magical Gesture: Used in conjunction with saying each syllable out loud.
- Magical Incantation: Gameplay involves choosing a sequence of four different syllables, and sometimes a knife, to use spells.
- Shout-Out: The syllables used in your spell incantations are all Diablo II runes.
- Resurrect the Villain: What the ritual you did ultimately does.
- Retraux: The game is clearly modeled after much older 90s (maybe even earlier) PC games, interestingly being based on old first-person Dungeon Crawler videogames.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The Master kills you after you were tricked into resurrecting him.
An attempt to make magical ponies in real life has gone horribly, horribly wrong, and it's up to you to shut things down.
- Backtracking: The second half of the game has you escaping the building through previous levels.
- Dead Guy Junior: You're actually the son of Winston, the man who created the Pony Factory, rather than Winston himself.
- Deliberately Monochrome: The environments are predominantly black and white, with exploding enemies and some lights providing occasional splashes of color.
- Dem Bones: The main obstacle is a legion of what appear to be unicorn skeletons.
- Gone Horribly Wrong: As the description indicates.
- Villain Protagonist: The ending text reveals you as this.
As someone that's just awoken inside of a strange house, try to learn the truth about not just it, but also the Outsiders that are responsible.
- After the End: A poster you find in the last room implies this for humanity.
- Blackout Basement: The house starts off with all the lights on and the light switches working, but gradually become entirely pitch black as power goes out.
- Bloody Handprint and Footprints of Muck: Appears with increasing frequency as the lights in the house goes out, sometimes vanishing right before you.
- Closed Circle: The only exit out of the house is through the back patio and into the ominous cornfield outside. The garage doors are locked tight, and the front door is missing a door handle.
- Couldn't Find a Pen: After the first round, messages in blood are scrawled across the walls of the house.
- Deadly Game: The entire premise. The player character is only the latest contestant of an intergalactic Game Show run by a race of The Greys, the first of hundreds of thousands to actually leave the house alive. You are then informed you're going to be put into stasis until they collect enough contestants from other studios to compete in Part 2....
- Foreshadowing: The "Try Again" screen takes emphasis in calling you Human, hinting at the game's final reveal.
- Murderous Mannequin: A pair can be found in the attic. They play out the scene of a murder as you navigate to find the last key, and presumably attack you if you activate the attic's hidden panel before doing the other five first.
- Evolving Title Screen: The title screen has shots of the house's interior that become increasing covered in blood with more signs written on the walls after every round.
- Locked Door: There are doors in the house that require various keys to unlock, randomly hidden throughout the house.
- Lost in the Maize: There is a cornfield behind the house, complete with a Scary Scarecrow. Something ALWAYS attacks you if you go deep enough within....
- Randomly Generated Loot: The game's easy mode averts this.
- Thunder = Downpour: A few minutes into a round, a massive rainstorm occurs, complete with thunder and lightening. Signals the lights slowly going out. The skies clear out as soon as you activated all six hidden panels.
- Timed Mission: The entire game. You only have a certain amount of time before you are automatically killed. You can turn the timer's display on and off from the master control panel behind the fireplace.
- You Wake Up in a Room: The game starts in a bedroom the PC recognizes is not their own.
In the Cyberpunk future, most of Britain has become a wasteland ruled by a digital insectoid god, who wants you to access cyberspace and do it a favor.
- After the End: A Downplayed regional variant; Britain has become a backwater country with a barely functioning government and ruled by artificial intelligences, but the rest of the world is fine.
- Alien Sky: Whatever happened to Britain turned the sky into a putrid shade of green as well. The Otherworld has near jet black sky.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: The wastes are swarming with giant fly and insect-like creatures made of computer data and can only be seen with special implants. They're non-hostile, however, actually beneficial for the humans living there. The creatures in the Otherworld, though.....
- Big Good: The Morrigan, a gigantic fly that protects and provides for the people in the British wastes. Outright states the Divine Pupa you picked up will eventually replace her.
- Bittersweet Ending: Britain is still a hellhole, but the Divine Pupa you retrieved will ensure the Morrigan's protection doesn't fade... and if it imprints on you, your future will be one of great power and authority.
- Bio-Augmentation: The protagonist needs to install this tech in order to see and interact with The Morrigan and any other tech.
- Cyberpunk: Neural-based networks and advanced tech have turned Asia and Nigeria into powerhouses, while Britain becomes a dystopian slum where most of the population worships insectiod A.I. as gods.
- Half-Human Hybrid: The monsters that come after you in the Other World seems to be a combination of human and the fly programs milling around the human world.
- Imprinting: Dialogue with NPCs imply this is a common occurrence among all larvae, though towards humanity in general than a single person. At the end of the game, The Morrigan states that this may occur with the Divine Larva it had you collect, giving you great power in the days to come.
- Insect Queen: The form chosen by The Morrigan, the AI "God" of the London slums, is a giant fly ruling over its larvae.
- Police State: Heavily implied to be what London has become, as the only two Londoners are both police officers in military combat gear.
- They Called Me Mad!: Downplayed. The Morrigan states that none of the other gods believed her when she said that a human was capable of grabbing the Divine Pupa and bringing it to her alive, but the chances of it happening were still astronomically low, and she doesn't make a big deal out of proving the others wrong.
- Weird Currency: Larvae scattered around the wastes is used as the main currency. Paper money still exists, but only used in London.
There's a party going on in an abandoned tunnel, and you've been invited. Just be careful not to get lost when it's time to leave...
- Gainax Ending: After walking all the way through to the end of the creepy tunnel and walking all the way back outside, you find a small box. Walk up to the box, the screen Cuts To Black with a time descriptor saying "23 years later," then goes to a comic page with, presumably, the player character finishing up retelling the events of the game to his pet cat.
- Nothing Is Scarier: The main source of horror; everything past the main "rave" is a dark, foreboding, and very long tunnel, with only a flashlight as a light source and ominous graffiti to read.
- Shoddy Shindig: The "party" you get is just a bunch of people dancing badly to bad techno music and/or sitting around the heavily graffitied mouth of a large tunnel. This is not the main point of the game, however.
- Title Drop: There is something called Rotgut in the game. It's merely a bone sculpture arranged to look like some six limbed thing propped on a discarded door like a shrine.
As darkness encroaches, the only way to avoid being consumed is to sacrifice others. Can you survive the night?
- Fog of War: The entire area completely covered in darkness, the only areas with light being torches dotted around the area that slowly go out due to the encroaching Meat Moss and a playable character's area of vision. The only cards that provide any more are additional PCs, tossing out a flare, and a card that lights up the entire area for barely a second.
- Genre Mash Up: Combines Survival Horror, Turn-Based Strategy, and Deckbuilding Game.
- Hold the Line: You have nine hours (turns) to have at least one PC still alive to win.
- Meat Moss: Slowly encroaches the entire landscape with the house the only thing untouched. Kills instantly when touched by a character.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: You can summon each of the other PCs just for the purpose of sacrificing them when needed. The game actively encourages this.....
- A Winner Is You: The ending is as simple as it gets.
Dread X Collection 2
A second collection with a Lovecraftian theme was released in August 2020. In addition to having having more content than the original (with some returning developers, and some that are new), there is a fully interactive launcher by Lovely Hellplace instead of a mere menu.
The second collection's trailer.
The titles are as follows, with returning devs in bold:
- Manchurian Agent: The purpose of Another Late Night, or at least the version that the in-game protagonist plays, is to hypnotize players so that Secret Cow Level, Inc. can "activate" them later.
A rift to another world has caused the electronics at a local arcade to come to life.
- I Choose to Stay: Once you enter the strange world within the arcades, your choices of endings are to try and escape back to the real world, or stay with the strange woman you've been seeing the whole game.
A little girl has gone missing, and the only way to find her is by deciphering some cryptic tomes and learning the dark magic contained within.
- Cipher Language: Most of the game is about browsing the book you're given for clues on how to solve a substitution Cipher that eventually allows you to read a letter telling you how to bring Charlotte back.
- Downer Ending: If you beat the game, but fail to solve the puzzle of the Clock of Tindalos, you do get Charlotte Back... possessed by Nyarlhothep, who proceeds to destroy reality. Oops.
- Happy Ending: However, if you do solve the Clock puzzle, you bring back Charlotte completely free of any eldritch influence, making this the one of the very few Dread X games with an unambiguously happy ending.
- Shout-Out: The eldritch Rubber Ducky is most likely a reference to The Scary Game Squad.
- Sophisticated as Hell: The book mostly sticks to a formal English when describing the various eldritch horrors, but it occasionally switches to a more casual tone, especially on the page that describes The Eldritch Duck.
A pair of astronauts are sent to investigate what lurks beneath the surface of the moon.
- Dirty Communists: When undergoing the second "Rationalize" moment, the option for who to blame for the strange events is Communists, Aliens, Ghosts, or Go Crazy. Communists is the one that "fits" the most, but since it doesn't fit perfectly, you have to "bend" the idea until it does fit. Bit of Fridge Brilliance.
- Easter Egg: Mixed with Old Save Bonus. Having save data for The Hex installed on your computer leads to Sado appearing near the end of the game.
- Eldritch Abomination: The Moon is implied to be one.
- Gainax Ending: The protagonist walks into the last waypoint and is seemingly killed by the Moon itself, which wakes up staring and smiling at the camera menacingly. Then the game cuts to black.
- Genius Loci: The Moon is clearly alive and screwing with the protagonist.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: A recurring mechanic is "Rationalize", where the protagonist has to catch the thought that matches the symbol on his head and put it in place. On the final Rationalize, there are over a dozen thoughts, and all of them are shaped differently but are the exact same thought: Go Crazy.
- Sanity Slippage: The protagonist is slowly unable to make sense of the strange events occurring around him.
- Action Bomb: Interestingly enough this is how the Squirrelbears attack you, by charging down on you and exploding taking about 80% of your health off.
- An Aesop: Played for Laughs. The Artist story, as found in notes scattered across the map, ends with an abrupt Gainax Ending and the brief line "Art will eventually destroy the artist. The end." This could qualify as foreshadowing towards the ending.
- Bears Are Bad News: One of the two enemy types is a Squirrelbear, a cross between a squirrel and a bear that's attracted to gunshots and loud noises in general, can take a minimum of 2-3 hunting rifle shots to put down and can take off about 80% of your health bar if it explodes on you.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: You can find notes telling you the story of a painter who pays an old witch to bring a painting of a woman he painted to life. Problem is, he never painted her from the waist down, so she comes out with no lower half (and thus nothing to keep her entrails inside her) and spends the rest of the story screaming in pain until the painter puts her out of her misery.
- Blatant Lies: The Squirrel Facts start out as legitimate, banal facts about squirrels, progress to ridiculous nonsense ("Squirrels use chemosensory hairs on their legs and feet to identify food and track it with their front antenna"), and eventually become progressively-less-subtle threats.
- Face Death with Dignity: If you try to get back into your cabin once the countdown to "God" arriving starts, the protagonist will refuse, simply stating he must meet God. The note from the first day indicates he knew the Goat of the Wood would punish him for stapling squirrels, and he chooses to meet his punishment head on.
- Foreshadowing: Right out the gate, you get two strong signs something big is going to happen eventually: a Note to Self that God will come in five days, and a torn page with a commandment from "the Goat of the Wood": thou shalt not staple squirrels.
- Gainax Ending: It may be foreshadowed from day one, but the ending is still out of left field.
- The ending of the Artist's mini-story, as told through notes. After killing the half-woman, the Old Woman and the Artist decide to make soup out of her meat, which kills them both because it was poison. "Art will eventually destroy the artist. The end."
- Hell Is That Noise: As the timer for God winds down, chanting that "God is coming" can eventually be heard, growing in volume. When the timer hits zero, the chanting becomes shouting and is mixed with wordless screaming.
- I Love the Dead: Implied, as the corpse that the squirrel bodies are being stapled to is referred to multiple times as the protagonist's "wife."
- Insane Troll Logic: The protagonist comes to the conclusion that, by covering his (dead, skinned, beheaded) "wife" with dead squirrels, she'll become just as beautiful as they are, rekindling their romance.
- Mysterious Note: The forest is full of notes with "Squirrel Facts" that go from genuine facts about squirrels to nonsensical Blatant Lies to thinly veiled threats.Note: Squirrels are capable of hating you.
- Offscreen Teleportation:
- As the days go by, the corpse you're stapling squirrels to appears in other locations than your bedroom, such as at the dinner table in your house, stapled to a random tree in the woods, just hiding in the bushes, or somehow standing up out in the open.
- The Goat of the Wood jumpscares you by appearing directly behind you, immediately after you hear him running towards you at incredible speed even though you can't see him anywhere by looking around.
- Retraux: The game is presented in Quake / PS1 style graphics. Which isn't surprising considering the developer.
- Rodents of Unusual Size: As the days go by you will encounter squirrels that are much larger than the norm. Like almost the size of a raccoon or even a full-grown dog. You are also required to hunt them down to complete a level.
- Stalked by the Bell: Played with. Once you have killed all the enemies, a timer begins which says "God is coming". There's no way to slow or stop the timer, and it is essentially an extended cutscene until "God", the Goat of the Wood, jumpscares you from behind.
- Stylistic Suck: The sleeping screen features a zoomed-in, pixelated picture of a squirrel with the caption "you are sleeping."
- Villain Protagonist: The unnamed protagonist goes out and kills squirrels so he can staple them to a corpse that he refers to as his "wife." He also probably killed and skinned her.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Courtesy of your "wife".
- Corpse: I don't want squirrels. I want skin. Give me back my skin. Or give me yours instead.
For tropes concerning the original DreadX version, as well as the later expansion, please go to the Sucker for Love page.
Your submarine is stuck at the bottom of the ocean, and the rest of your crew is dead. Can you escape before the madness, and the machinery, consumes you?
- Apocalyptic Log: A huge chunk of the gameplay consists of the player writing a mission report from the submarine. It quickly becomes clear something went very, very wrong one day down there.
- Never My Fault: The protagonist repeatedly insists, to the point of Madness Mantra, that it is not his fault his crewmembers died. Whether or not this is true is somewhat up to the player. The visions that keep taunting him sure seem to think he did it, though.
- Survivor's Guilt: The protagonist has this about an event that cost his other four crewmembers their lives, but is in deep denial about it. The events on the sub don't let him stay in denial for long.
Having been drawn to an abandoned summer camp in Eastern Poland where numerous murders have occurred, try to uncover the mystery hiding in the nearby lake's murky depths.
- Maniac Monkeys: A great ape chases after the player character in both the first and final chapters. With intent to kill.
- Simultaneous Arcs: You occasionally can spot other characters walking around near you when you go exploring, but just out of sight of what the character would be able to see. Often these are actually the protagonist of other chapters going about their own storyline.
- Slasher Movie: The game starts out as this, as you play a group of young people gradually getting picked off by a killer (or the ape) around an abandoned summer camp / resort. This starts to change about halfway through however.
- To Be Continued: The game ends with one, as the protagonist takes a train into Toy City while unknowingly transmitting all of their thoughts to The Shop Keeper, who smiles because everything is proceeding as planned.
- Alien Invasion: The comet that was about to hit Earth turns out to be something used for an alien invasion, steadily infecting the Earth and slowly dropping its invasion force.
- Apocalypse Cult: One of your main adversaries are a bunch of Cultists whom have most likely gone insane due to the incoming comet. Even with the reveal of it being an Alien Invasion doesn't stop them from trying to kill you.
- Badass Baritone: The playable character speaks in a very low and gruff voice.
- Bayonet Ya: The Protagonist's shotgun has an attached axe bayonet, used to defend himself when he is out of ammo or when the enemies are too close.
- Do Not Go Gentle: The game ends with the end of the world, but the main character resolves to fight on as long as he lives even as the Comet's creatures begin to mutate and colonize the planet.
- I Call It "Vera": The eponymous shotgun axe is named "The Face Lifter".
- Ludicrous Gibs: A whole heaping lot of it, as your shotgun can almost utterly obliterate several cultists or their limbs into pure giblets.
- The Monolith: Many of these with red glowing panel-lined accents have been dropped on Earth. The protagonist is understandably confused when he first sees one.
- Short-Range Shotgun: Subverted. The range of the shotgun is rather realistic allowing you to at least shoot from much farther than you expect.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: The Protagonist's main weapon of choice is a pump-action shotgun with an axe bayonet and a very powerful one at that.
- Stealth Prequel: To Carthanc, the developer's game in the earlier collection. The alien invaders that you fight just so happen to be the same creatures you face in the previous game.
- Videogame Caring Potential: You will sometimes find hostages trapped in small cages taken by Cultists, you can choose to save them.
- Videogame Cruelty Potential: You can also just opt to ignore them and leave them trapped to their fates, or if you're feeling extra cruel, just straight up murder them without care.
The world has been invaded by a mutation known as the Growth. Far from safety and badly injured, it seems that the only way for one young girl to survive is to consume them and gain their power.
Here's the trailer from the studio.
- Action Girl: Melissa is willing to go through hell and high water to find her father again. And interestingly enough this still applies to both versions of the protagonist, the one who slowly becomes the monster and the other who latches onto her humanity.
- An Arm and a Leg: Melissa loses her right hand thanks to a distorted sphere. You can choose to regrow that hand by eating the flesh of the Growth monsters. Alternatively, you can resist and go through the game without a right hand in order to attain the Happy Ending.
- Badass Normal: Melissa's father Butch Killington is this, fighting against the Growth despite being one normal man. The main protagonist can also be this if you choose to go unmutated, latching onto her humanity despite insurmountable odds.
- Body Horror: The mutations that Melissa can get from eating Growth monsters aren't exactly the prettiest even if you get a first person view. Just taking a look at what happens to her hands is probably enough.
- Developer's Foresight: Depending on how mutated you are including completely unmutated, Melissa can have different reactions to the notes she can find along the way.
- Hero Antagonist: The Final Boss of the game is Melissa's father, Butch Killington, as you have become so mutated as to be indistinguishable from any other Growth creature. He behaves like a typical FPS hero character, strafing back and forth quickly while firing a gun, and even running off and picking up medkits when injured. However, you can skip this fight altogether if you choose to not mutate Melissa and regrow her hand.
- Horror Hunger: After having right hand ripped off and then killing one of the Growth Monsters, Melissa will suddenly be afflicted with a hunger that makes the flesh of the monster she just killed seem appetizing. Although you can make her ignore this hunger which nets you a Happy Ending.
- Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: At the start of the game you can Choose Your Fate: Barely Human, The Nameless and Call Of Madness.
- Major Injury Underreaction: The protagonist seems mildly annoyed upon losing their arm. The fact that you can even go through the whole game with that same very exposed stump is also a testament.Melissa: Shit! That's gonna leave a scar...
- Multiple Endings: You have two, based on whether or not you choose to eat the first growth monster's corpse to regrow your hand.
- Downer Ending: If Melissa regrows her hand and mutates. By the time you escape the Growth-infested building and find Melissa's father, she's become so mutated that he doesn't recognize her, seeing Melissa as just another Growth monster to kill. She's forced to kill him, after which she eats his remains, and the sphere-like entity that granted her the new eldritch powers urges Melissa to "feed your hunger!"
- Happy Ending: If Melissa kills the first Growth monster but doesn't eat its remains to regrow her hand. You can proceed through the rest of the game unmutated; you have to run away from most of the monsters instead of killing them, since you have no attack abilities other than a weak punch. As a result, you retain your human sanity and appearance, so when you're reunited with your father the two of you hug instead of fighting him as the Final Boss.
- Retraux: Based on old Doom and Quake-style shooters with its graphics. The Final Boss even acts like a typical old-school FPS protagonist.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: Butch carries around a shotgun to combat the Growth. Which is somewhat fitting due to the way he fights like a classic FPS hero in his boss battle.
- Sleeves Are for Wimps: As befitting someone whom is named Butch Killington, he dons a white tank top.
- Touched by Vorlons: Near the beginning of the game, Melissa comes into contact with some sort of distorted sphere, which rips off her right hand and gives her the ability to consume the flesh of the Growth and evolve like them.
- Visual Pun: About two actually if you think about it.
- The protagonist's father fights like an typical FPS hero, basically making him a boomer shooter.
- If you choose to mutate yourself, your father being the final boss and wearing a tank top (aka a wife beater) becomes quite ironic.
- Adventurer Archaeologist: You play as a married couple of them, who have decided to visit and record their findings in a recently discovered ruin. But that's where the adventurer part ends - they aren't exactly equipped to deal with advanced puzzles or the horror that awaits them.
- And Now for Someone Completely Different: Towards the end of the game, after you encounter and run away from the "new god", the character you were playing gets killed by a spike trap. The rest of the game is spent playing as the character who's holding the camera.
- Dem Bones: You eventually start running into the reanimated skeletal remains of Spanish conquistadors.
- Eyes Do Not Belong There: Once the couple delve further into the temple, eyes start growing out of the walls... and eventually, they either hallucinate or actually encounter humanoids with large eyeballs where their heads should be.
- Found Footage: Essentially how the game presents itself, although rather than a digital or even VHS recording, it's from a film reel recorded sometime in the 1940's. It's even complete with a film reel scratch filter and a lack of sound for (most of) the game aside from the whirring of the film projector.
- Temple of Doom: The game's setting. Even before things get weird, the temple is littered with statues of skeletons. Then the walls start getting fleshy. THEN there's a spike trap...
Dread X Collection 3
A third collection was released on October 23rd, 2020, with a theme of "Spoopy (cute & spooky)". It includes twelve different games, with only one creator returning from a previous installment, as well as an interactive launcher by KIRA (the creator of Spooky's Jump Scare Mansion) with a story that sheds some light on the previous two installments.
Here's the trailer for the collection.
Pom, the cheery night manager of the Bete Grise (pronounced bay de-gree) hotel, has offered to help you with your first time on night shift. Make the rounds, pick up anything the guests may have dropped, tidy up their rooms. There is a mystery here. Will you be ready to welcome tonights special guests?
- Ambiguous Situation: It's unclear if Pom walked in on the Faithful and had to be silenced, or if they were waiting for her to use her as a sacrifice.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Pom is very friendly all throughout helping you finish the nightshift tasks. Even when she becomes a vengeful ghost hunting down and executing the people who cut her heart out.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: The screen briefly flickers whenever Pom goes to clean a mirror. Taking a screenshot at the right time shows Pom in her grey ghost form, stained with blood but still smiling serenely.
- Golden Ending: Completing all your tasks before encountering and killing the Faithful has a seemingly back to normal Pom remark how beautiful the sunrise is, making it feel like a curse has been lifted, before offering to buy the player some breakfast.
- Kill It with Fire: What Pom does to the cultists after chasing them down.
- Meaningful Background Event: A figure can be seen slowly creeping around the corner whenever Pom is shaking the vending machines. It's likely a member of the cult keeping tabs on her.
- Meaningful Name: Bete Grise is French for Grey Beast, which is the form that Pom's ghost takes.
- Mook Horror Show: After the cultists attack Pom, she uses some sort of supernatural power to chase them all down through the hotel, and burn them to death one by one.
- Percussive Maintenance: Fixing the vending Machines basically entails shaking them until they turn back on.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here: This is your character's reaction during the normal ending, after Pom finishes congratulating you for helping her with the night shift. Given the last job was to help her go around burning cultists to death and she's saying this while she's casually undead and covered in blood, this response is pretty fair.
- Wham Shot: Entering the second penthouse floor has Pom encounter the Faithful, a cult staying in the hotel. Then through series of very rapid flashbacks, it's revealed she was their previous victim as she transforms into her gray ghost form.
Bubbo has just finished delivering some supplies to a secluded community, only to be informed that his payment is the coins that have been scattered across the island, leading him towards its heart and the sinister secret there.
- 11th-Hour Superpower: Assembling the propeller gives you the ability to Double Jump. You can either use it to escape the island or, if you found every hidden gem, use it to platform over to the heart of the Eldritch Abomination under the island to kill it.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: If you collect every gem, then fall into the hole, you can kill the Eldritch Abomination that the cult jails.
- Double Jump: An ability you gain when you recover all pieces of the propeller, a task only completable towards the end of the game. This becomes very important in not only escaping your fate from falling into the hole but also giving you a much better chance at the platforming challenges you face when going for the "Escape" or "Death of the Ancient" endings.
- Funny Animal: Most of the islands inhabitants are anthropomorphic animals in robes. Cult robes.
- Multiple Endings: Depending on whether you let yourself fall into the hole, jump out of the hole and escape to the boat, or find all five hidden gems (which let you survive the fall) and reach the end of the area under the hole.
- Golden Ending: Finding all five hidden gems lets you survive falling into the hole at the end. This leads to one last platforming area, which when completed shows you the hidden ending. This is the only ending with credits.
- Punny Name: Some of the island's inhabitants have names that are puns on their species.
- Town with a Dark Secret: The island is ruled by a cult that is either worshiping an Eldritch Abomination or trying their best to keep it jailed and prevent it from causing the apocalypse. They've brought Bubbo to the island in order to sacrifice him and thus put off the end of the world.
- Womb Level: The area beneath the hole is made of flesh, and ends when you jump into a beating heart.
- Affectionate Parody: The whole game is clearly modeled after Blue's Clues and absurdly-low-budget child-friendly adventure games.
- Creator Cameo: Torple Dook himself plays several characters, including Skip. He also does literally all the voices.
- The Cameo: Those party guests that Skip invited for the party? They're Earl from Earl's Day Off, a Wizard from Hand of Doom, and a Conquistador Skeleton from UNDISCOVERED. All three being games Torple Dook has made, with the last two even coming from the previous Dread X Collections!
- Faceless Eye: After collecting one key, one of these appears outside the window in the living room.
- Fetch Quest: As is typical for old-school adventure games, the majority of the game involves retrieving items to give to characters for other items.
- Gratuitous Spanish: Sanchez speaks in ominous-toned Spanish, although the text box is in English.
- Pet the Dog: Literally, interacting with the titular Chip has Skip give his beloved dog a pet.
- Stylistic Suck: Attempts to replicate the feel of an absurdly-low-budget adventure game. At least one character is literal clip art.
- Subverted Kids' Show: The game presents itself as an low-budget kid-friendly game modeled after Blue's Clues. But as the game goes on, you find things to be a lot more horrifying than they initially look.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Skip seems to be completely unfazed by both the strange events occurring inside his house, and the fact that a door in his basement appears to lead into hell itself. Even then he seems to be actually somewhat taken aback by the shady Pete Moss.
As a detective from the Land of the Dead, your current case is to discover why new souls have stopped arriving.
- Art Shift: The land of the living is depicted via photographs, as opposed to 3D models. The art shifts again when the detective encounters the unsettling creatures living up there, with environments and menus gradually losing resolution and loading screens losing their colour.
- Driven to Suicide: Many of the spirits the detective encounters took their own lives.
- Lame Last Words: One dying character decides they need some cool last words, only to realize they can't think of any.
- Point of No Return: Once the player steps through the teleporter to the Realm of the Living, they're stuck up there until the job is done.
Tasked with raising a type of creature called Faultless, train it properly and give it encouragement as it prepares for what's only known as the "Grand Event".
- Raising Sim: EDEN's focus is on raising your own Faultless.
Scientists attempting to create a new type of hair conditioner have accidentally created sentient Grey Goo. As the Goo, make your escape by latching onto and converting every mind you can.
Having been strong-armed into managing an ice cream booth at a spectral fair, make sure you get every order right if you want to survive the night.
An astronaut has been assigned to research a strange planet with only a computer for company. A mysterious meteor crashing into the planet irreversibly alters this arrangement.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Justified. The robot herself is defiant over this idea when she realizes the substance is behaving like a virus, pleading for the protagonist to shut her down before she can get corrupted and hurt him. Unfortunately, the organic substance takes control before it could happen.
- Apologetic Attacker: The robotic assistant notes that her corruption could lead to her unwillingly trying to hurt the protagonist, and tells him that she would never if she remained in control.
- Downer Ending: The protagonist fails to stop the alien virus from spreading, as the explosion of the base's reactor gave it enough energy to take over the planet. It's also implied that the ship which came to survey the base after receiving the SOS signal will carry some of the virus with it to spread onto other worlds, as spores fly into the air just as the ship takes off.
- Meat Moss: The alien...thing seems to be this, constantly growing and covering most of the base with itself. Eventually, it ends up completely taking over the planet as shown in The Stinger.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Activating the reactor's self destruct didn't destroy the virus. Instead, the energy it absorbed from the explosion seems to have allowed it to spread itself all over the planet. Granted, the protagonist had no way of knowing this.
- Robosexual: The main character is implied to be this, given he left his wife and son to remain at the station with the robotic assistant. The robot herself states that she loves him.
Kitsuhime-sama, beloved mascot of the Sato Wonderland theme park, has begun to act erratically and recently attempted to kidnap a young child. The player is sent in as the parks AI handler to determine what the problem is, and whether or not Kitsuhime needs to be retired.
- Death Seeker: Kioko never wanted to become an animatronic and begs the player to shut her down.
- Hostile Animatronics: The player character is called in to investigate after Kitsuhime attempts to kidnap a small child. She's not the violent one. Attempting to shut her down causes Sato to go berserk.
- Momma's Boy: The lead architect of the park loved his mother dearly. So dearly, he converted her into an AI against her will so they could be together forever.
- Unexpected Gameplay Change: If the player successfully initiates Kitsuhime's shutdown sequence, the game shifts from visual novel to first-person horror as they flee a murderous animatronic.
In the post-apocalypse, you play as a hero trying to find God with the express purpose of killing them.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: The main character's main weapon is a pretty cool designed sword.
A collection of WarioWare-inspired spooky microgames hosted by a trio of Skele-bros.
- Call-Back: Two to the original SPOOKWARE. The plant-headed monsters return (and must again be shot in the head), and there's once again a minigame where you have to locate Nosferatu.
- Decapitation Required: One microgame involves loading a pistol and then shooting a trio of plant-headed monsters in the face. Shooting them anywhere else won't work.
- Evil Elevator: The elevator in "Use The Alarm If You Need To" mostly works as intended. Aside from the blood spatter on its doors. And its tendency to stop on cursed floors inhabited by a giant goat demon.
- Gameplay Roulette: Much like its inspiration, each microgame has its own control scheme and set of rules.
- Punny Name: Midi the skeleton both sits in the middle of the couch, and plays music on his guitar.
Potato the Donkey is on a journey back to his farm. It quickly turns out that his little world is being influenced by a much bigger one, which is willing to make sacrifices to finish its work.
- An Arm and a Leg: A severed arm is required for the ritual of Submission. The developer is prepared to make that sacrifice.
- Nested Story Reveal: The game initially presents itself as "Potato's Farm", a cutesy game about a donkey collecting apples. Then the game crashes, the developer gets a message about their upcoming deadline, and the camera pans out to reveal their bedroom.
- Precision F-Strike:
- At the end of the first act, the game files are permanently corrupted right before the development deadline. **"Shit."**
- After the player walks in on something they shouldn't see, Codey bribes them with free assets and then warns them to "Stay the fuck out of that room."
- The title screen for the Potato's Revenge segment has Potato saying "Fuck apples."
- Programming Game: Much of the actual game is spent lining up various bits of coding jargon to give the In-Universe player character new abilities.
- Sugar Apocalypse: The road to Potato's Farm is littered with cute and cheery critters. Some seem to be having a hard time keeping their body parts together. Others are nothing more than a puddle of blood on the ground.
- Take That!: Codey, the programming-centric parody of Microsoft's own Clippy, is seemingly the Big Bad, and you gun down a zombified army of him in the Potato's Revenge segment.
- Took a Level in Badass: After you sacrifice your arm and a bird for the Submission Ritual, the game takes a Genre Shift from being a First Person Horror Adventure game to a First-Person Shooter with Potato's Revenge, with Potato the Donkey gunning down an army of Codey zombies in order to save his friends.
Dread X Collection: The Hunt
A fourth installment, which has a subtitle instead of a number, released to Steam on April 14, 2021. The theme of this entry is "shooter" and is fittingly enough co-produced by New Blood Interactive's legendary David Szymanski, developer of DUSK, The Music Machine, The Pony Factory and Squirrel Stapler (The last two being games from previous Dread X Collections).
The collection has about 8 games (including the launcher), with four returning developers and four new devs.
- Action Girl: Artemis, though she doesn't get much action in the Launcher besides sleuthing about and learning what happened. But when the creature finally appears and tries to kill her, she's more than willing to put herself in danger to kill it.
- Arm Cannon: The strange weapon that was built to kill the creature is some weird contraption that needs to be put on your arm. Judging by the blood and Artemis' screams, it might even need to be literally attached to your arm.
- Cosy Catastrophe: The game takes place 6 months after an event known as "The Breach" has allowed dangerous supernatural phenomena known as Anomalies to manifest in the world, including something known as the Cognito Virus. However, based on the radio broadcasts you can listen to, life seems to be continuing on as normal to a large extent (the government is still functional and the postal service is still operating, for example). Artemis is mentioned as being a member of some sort of nomadic survival gang, but she seems like the sort who'd have done that anyway.
- Deadpan Snarker: Artemis is quite flippant considering the situation she's in.
- Desecrating the Dead: An unintentional one yet still needed to progress. When approaching the base, Artemis can find a corpse on the base's roof that she needs to shoot in order to make it drop a key.
- Easter Eggs: There are a few items to be found in the Launcher that relate to the various games launched through it. Most of these are located in the bunk room.
- Jebediah's hunting knife from Uktena 64 is required to find. It is needed to cut some rope, and also used to stab a picture into a board in the hub game's ending.
- A crossbow, a quiver full of bolts, and a rubber sacrificial knife from Torpledook's Black Relic can be found on a desk.
- You can find a pair of red high-heels with eyeballs on them, from Mr. Pink's Rose of Meat near a bed's footlocker.
- Implacable Man: Once it finally makes its appearance, the creature proves to be slow but unstoppable, with your rifle being unable to hurt it. You'll need to get the dimensional weapon the team were working on in order to kill it.
- Late to the Party: By the time she arrives at ARK 2, the research team has been wiped out and the place seems completely deserted.
- Nothing Is Scarier: For the most part, it's just you in an abandoned researched facility in the Arctic that has a lot of blood stains and corpses hanging around. Artemis has no idea what the being responsible for this carnage is, or if it's still there.
- Parasite Zombie: The creature seems to be one of these. The expedition Captain killed the original creature by collapsing a tunnel on it, but the parasite transferred into him, prompting him to chain himself in his office before he transformed. There's a warning sign in the lab telling people not to kill the entities, presumably for this very reason. The weapon the team were trying to develop seems to be designed to kill the parasite and not just the host.
- Shout-Out: Quite a few in this hub game.
- Snow Means Death: The main setting is inside of an research base in the snowy Arctic with most of it's inhabitants dead. You can also find a few frozen corpses lying outside the base.
- Whole-Plot Reference: To John Carpenter's The Thing. Both it and the Launcher take place in a remote Arctic research facility where most of the former inhabitants have been slaughtered by a horrifying tentacled being.
A humble hunter named Jebadiah gets a bounty hunting job passed down to him from a friend. The offer comes from the CDC, and its objective is to stop diseased animals from spreading a deadly virus, which has been causing them to change in strange horrifying ways.
Here's the OST created by Jarren Crist.
- Adjustable Censorship: The game comes with a Content Warning regarding violence towards animals, but also includes a cheat code to turn almost all of the infected animals into humans, though warns the player this isn't how the game is meant to be played.
- Apocalyptic Log: Jebediah can find a few notes and also some recordings detailing what happened to previous residents before their untimely demise.
- Bears Are Bad News: You'll be facing some Mutant Bears at that, in the Howling Marsh, who are missing all the flesh on their head. Notably, facing the bears is the first time Jebediah, a Fearless Fool, actually shows any real concern regarding the situation he's in.
- Beating A Dead Player: When you die, it not only shows the game over screen, but also shows your corpse and the mutant animal that caused your death still trying to eviscerate your corpse.
- BFG: In the final level/map. You can grab yourself a Bren LMG (with Infinite reserve ammo too) from a corpse.
- Boom, Headshot!: You can kill some animals by shooting them in the head, sometimes this even leaves their corpses head-less. In the second map however, this won't work against one particular Turkey.
- Botanical Abomination: Whatever is happening to the animals in the area, the eventual end result seems to be a Meat Moss from which strange flowers sprout. You can even find some notes from a local resident who was apparently responsible for starting the whole mess; he went into a trance while hiking and found some strange seeds, which he planted and which eventually grew into something that started spreading the sickness. After defeating the Uktena, just before it dies it spits out a strange plant that immediately begins spitting out some kind of spores. This unfortunately ends up killing Jebediah by causing him to spontaneously burst into plant sprouts (this happens even if you never eat any of the strange flowers to regain health).
- Bottomless Magazines: Of the infinite reserve ammo variety for the Bren LMG.
- Deep South: Jebediah and his friend have shades of this.
- Devious Daggers: Befitting a hunter, your main melee weapon is what appears to be a large bowie knife. It's mainly used for breaking barrels without wasting ammo or attacking the infected animals if they get too close for comfort. It also makes an appearance in the launcher.
- Dissonant Serenity: Jebediah is downright cheery for someone having to hunt through a woodland apocalypse. His comments when taking pictures of the diseased critters' dead bodies shows he's surprisingly enjoying himself despite their horrifying mutations. Although there are times where it's clear that even he's spooked by what's going on.Jeb after taking a picture of a corpse: Pog!
- Downer Ending: Jeb does manage to slay the eponymous Uktena (Horned Serpent), but it comes at the cost of Jebediah's own life. And from the looks of things, the disease that's infecting the animals won't stop spreading anytime soon.
- First-Person Snapshooter: A variant, you mostly have to take pictures of the corpses belonging to the infected critters you have killed. Although other corpses are fair game as well, ranging from other poor animals' corpses and even remains of human corpses, both having most likely killed by said infected critters.
- Funetik Aksent: Quite a few lines are spoken in approximation of lower class Southern American dialect.
- Half-Witted Hillbilly: Jebediah, some of his dialogue gives shades of this, especially with his accent.
- Hyperactive Metabolism: You mainly regain health from taking "sippies" of what is either hot coffee or cocoa. There's also strange rose-like plants you can eat to heal yourself.
- Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: There's about 4 types of difficulty levels. Tourist, Hunter, Warrior and Baya-Kin.
- Killer Rabbit: You don't have to face killer rabbits, but your first preys are infected mutant Turkeys.
- Mysterious Note: You can find notes that belonged to people that have resided in said maps. You can also find strange notes that seem to be gibberish. They actually need to be translated with a ROT13 cipher to understand what's written.
- Raising the Steaks: As a hunter you'll be faced and then have to hunt down diseased critters, some more horrifying, mutated and deadlier than the others. These critters include turkeys, wolves, bears, and even deer.
- Retraux: If the name wasn't a giveaway, it's based on old shooters and hunting games from the Nintendo 64, the intro even shows off an Expansion Pak. There's also shades of Turok as well.
- Revolvers Are Just Better: In the Howling Marsh you can grab a revolver from the abandoned church's podium. Although it's arguable if it's better considering the type of enemies you'll be facing in that level. Even then it has one bullet more compared to your rifle. It mostly serves to give you a secondary firearm to switch to in order to finish off a bear, since a full mag of headshots from the rifle isn't quite enough.
- Savage Wolves: A lot of them in Frigid Valley, compared to the previous Turkeys and latter mutated bears. They appear the most normal of the diseased animals, save for the twigs or horns sticking out of them. Doesn't mean they're not pushovers however. On your way back to the car, you'll be attacked by several with no skin.
- Shout-Out: Some of the difficulty levels have a Halo-esque look to their logos, especially the Baya-Kin.
- Snakes Are Sinister: In the final map, you face off against the eponymous Horned Serpent: Uktena.
- Voice-Only Cameo: Torpledook plays Jeb's friend on the phone whom passed the offer to him.
- Cooldown: After taking a snap of a ghost, you need to wait for the camera to recharge before being able to take another snapshot.
- Excuse Plot: Unlike the other games in The Hunt, Axis Mundi doesn't really have an overarching plot, and is more of a "day in the life" episode with the main character investigating a haunted mall and exploring the past of 3 different spirits with no real connecting narrative tying them together.
- First-Person Snapshooter: You must fend off ghosts and relive the memories of some of them using a special ghost-hunting camera, just like Fatal Frame or DreadOut.
- I See Dead People: The main character has this ability, which greatly helps when ghost hunting. This also has allowed him to get close with his grandmother in death unlike when she was living, as she too had this power.
- Paranormal Investigation: The Protagonist is this and so was his grandmother, whom he inherited the camera from and seemingly the ability to see the dead.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Elder McGrath and the Cult Leader (the Elder's son) are both tougher than a regular Cultist, with the Elder requiring 3 crossbow shots to kill, while the Cult Leader (who serves as the Final Boss) takes 5 crossbow shots. Neither has any special attacks or abilities, though.
- Badass Long Robe: As befitting a monk, Brother Silence wears brown monk's robes and it doesn't make him any less badass when he wears it while fending of an Pagan Cult.
- Badass Preacher: A badass monk to be specific. You play as a monk named Brother Silence, armed with only a crossbow, a quiver that can carry a few bolts, and a lantern. Brother Silence must fight his way through the cultists' ranks to reacquire the relic.
- Evil Old Folks: Village Elder McGarth has a bone to pick with the monks. With very good reason. In a way he also serves as the first boss.
- Faceless Mooks: All of the Pagan cultists wear deer skull masks to hide their faces and make their red/purple eyes stand out alongside them.
- False Flag Operation: Brother Silence kidnapped and murdered the grandson of Elder McGrath, in order to provoke the Pagans into attacking the Holy Order.
- Off with His Head!: After killing the Village Elder. You decapitate his head from his corpse, a frankly unneeded brutal move from a monk. It's because it was needed in the sacrificial ritual at the game's ending.
- One-Man Army: Brother Silence takes on an entire Pagan Cult and a few other adversaries to reclaim the relic. His badassery is most likely because he is descended from the bloodline of a Templar that slayed a Nephelim.
- Psycho Knife Nut: Most of the Pagan enemies carry wavy flamberge-esque sacrificial knives. Even the Village Elder McGarth carries one.
- Purple Is Powerful: The cultists armed with crossbows have purple glowing eyes, and if you're not careful they can do a whole lot of damage to you from afar.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Most of the Pagan cultists have red glowing eyes that leave light trails whenever they move. In fact, one of the Monks that they ambushed specifically remembered their eyes after surviving the ordeal. This makes them very dangerous, but this also plays into your advantage as they glow in the pitch black darkness, allowing you to shoot them if they get out of any light source.
- Silent Protagonist: The main playable character is not only named Brother Silence but he comes from a long bloodline of monks (who descended from Templars) that have taken a vow of silence. He breaks said vow in the ending, in order to chant incantations when bringing back the Nephilim.
- Skeletons in the Coat Closet: Most of the Pagan Cultists wear some kind of cervine head as a helmet or headdress.
- Sole Survivor: By the end of the game only Brother Silence is left standing, with most of the Holy Order he came from and the Pagans responsible being decimated. Just as he has planned.
- Villain Protagonist: At the end of the game, it's revealed that the whole thing has been orchestrated by Brother Silence in order to use the eponymous Black Relic to bring back the Nephilim unto himself.
- Would Hurt a Child: In order to properly summon the Nephilim during the sacrificial ritual, Brother Silence had taken the grandson of the Village Elder and sacrificed him.
One day while out fishing in the seat, you catch nothing but trash, although one piece of this trash appears to be a red high-heeled shoe. Suddenly a large arm rises from the sea and drags you to a mysterious and absolutely strange island.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Dyk is a horrifying being, whom pops up out of nowhere from time to time. Yet he's there to offer you advice on how to survive this strange island.
- Exploding Barrels: There are many of these scattered across the island. Blowing them up will be your primary means of offence.
- Eyes Do Not Belong There: There's a lot of eyes around the mysterious island, including absolutely titanic ones that just stare at you and ones that are stuck on red Explosive Barrels. Considering the dev's previous game, one can ponder if this is Author Appeal.
- Eye Scream: Your health is shown by your eyes; the redder they get shows how much health you have or how much damage you have taken.
- Lady in Red: Rose, whom an interesting case of this trope's norm. She is not really that interested in taking agency despite the fact that the whole island seems to revolve around her. At least most of the inhabitants of the island seem enamored with her, ranging from a giant that wants her hand in marriage, to the strange creatures that pray to her.
- Revolvers Are Just Better: Played with. Dyk outright states that your revolver is garbage, it doesn't do any damage directly against the hostile and non-hostile beings of the island. However, there's an abundance of red barrels covered in eyes, which are also very explosive. Mix with the talking leg's ability to spawn creatures that hold said eye-covered red barrels, and your revolver will still be a useful asset.
- Ambiguous Situation: Other than the short prologue with your daughter's letter to you, at no point in the game is there ever any attempt to explain exactly what the hell is going on.
- Botanical Abomination: The hostile creatures seem to be plant-based in nature. Also, your daughter's current state is a vine-penetrated living corpse who wants to eat you.
- Defeat Equals Friendship: After you defeat the dragon-creature on two separate occasions, the third time you encounter it, it lets you ride it to a castle in the clouds, where you'll find your daughter.
- Downer Ending: Your daughter has already become a part of whatever the hell is going on, and you're forced to fight and kill her as she attacks and attempts to eat you.
The Fruit takes place in 1884, and tells the story of Thomas Whittaker, who departs to the remote town of Ravenshollow after receiving a peculiar letter from his estranged partner, William Forrester. Bathed in a pale fog and lit by a sinister glow, Thomas quickly finds that something has happened in Ravenshollow. The town is now managed by a holy sister, whom is leading the remaining sane townsfolk while being hunted by the deranged rest. Armed by her with a deceased townsman's rifle, Thomas must evade the insane infected inhabitants and unlock the secrets of an ancient language if he is to have any hope of finding his estranged beloved. Featuring an interactive reload system (somewhat similarly to Receiver although not as complex) and using a leather-bound grimoire to dispel strange runes, players must battle not only the townsfolk but also their own nerves to survive.
- Animalistic Abomination: A few notes that can be found makes a mention of a strange being that has a deer's body with a man's face. William's notes state that this creature bit him after he saved it. This bite seemingly slowly transforms him into the same type of being. Another set of notes talk about a hunter having shot said creature. After being horrified of how it'll affect his fellow townsmen due to them being the superstitious lot, the hunter buries it under the dead tree. It then turns out that the creature that was shot was William after having fully undergone the metamorphosis.
- Apocalyptic Log: You can find a few notes detailing what's been going on with previous residents before Thomas visits. The writers of these notes have already perished The exception is William, sort of.
- Artistic License History: William proposed to Thomas and was rejected before the story begins. Although never clarified, the manner by which William speaks about the rejection in the letter at the beginning of the game seems to imply that marriage between homosexuals was allowed in the 1800s.
- Back Stab: Thomas can sneak up on the townsfolk and bury his axe in their backs. It's a guaranteed one hit kill.
- Bestiality Is Depraved: The Berriss farmstead is listed as belonging to Mr. and Mrs. Berriss. Mr. Berriss is the hunter who accidentally started the whole mess. When you find a portrait of Daisy Berriss, she turns out to be a Beagle.
- Botanical Abomination: The dead tree that holds the titular cursed fruit. It also happens to have the body of your beloved (but infected) William entangled in its roots.
- Bury Your Gays: In the ending where Sister Pyrus burns down the tree, both William and Thomas perish. William due to being entangled in the roots of the cursed tree, thus being taken by the flames, and Thomas after being attacked by a thief and not willing to depart with his wedding ring, getting shot in the heart for his troubles.
- Cool Guns: Your only firearm in this game is the Model 1873 "Trapdoor" Springfield rifle. The game simulates every step of reloading it just like its real life counterpart. The game's "Trapdoor" Rifle also comes with a leather rifle bullet loop attached to the stock◊ that helps you carry ammo. However, that also means you can only carry a finite amount of ammo.
- Do Not Go Gentle: Old Man Winters rigged his house with dynamite in case the fruit-infected villagers came for him. You hear a massive explosion soon after the game begins, and when you find his house it's a burning wreckage.
- Double-Meaning Title: The title references the eponymous fruit that's been infecting the townsfolk, which is coming from a tree that sprouted out of your partner's body. But as "fruit" is a homophobic slur, it can also refer to the playable protagonist being homosexual.
- Drowning My Sorrows: In the ending where William is killed by Sister Pyrus, Thomas goes to the bottle to try and get over the loss of his beloved.
- Easter Egg: The game is packed with quite a few of these, most of them being shout-outs.
- There's a couple of secret paintings/portraits you can find referencing YouTube content creators.
- In the house where you learn the Ku rune, you can find a familiar "Hideous doll of a pig with a saw for an arm".
- Featureless Protagonist: Downplayed; you don't get to see much of Thomas besides his arms and hands. You do, however, manage to find a painting of himself in William's home.
- Fog of Doom: The swamps area not only has the thickest fog, but is also where you meet the flying skull ghosts.
- Madwoman in the Attic: One of the fruit-infected villagers had a wife who refused to eat the fruit; he locked her in their children's bedroom and refused to let her out until she ate the fruit. From a note she left behind, it seems she decided to take a small bite and pretend she ate more to get her husband to let her out. By the time you find her, she's a knife-wielding fruit-lunatic still locked in the room.
- Magical Incantation: Thomas can find strange runes from an ancient language that teach him different incantations that are then written into his grimoire. They are useful for getting rid of other runes◊ that are locking doors, gates, and other things. They're also useful in banishing spirits that attack you.
- Mooks, but no Bosses: The Fruit is the one game in The Hunt collection that doesn't have any sort of boss fight; although one ending sees you fighting Sister Pyrus and the remaining uninfected villagers, they behave more or less like regular enemies.
- Multiple Endings: You can get two.
- Bittersweet Ending: If you choose to kill Sister Pyrus and her mob, you manage to save William's life by feeding the cursed tree their blood, although this is at the likely cost of both of your sanities and the cursed tree still existing.
- Downer Ending: Interestingly enough, the most depressing outcome is the ending where Thomas lets Sister Pyrus and the remaining untainted townsfolk burn down the cursed tree. It leads to Thomas losing William forever, becoming a broken man, and then meeting his undignified end from a thief after not wanting to part way with his and William's wedding ring.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: William saves a hurt deer, and all he got out of it was the same animal biting him. Which slowly starts a Lovecraftian crisis in Ravenshollow.
- Not the Fall That Kills You : You can find a note when climbing the windmill to its top to get a rune. It details how someone barely avoided going splat, via a wagon full of hay. Naturally, if you want to take the quick way down, you can follow in his footsteps.
- Nuns Are Spooky: Sister Pyrus isn't as hostile as the rest of the insane townspeople, but she's still not the friendliest face there. Although she does become hostile if you draw your weapons, then choose to stop her and the remaining townspeople from burning down the cursed tree.
- Ominous Fog: Ravenshollow is bathed in fog and rain that really immerses you into the dreary rural environment.
- Psycho Knife Nut: The the townsfolk that don't use axes or rifles make use of kitchen knives instead. Just like the axe-wielders, they aren't afraid of throwing them.
- Sanity Slippage: Happens to anyone that eats the fruit, thanks to it gifting cursed ancient knowledge that no normal human should be allowed to know. Thomas himself also undergoes this as he learns an ancient language not meant for human minds while going through the horrors of Ravenshollow to save William. You can choose to fully succumb to the madness or not in the end.
- Spell Book: You start off with an empty grimoire that you can fill up with runes and incantations of an ancient dead language to help you with your journey.
- Silent Protagonist: Played with. Thomas doesn't have much in terms of voice-acted dialogue, but he does respond to people he talks to (most of whom actually have voice actors) and he does express some of his thoughts through text.
- Straight Gay: Somewhat justified due to being a horror game. There isn't much camp or effeminacy in the way Thomas acts or talks, yet he's still in love with a man and goes through hell to find and save him.
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: The Axe and Knife-wielding townspeople have a ranged attack where they throw their one-handed weapons at you. They can do a decent bit of damage, and they seem to have an unlimited supply of said melee weapons.
A ritual gone wrong has summoned the demon Asakku into our realm, and as a demon-hunting priest, it's your job to banish it back where it came from.
- Badass Preacher: A big emphasis on Badass. What is the protagonist priest's choice of equipment when he goes to exorcise a demon? A Glock pistol, two AK-47s and a crucifix. And when faced with having to fight Asakku in its realm, without the crucifix's power, what does he do? He just pulls out the two AKs and starts raining hot holy lead upon the demon until he dies. The Doom Slayer would approve.
- Bittersweet Ending: The priest manages to kill the ancient demon Asakku, but at a heavy price.
- Demonic Possession: This is what happens to Father Higgins. According to some notes, this was deliberate and planned, to stall for time in order for help to arrive.
- Dual Wielding: You start off armed with a Glock and a blessed holy crucifix.
- Guns Akimbo: When the priest finally confronts Asakku in the prison realm he was sent in, and without his holy crucifix to aid him, he just opts to gun him down with higher calibers via two AKs, one in each hand.
- Meat Moss: Appears once you manage to exorcise the demon out of the Higgins' body. You have to now contend with most of the mansion being covered in flesh-like growths and strange flesh-covered hostile humanoids. The former either just sticks all over the place or actively blocks your path. You can destroy them with the power of your holy crucifix.
- Oh, Crap!: Asakku has one when the priest pulls out two assault rifles and begins gunning him down.Asakku: NO! NOT LIKE THIS!
- Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: The badass priest drops one before giving Asakku a divine intervention via two AK-47s.Asakku: TIME TO DIE!Priest: You first...
- Shout-Out: According to Father Higgins, one of the priests that was sent to help exorcise the demon out of him never actually did three exorcisms like he claimed, they just saw The Exorcist three times.
- Sole Survivor: By the end of the game only the Badass Preacher is left standing.
Dread X Collection 5
The fifth installment, which is a numbered sequel despite the previous entry, was released on May 20, 2022 with the theme of "party". It has twelve entries from indie talents, in addition to a launcher set in an intergalactic party venue with trouble lurking beneath its surface. Here's the Steam page and you can also check the website for more details.
The titles are as follows, with only one returning dev with most being new:
The game is set in rural Finland 1888 during the midsummer, where hardworking farmhouses across the nation are celebrating Juhannus. It's a night-less night that is believed to hold magical properties, where many younger folk participate in playful rituals and fun games. Swept up in the superstitions, a young protagonist tries a ritual their father has told them about. But be warned; because they were deemed unlovable by their peers, not everyone wants to see them succeed in their scavenger hunt for flowers. They would rather brand them to take part in one of their games as the Hunsvotti.
Here's the Collection Featurette
- Abusive Parents: The young protagonist's father isn't exactly a great one. From being dismissive of their own child, blaming them for the death of his mother everyday, and stating that the bullying the kid faces as his fault. Naturally once his child goes on a violent murderous rampage, he is the last victim at the behest of Perkele.
- Bring My Brown Pants: If the protagonist uses his Mind over Matter powers on the female townsfolk, they are lifted up in the air and they begin emptying their bladders.
- Daylight Horror: The game's events take place in broad daylight.
- Death by Childbirth: How the protagonist's mother died, which is a fact that his father loves to remind them repeatedly.
- Desecrating the Dead: Inspecting the grave of the protagonist's mother has him notice that someone defecated on it. Judging from their comment it's a regular occurrence.
- Drowning My Sorrows: Inspecting a pile of beer kegs has the protagonist comment that ever since he was born, his father has been drinking nonstop due to his wife dying at child birth.
- Excrement Statement: Kids that are secretly drinking on the rooftop will try urinate on the protagonist if they pass by. If that's not enough, if you visit their deceased mother's grave somebody actually defecated on it.
- Everything Trying to Kill You: Played with. While there is no "death" per say in this game, the entire village is pretty much out to hurt and bully you.
- In a Single Bound: Once gifted Mind over Matter powers, the protagonist who starts off with a weak and meek jump is able to make telekinesis-assisted leaps in the air.
- Jerkass: Practically the entire village, every single villager is mean to the player character, with the horrible things they put the protagonist through being too long to list. It gets worse when you get branded as the "Hunsvotti" where the entire village is out to get you and once they catch you, the fate they force on you is not pretty.
- Kick the Dog: You can find a cat nailed to a wall, interacting with it reveals it's a stray animal that the protagonist has been feeding despite his father's objections. They decide to just kill the poor thing to further torment the child.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Once the young protagonist completes the ritual and summons their "true love" they are given powerful telekinetic abilities that allow them to murder the entire village, and seeing the amount of horrible things they have put the protagonist through, it's definitely easy to say that they had it coming.
- Kids Are Cruel: The fellow children of the village are absolutely terrible, they constantly bully and belittle the protagonist. Actively stalking and barring them from trying an innocent little ritual to find their true love, even those that are unintentionally bullying him don't care.
- Ludicrous Gibs: The well-deserved fate of the entire village once the protagonist is gifted Psychic Mind over Matter powers by Perkele.
- Made of Plasticine: While it could be because of the Protagonist's new Mind over Matter powers, pushing villagers to a nearby wall, fence and etc. has them explode into Ludicrous Gibs.
- Maternal Death? Blame the Child!: The father clearly hates his own child for his wife's Death By Child Birth. Inspecting his wife's grave reveals that they remind the protagonist and blame them for their mother's death every single day.
- Mind over Matter: Once the being at the well is summoned by the ritual (which turns out to be Perkele) they give the protagonist Psychic Powers which manifest as telekinesis, allowing them to enact vengeance upon the entire town by turning them into gibs.
- Number of the Beast: The village was found by Musta Jaako on 1666.
- Off with His Head!: Some of the villagers are given a Psychic Strangle that ends with their heads being severed from their torsos.
- Psychic Strangle: A variant, one way the protagonist can kill the villagers is basically just a "force crush". For a more straightforward example, one other way the protagonist can kill them is strangling them violently giving them a moment to hold their necks before the protagonist crushes their throat and decapitates them.
- Retraux: The game has low-poly and rather blocky graphics, which also help add to the rather creepy visuals of the game despite starting off with bright colors.
- Scare Chord: Every time the protagonist is "damaged" a chord plays and their vision takes a hit as well.
- Sprint Meter: Adding to how pitiable and pathetic the protagonist is, they have a meager sprint ability, with their exhaustion being shown by their vision darkening and eyes closing. The kid loses the sprint meter however once they earned Perkele-gifted Psychic Powers which give them Super Speed.
- Super Speed: Another power available thanks to their newly gifted Psychic Powers, which also takes away the Sprint Meter.
- Then Let Me Be Evil: The young protagonist, after completing the ritual, goes on a murderous rampage against all of the people of the village who mistreated him after Perkele is summoned.
- Whole-Plot Reference: This game can be seen as pretty much the Finnish version of Carrie.
Here's the Collection Featurette for the game.
The night signals that it's closing time for Pomeroy Grasslands Carnival, with it's workers wrapping up and heading home. One of the carnival's employees is Trevor who is visited by his coworker Mark, then given a book that they found lying outside the trailer. Trevor volunteers to lock up the front gates once he's done closing up the trailer booth after putting the book in lost and found. Shortly after he is left alone, a strange man wearing a similar uniform to his coworker steps out of the shadows, with strange, erratic and theatric movements he hands Trevor a bloodstained note that simply reads: LET ME IN and disappears as quickly as he appeared. In the light of the booth, it becomes obvious that something unnatural is going on. Stay safe inside the trailer by locking the doors, peeking out the windows to keep out what's lurking in the dark. That strange book might be the only answer to his survival.
Here's the Collection Featurette.
- Circus of Fear: The game's main setting is a carnival that's in closing hours, leaving you to fend for yourself while a killer clown is on the loose and wants to kill you.
- Downer Ending: The sigil Trevor was trying to finish in hopes of stopping the killer mime/clown is actually a sigil to release the Blood Mage trapped in the book. They then thank Trevor for releasing him before using them as a sacrifice.
- Monster Clown: While not the usual kind, the game's main antagonist is a snappily-dressed killer clown/mime wearing a white grinning face mask.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Turns out the runes you are finding and the sigil you have to make to try and defeat the killer mime/clown, is actually a summoning sigil that releases the trapped Blood Mage inside of the cursed book.
- Psycho Knife Nut: The game's main antagonist is armed with a knife and is more than happy to use it on the protagonist. In fact to show off that he's a proper threat, he invites himself into the trailer suddenly and starts stabbing the protagonist, before leaving. The Blood Mage also carries a knife which they use on Trevor.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: The Blood Mage that is summoned in the end looks mighty sinister with his glowing red eyes.
- Silent Antagonist: The killer clown/mime doesn't speak at all until the end (sort of).
- Ten-Second Flashlight: Justified. Your only flashlight is a dinky and cheap keychain light, thankfully if the battery dies you can grab replacements from boxes either in your trailer or the psychic's room in the fun house.
- Waist Coat Of Style: The monster clown wears a rather snappy and fancy outfit that involves a purple waistcoat.
Here's the Collection Featurette for the game.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: Your main firearm is the shotgun and it does pretty potent damage.
From the developers of The Gallagher Case* .
The game focuses on a retired police officer named Neal, who finds the courage to investigate the closed-off and abandoned Gallagher Sports Center. Back in 2006, 12 children mysteriously and suddenly disappeared from the Center, among them being his 8-year old daughter, Amanda. Neal will not only learn that they were likely sacrificed by a cult, but he will also witness what occured after, and live the worst night of his life.
Here's the Collection Featurette for the game.
- Downer Ending: Once Neal learns what happened inside of the Gallagher Sports Center and reunites with his daughter. He finds out he was too late and is forced to kill her in self-defense. After escaping the Center, getting back to his car, and finally realizing that he has lost everything, he decides to take his life to be reunited with his daughter in the other side.
- Dual Wielding: Neal carries a flashlight and a pistol, which he uses in conjunction as he explores the dark environments of the Sports Center.
- Pipe Pain: While exploring the interior, Neal notices a rusty loose pipe on the wall near the pool. He decides to rip it off and use it as a melee weapon.
- Was Once a Man: Most of the enemies Neal faces inside of the Gallagher Sports Center are humanoid abominations that are either naked, or wearing one-piece swimsuits and swimming trunks. Reading notes reveals that all of these were formerly people turned into murderous flesh puppets.
Here's the Collection Featurette for the game.
- Art Shift: While the game is in 3D, the Nanny pops up in your face as a 2D drawing if she catches you.
- Double-Meaning Title: The "Spirit Guardian" can either refer to the player character, who is guarding the childrens' spirits from the ghostly Nanny, or the Nanny herself being the childrens' guardian.
- Egg Sitting: Sort of. One of the tasks you need to do is to bring four eggs to a little altar using a spoon without breaking them. Thankfully, the eggs respawn if you do.
- Evil Old Folks: The antagonist is an evil ghost nanny out to get the player.
- Orphanage of Fear: Well, Daycare, but it still fits, as the game takes place in a daycare haunted by four children and a nanny who died in an electric fire.
- Undead Child: There are four ghost children. One of them actively helps you by telling you how to appease the others and warns you about the Nanny.
- Title Drop: "We Never Left" is the final words of the text adventure your cousin was writing, indicating that they faked their disappearance and have lured you into a trap.
With your parents going on a two week vacation and work making things rough, you are given the opportunity to look after your old home and unwind somewhere more familiar. As you take a look around you find a old console and videogame from your childhood, but as you play again for nostalgia's sake, strange events starts happening with the game beginning to warp and reality seems to be getting a little less real. Find out what is going on before it's too late but in order to do that you need to face the truth as a dark memory breaks through.
Here's the Collection Featurette for the game.
- Bittersweet Ending: The game ends in a pretty somber note. While Marcus is still obviously dead, the player and his vengeful ghost make up with the former making amends, by having you be by their side during a recreation of their last moments.I'm here Marcus, I'm with you, I'm sorry...
- Bland-Name Product: Your old videogame console is the "TriBox", which is some kind of weird amalgamation of a PS1 and N64 and Dreamcast.
- Can't Move While Being Watched: The ghost can only move closer every time you blink.
- Dem Bones: The main protagonist of Mail Madness is the Courier, an undead skeleton biker mailman that also does tricks.
- Game Within a Game: The old videogame that you play through most of the game is called "Mail Madness". With it's premise being someone brought back from the dead to act as the Courier for letters from people in the afterlife.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: What happens to Marcus when he accidentally gets run over by a train.
- Railroad Tracks of Doom: How Marcus met his unfortunate end.
- Snow Means Death: Playing through the game reveals that the ghost that's been haunting you is your friend Marcus, who died by after being split in half by a train and spent his final moments in the harsh cold. The finale of the game even has you entering a recreation of his final moments.
Here's the Collection Featurette for the game.
- Atop A Mountain Of Bodies: While exploring the club floor, it suddenly gives in and you fall down a near-bottomless pit with only other screaming clubgoers accompanying you as you all fall down. But once you finally hit the ground, you are greeted by a pretty horrific sight: a mountain of bodies surrounded by a pool of blood...and if that wasn't enough, more and more people continue to fall down, making the blood pool even bigger and making the corpse mountain rise.
Here's the Collection Featurette for the game.
- The Game Plays You: The Ludomalica game is self-aware, unable to be played unless the player is all alone...and then letting them know the moment they're no longer alone due to something being summoned from it.
During a puppet show, a child on-looker falls asleep and soon finds himself dreaming of being stuck inside an old abandoned theater, with the doors bricked over and the only way out being the musty backstage. The child must go beyond the curtains and discover that they're not as alone as they thought.
Here's the Collection Featurette for the game.
- Can't Move While Being Watched: The knife-armed puppets only move when you're not looking at them. Amusingly, when you look back at the puppets after they move, their other limbs flop around freely as they are suspended in the air.
- Easter Egg: When waking up to the abandoned theater, you can take a look around and see that one of the trash cans has a pizza box that says "Teodoro's Pizza" with the man on the cover being Ted Hentschke the author of Dread Central and producer of the Dread X Collections.
- Gainax Ending: The ending has the kid protagonist waking up from their nightmare, back to watching the puppet show right after it's over. Then the lights go out and the theater is filled with sounds of knives stabbing into flesh and it's audience screaming.
- Nightmare Sequence: The entire game takes place within the nightmare of a young kid while watching a puppet show played with large human-sized creepy puppets. The last thing the protagonist sees before they snooze is puppet actors looking at them. Most of the game has you traversing the backstage that is filled with large massive stage sets that have nonsensical architecture and impossible space, alongside creepy puppets strewn about that get more deadlier the deeper you go. Which then culminates into the child being chased by a massive meat worm monster thing after you drop into a weird bloody meat and wood tunnel until they finally wake up. However reality turns out to be not too far off from the kid's nightmare.
- Perverse Puppet: The puppets in the child's nightmare start off somewhat creepy due to being placed all over the place and giving the player a sense of unease but then they start moving with weeping angel's rules and armed with knives. Then it gets worse when we get to the ending.
- Psycho Knife Nut: As you progress through the nightmare, you end up having to face killer psycho puppets armed with knives, some only moving when you don't look at them, some dormant and stationary acting as traps if you don't look where you're going.
- Real After All: The ending has the child wake up from a nightmare about killer human-sized puppets and some sort of giant meat worm monster that tries to eat them. But then suddenly the lights go out and the entire theater is filled with the screams of it's audience and the sounds of knives being stabbed into their flesh. Turns out the kid's nightmare of killer puppets wasn't too farfetched.
- Would Hurt a Child: While it's somewhat justified due to being a child's nightmare, the puppets the protagonist has to face are more than happy to hunt down a kid while armed with knives
Here's the Collection Featurette for the game.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Alfred spent his life trying to become famous, and he will be - as the focus of an episode of "The Interim" that he might die in.
- Show Within a Show: The game starts with a shot of a man with his head through his television screen, before cutting to developer Phantom Sloth as the host of a The Twilight Zone-inspired show called "The Interim" saying that it's a lesson about not letting yourself grow too obsessed with media, and asks if Alfred (the game's protagonist) will make a similar mistake concerning the fame he'd worked his life to attain. And then it turns out Alfred is a stagehand for the show.