Publisher: Dread XP
Release Date: 05/26/2020
Available Exclusively On
Dread X is a fun series of small indie-made games using the Unity engine. Most of them can be finished in 20 minutes or less, but sadly the majority in this collection are neither all that scary nor are incredibly tedious and not very fun. I will go through the list of ten games.
Carthanc: A weird first-person game set in an Aliens-type setting. You’re on a space station with weird hieroglyphs and your goal is to set up your lamp to shine on symbols to open doors. You must complete the mummy statue to run from the final monster. I never made it through the first section. The platforming is horrible and really floaty. The visuals are too murky with too much grain and the overall setting just isn’t scary. Pass.
The Pay is Nice: An interesting tank-style adventure game. You play as a salaried employee of some top-secret government facility. As you make your way through the beginning of your workday you are narrated through how your life and job currently are. It’s a great setup that is sadly stopped right when things get interesting. There’s a single puzzle in this game that seems really complex at first, but after some reading and experimenting it’s solvable. I loved the atmosphere and mood here. Very haunting, very surreal, yet it just ends after 20 minutes. I would have liked to see a full game in this setting. Play.
Summer Night: Easily the scariest game in the bunch. You are a kid playing a Tiger Electronic-style LCD game in your bed. All you see is the LCD game and your hands. It’s a simple game of catching mushrooms that pop up in the four corners of the screen, but after each level, you get a small narrative piece, and the LCD changes over time. I won’t spoil the game, but it really is terrifying and scary. The developers made good use of audio in this game and it’s easily my favorite of the bunch, but only lasts about 10 minutes. Play.
Rotgut: A terrible adventure-style game that’s way too slow and glitchy to even bother with. The visuals are interesting, but it’s not really scary. I felt like I was fighting the controls and just never go past the first five minutes. Pass.
Don’t Go Out: An RPG card-style game that ends in 8 rounds. Your goal is to run from a tentacle monster as its tentacles creep inwards on the map. Most of the map is dark and you can use cards to light up the area, add new characters, or slow the monster down. Sadly, there’s only a single strategy here and that survives outside for four rounds and then heads into the house with the monster during the last three. The door is supposed to shut at the end and keep the monster out. It’s not very fun as there’s tons of trial and error to get the only winning strategy down right. Pass.
Outsiders: This is the longest and most involved game in the collection. It can take a couple of hours to finish as it’s an obtuse P.T.-style game where the house attacks you as time goes on. You get six minutes per “round” and the goal is to activate six buttons in a hidden wall by finding various objects. A hammer, a few keys, and a couple of hidden buttons, but there are no clues until you start dying numerous times. There’s also a murderer on the loose that can attack you as well as the ghosts in the house towards the end of each round. I found it tedious, and boring, and the fact that you can’t progress much without pixel hunting is beyond boring. Pass.
Mr. Buckett Told Me Not To: A Castaway-style game with some rather polygonal graphics. You must spend three nights “surviving” watching your waste, thirst, hunger, and stamina meter. At the end of each night, you wake up with random effects on your overall meters. However, at night you must sacrifice a survival item. Each day becomes a little more difficult, but the ending is well worth the time. This one takes about 20 minutes to finish. Nice and sweet. Play.
Shatter: A PS1-era-style game with horrendously slow walk speeds and a sprint meter. You are supposed to get a special pupa that belongs to some fly overlords and gain access to a building…I don’t know. It’s so weird and makes no sense, and you’re in some sort of cyberspace? The issue here is that the game is really cryptic and walking around the large area is so boring due to the slow speed. The sprint meter is to make running away from enemies harder, but this is a fraction of the 20-minute game. Pass.
The Pony Factory: The only shooter in the collection. It’s an FPS where you’re in a factory that’s been abandoned. You run through seven levels and the only gun is a bolt gun. You collect ammo and health and shoot pony skeletons. The graphics are really rough and it’s in black and white so even the art style can’t save it. Really dull all around and not really scary. Pass.
Hand of Doom: An FPS that harkens back to the Saturn and Jaguar era of console games. It looks great and feels like Heretic in some ways. You are a wizard who is to beat a grand wizard of sorts. You have to walk around the area opening doors using your spell incantations. These are acquired as you explore each area. The game is really short running about 30 minutes tops. Using the incantations is a lot of fun and you have a journal that tells you what the order is for each spell. Play.
That’s about it! As you can see, the majority of the games aren’t worth playing, but if these game types are for you then you may find some enjoyment. The issue with most of these is that they are slow and boring or just not very scary. My favorite game is the simplest and shortest and it’s also the scariest. For the asking price, you can’t go wrong here and you are bound to find a few hours of fun no matter what games you end up liking.