The best kind of backwards step
Scary movies tend to thrive under limitations. Many of the horror genre’s most influential films made a virtue of their low budget: classics like Hallowe’en, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and The Evil Dead were made on a relative shoestring, and delivered scares despite a lack of effects. The same is true of interactive horror: very few expensively-made games can compete with the fertile imagination of indie studios. The likes of Detention and Stories Untold – heck, even Five Nights At Freddy’s – have all belied their meagre resources.
Last month, World Of Horror became another case in point, and this month has brought us a similarly narrative-led adventure. Retrace tips its hat to the Corpse Party series, as well as the much-admired Zero Escape games, blending slow-burn exploration sequences with gory action. If those influences are anything to go by, you’d be unwise to expect a happy ending.
The story, about a group of friends – quiet Freya, fearless, possibly foolhardy, Owen, cheery Mia and their pals – trapped in unfamiliar (and predictably deadly) surroundings, has an additional hook: you’ll be able to rewind time when you die, using the knowledge you’ve gained from your unsuccessful attempts to inform your approach to the next run-through. In theory, this should let you get a little further each time – indeed, with shortcuts to unlock besides, this otherwise cruel world does occasionally remember to be kind.
“Blends slow-burn exploration with gory action”
Like Corpse Party, Retrace is presented from a top-down view with large, hand-painted 2D character portraits delivering the dialogue.
Format PC Developer Els White ETA TBA Web bit.ly/gm_retrace