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Seemingly not content with their rapid rise
to both respectability and hip credibility within indie film, the Toronto After
Dark Film Festival, in partnership with The Hand Eye Society, has set its
sights on the burgeoning independent gaming scene, as well. At the 7th annual
festival this October 18-26 in Toronto, the Darkade will present attendees with
a chance to play the best indie video games from horror/scifi/cult world!
The festival is accepting entries until
September 7th, so indie game studios and basement hobbyists alike need to visit
the official website for entry details.
Game on people!
In celebration of this announcement,
FANGORIA is reaching back into gaming history and pulling out some of its
favourite scary video games, both indie and otherwise. Need a good interactive
scare? This is the place to get it.
• AMNESIA: THE DARK DESCENT (PC 2010 –
Frictional Games) – This indie nightmare is simply terrifying. I’ve never seen
a game impact players in quite the same way as AMNESIA. You really can’t fight
the dark forces you encounter, you can only hope to hide and survive. I’ve seen
grown men refuse to open doors or turn corners out of fear at what they might
find. When making a horror game, you can’t ask for better success than that.
• SILENT HILL 2 (Playstation 2/XBOX/PC 2001
– Konami) – The King of horror games and arguably one of the best ever made.
The story revolves around a man’s search for his missing daughter in the
deserted town of Silent Hill, which seems trapped between the borders of this
world and some terrifying personal purgatory. The game creates atmosphere like
no other, while delivering a terrifying and sophisticated gaming experience.
• GRIM FANDANGO (PC 1998 – LucasArts) –
Legendary game creator Tim Schafer made this masterpiece of adventure, which
blends dark comedy and noir-film sensibilities in a detective story set in the
Land of the Dead. While not particularly “scary”, the brilliant art direction,
innovative interface and superb writing make this something we know will speak
to the Fango faithful.
• PHANTASMAGORIA (PC/Sega Saturn 1995 –
Sierra On-Line) – Roberta Williams (famous for her work on the KINGS QUEST
series) penned and produced this surreal adventure into darkness. In the early
1990s, the CD-ROM had taken hold and game companies were incorporating full
motion video with live actors into their games, often with poor results. In the
places where PHANTASMAGORIA stumbles in delivering the fear, it still offers
some weirdo fun.
• FRIDAY THE 13th (Commodore 64/ZX
Spectrum/Amstrad 1985 – Domark) – My personal favorite on the list, mostly
because it scared the everloving bejesus out of me when I was a kid. I can
recall huddling in front of a friend’s C64 and loading up this little slice of
insanity. You’re tasked with creating a safe haven from Jason and leading your
friends there before he hunts everyone down and butchers them. The bizarre,
digitized soundtrack gets brutally and abruptly interrupted by a terrifying
electronic scream every time Jason scores a kill. That is something that stuck
with me my whole life. The game was savaged by critics, even back then, but it
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