Anything can be transformed into a horror game, because if you think about it someone, somewhere is afraid of everything on the planet. But you would be creating a niche game if you made one about arachibutyrophobia. Let’s be honest, how many people would be scared by a game that focuses on the fear of having peanut butter stuck to the roof of your mouth? Games with wider appeal would have to deal with more general fears, or something more relatable. Shining Gate Software has hit on one of those in their latest release Decay – The Mare.
You play as Sam, a young man that is trying to get his life back on track. You have checked into a drug rehab facility, Reaching Dreams, to finally kick your addiction. But, you wake up in the middle of your first night, and something is off. Are you hallucinating? Are you on a bad trip? This this a bad dream? Or have you stumbled into a real paranormal mystery? No matter what, there is something strange going on. And the only way to get it to stop is to get to the bottom of it.
The game is divided into 3 episodes, each one delving deeper into the story. You will have to wander through facility solving puzzles to gain access to more parts of the building. Your powers of observation and memory will be tested as you try to decrypt some of the more interesting conundrums. All of the answers lie within the walls of Reaching Dreams, you may just have to take a few notes along the way.
Decay – The Mare, gains most of it’s suspense from the dark environment and the uncertainty of what is going on. It was released in 2015 on PC, so the graphics are a little dated, but the grainy look does work for the most part. The only time it becomes an issue is when you have to find some of the in-game items. There are a few instances where the colors tend to blend together and you only realize they are there when your cursor changes. The soundtrack is subtle, macabre, and ominous. If you have the ability to play while listening through headphones – I recommend it, as this will increase the scare factor 10 fold.
Decay – The Mare is out now on XB1 and Steam. You can add it to your collection for $9.99, which is less than the price of a horror flick, and will easily provide you with as many scares.