Slender (PC, Mac) – Review
Slender first came to my attention due to the increasing number of YouTube Let’s Play-ers having a go, with added face cam. I instantly thought “it can’t be too bad”, and decided to give it a go myself.
Firstly, it would probably help you to understand the game if you know the back story, so for those of you that don’t know, here it is: Slenderman was created as a paranormal entity by people involved in a competition on the Something Awful forums. Many mock images were created, typically featuring a very tall, thin, pale faced man, wearing what seems to be business dress. There are many different stories of what he does, but the one that seems to be used for the game is premised by the theory that the more you know about Slenderman, the more at risk you are of being attacked by him (You now know a lot, have fun sleeping tonight).
The game arms you with just a flashlight, and it is your aim to traverse this creepy woodland area for 8 sheets of paper, that detail the Slenderman, or act as a diary of someone that has come face to face with him. Of course, the more sheets you have, the higher the chance of an encounter. When you get to 6 or 7, he is basically always behind you, so you have to be careful where you look and keep on the move. Of course, the flashlight will run out of battery the more you use it, making the game that extra bit creepy when you’re searching for the last few pages.
The sound is near perfect for setting the mood of the game. As soon as you start it creeps you out, and intensifies as you progress. Then there’s the sound of static that begins whenever Slenderman is close to you, which really freaks you out as you try to decide if you should look behind you or walk around the blind corner. And it is the decisions like this that really immerse you into the game. You’ll find yourself inching closer to the screen trying to make out if that thing you see in the distance is Slenderman or just another tree. And then he appears and you jump out of your skin.
The darkness of the game really works well to set you into a vulnerable, isolated state, with objects in the distance only becoming clear from strong shadows as you get closer to them. Then there is the random little building that you can choose to investigate, which is the one part that really freaked me out, as when I left, Slenderman decided it would be a good time to introduce himself for the first time…
The game is a brilliant start to a developing indie game. The game has simple controls and can get really immersive if you put on a decent pair of headphones, and sit in a dark room when you play. You can get the free download and more information on the official website.