Mirror Layers is a short freeware Psychological Horror game on PC, first created in 14 hours for a game jam in November 2016, and then extended during the following month, with the final version available here. It is perhaps best well-known for the amount of real-life interaction necessary to complete it, as well as for its fantastic levels of Mind Screw.
The game is set in what is ostensibly the main character's home, which at first seems to be empty. Don't worry if that makes you feel nervous though, cause it's not gonna stay that way for long...
Tropes present in this game:
- Abandoned Area: The setting, at least at first, appears to be fully abandoned.
- Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Get murdered by the monster? No problem! You just spawn back in the regular world, and you don't even lose your save.
- Enter Solution Here: You have to keep going back to the mirror world to find the clues to solve the puzzles. In the game's signature mechanic, each player has a different set of clues and puzzles, which may not correspond to each other. For example, your game may contain Key 2, but Box 4. In order to progress, you need Key 4, which can only be found by trading for it on the game's Facebook page.
- First-Person Ghost: Not only can you never see yourself, but you don't even have a reflection. Any items you carry will just float in front of your character without a hand holding them.
- Laser Sight: A laser pointer becomes crucial to the late-game puzzles. The notes scattered around the place work out to Google Earth coordinates of Manitoba, Canada. You then have to point the beam onto that specific location on the wall map, which brings the game to its true end.
- Lock and Key Puzzle: The first puzzle involves hunting down a key to open a box, which contains a leg.
- Mind Screw: The game is practically built on this. It doesn't help that it affects your computer in real life.
- Mirror World: Self explanatory and the premise of the game. Step near the mirror in your world and you'll be instantly transported to a dark twisted parallel universe version of your own. Time has no meaning here, and an Eldritch Abomination will hunt you down until you retreat back home.
- Murderous Mannequins: There are tons of these in the Mirror World.
- No Fourth Wall: The gameplay is based around messing with the game files, and the story involves you in real life, too. When you open up the game for the first time, it informs you that it's created a folder in your Documents file. You can interact with a computer in the game to interact with your computer in real life. There's also a demonic statue in the game that you can throw game objects into, upon which they'll appear as files on your computer. This is actually the only way to beat the game; you have to trade these files with other players to get the right combination of objects.
- The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: The story is based around something trying to get to "the world you're living in." Its messages appear in files on your computer in real life, and given the monsters' ability to travel between worlds...
- Pixel Hunting: Invoked as part of the final puzzle. Once you find all the scattered notes and write down the complete code, it works out to Google Earth coordinates of Manitoba, Canada. The in-game location has a low-resolution, unlabelled map on the wall, and you have to point the beam at that specific part of Canada there, and hold the beam for 3 seconds (so you can't just mindlessly dance the beam all over North America until it hits the spot). You can be ambushed by the monster while trying to do this as well. Succeeding at this puzzle finally leads to a true ending, however.
- Title Drop: Invoked in the ending text. It made layers of memories. But now it's over. These layers are shattered. These mirror layers.
- Who Forgot the Lights?: On an average-quality computer monitor, it's sometimes hard to see the monsters chasing you in the mirror world.