I haven’t seen any articles (that’s not to say they don’t exist) talking about House game, which is a shame because this is actually one of the creepiest indie games I’ve seen in a while. Let’s discuss:
Released in October 2020 on Steam, House game is an indie pixelated horror game. The goal as described on the Steam description page is to survive the evil house trying to murder your family. HOUSE is a horror adventure game where you play as a young girl exploring a dangerous house that’s doing everything it can to kill you and your family. Race against time to change the fate…or fall into darkness yourself.
There are multiple “endings” to the story, but really there is only one true ending. While there is an end screen for if you save your family and an end screen if you kill them, both endings are frauds, as a haunted doll informs you that you’re still stuck in the evil house. There is only one true ending. It’s not the happiest ending, but thankfully it’s not the worst either.
As reviewer Allison put it:
“…it has a sort of nostalgic quality of the house you lived in as a kid, where the world felt big, and yet existed only however far you knew. The sort of scary feeling of how your parents won’t acknowledge how scary the dark hallway is, or trying to understand if you are asleep or awake when you had a fever.
The confusion of why your parents are acting strange, the fear when your sibling is going through a rough patch in life, the ambiguity present in a new house. I would almost argue that it has a similar feeling to something like Coraline, or Life is Strange, where something terrible is coming, and you’re having to try to prevent it through puzzles while also taking in the feeling of the calm before the storm every step of the way.
It brings all of that back with its aesthetics, writing, and animated flair. The writing exudes a dreamlike, wary feeling. The art leaves much up to your imagination, but provides more than enough detail to understand what is going on. The animations themselves are some of the best I’ve seen in the pixel style of games. Truly evocative.
Couldn’t recommend enough on sale or full price, if you want a space to dwell on these feelings while also engaging your mind.