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P.t. (#110 of 2)

Review: Neverending Nightmares

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Review: Neverending Nightmares
Review: Neverending Nightmares

With the success of the free Silent Hills playable teaser (P.T.) and the upcoming The Evil Within, it looks like horror is returning to mainstream gaming in a big way, likely a result of its proliferation and success in the indie scene. Hits like Outlast and the Amnesia series have shown that clever mechanics and atmosphere trump the necessity for a large budget, paving the way for even more minimalistic experimental projects like the currently trending Neverending Nightmares.

The game, which sought backing on Kickstarter, puts one in the head of Thomas, a young man having undergone deep and affecting trauma trapping him in what appears to be childhood memories. Roaming the endless hallways of what was once a happy home, he’s confronted by disturbing images of a dead sibling and impossible corridors that twist back in on themselves, evoking The Shining. Neverending Nightmares uses an unusual and unique cross-hatched art style that suggests the union of children’s drawings and Edward Gorey’s work, illustrated nearly entirely in black and white. Color is used sparingly to highlight interactive items, and to depict disturbing scenes of horror involving self-mutilation and child murder, which are all the more disconcerting courtesy of the juvenile art style and iconography.

Review: Surgeon Simulator: Anniversary Edition

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Review: Surgeon Simulator: Anniversary Edition
Review: Surgeon Simulator: Anniversary Edition

Just like it was only a matter of time before new-millennium irony started to bleed over into games with the wave of “simulator” games on PC, it was only a matter of time before these cheap, wonky hot messes made their appearance on a console. Grant Surgeon Simulator this: At least it has a solid core of morbid humor that distracts one from the rest of the train wreck. That’s still not to say it’s good, and it should definitely make everyone worry about what’s next.

Surgeon Simulator is predicated on a single joke: that the simulator is so incredibly shitty at simulating anything that performing even the most basic human functions involving a hand is a comedy of errors. It’s so easy and tempting within the first few minutes of play to start praying to whatever god you hold dear that a teaser for a new Trauma Center is hidden beneath this mess, P.T.-style. But it’s not. The game gives you a bare framework of controls, a cluttered desk to practice them in, and you’re off to the races to perform a heart transplant.