It’s October. The nights are getting darker – as are the mornings – it’s getting colder and Halloween is just around the corner. Which means it’s the perfect time for a scary game. Right?
I’ve mentioned before about how much of a wimp I am when it comes to scary games. So it was with some trepidation that I began playing Dark Veer, particularly after reading the synopsis.
Cast as a young child left at home alone while his father works a night shift for a week, there’s an off-kilter, very creepy atmosphere right from the start. Even the set-up of the child being left home completely alone filled me with unease. Though being alone would certainly be better than the company the child does get…
You’re only able to explore your room at first. There’s creepy noises and different objects seem to turn themselves on or off, or the windows and door keep opening. You need to deal with these, closing the door and window or turning your alarm off and your lamp on. If you don’t – well, let’s just say that the jump scare that ensues – that causes the failure of the level – nearly caused me to launch my Switch across my actual, IRL room.
I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that there’s a creature stalking the poor, terrified child. It’s on the game’s logo when you download it, after all. Looking like a cross between the Demogorgon from Stranger Things and a Piranha Plant, the creature won’t hesitate to make short work of you in a terrifyingly sudden way if you’re not quick enough to deal with the disturbances in the room you find yourself in.
The game is rendered in a deliberately lo-fi, lo-res pixel style, with some great lighting effects and a very scary soundtrack. It’s very effective at what it sets out to do, which seems to be to absolutely terrify the player.
I found some issues with the controls being unresponsive at times, however – most notably when trying to turn off the alarm clock. In a game like this, which relies on quick action in order to succeed, that was a bit of a problem.
It’s a simple game with a very Five Nights At Freddy’s feel, but the creepy childhood setting is well done and instils fear in you even before you’re woken from your slumber by the creature.
I’ve not managed to reach the end yet, but I have my suspicions about the true nature of the beast; I won’t share them as I’d hate to ruin the story, even if it was accidentally accurate.
Those of you with a nervous disposition need not apply, but if you’re looking for a small scale, somewhat minimalist scary game to play for Halloween, you could do worse than Dark Veer. It’s a game that successfully managed to get under my skin, despite its lack of scope and mechanical similarity to other jump scare based games.
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