“Imscared”: A pixelated horror game masterpiece

Hyping up the spirit of Halloween and eeriness through a well-crafted and challenging computer game.

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Anakin Morales-Jimenez, Reporter

Horror — the feeling of fear and shock on caffeine, to be afraid of what is peering in the darkness and the silence, and choosing between fight or flight. Horror is one of the central aspects of Halloween, for the fun of it, of course! Anderson Farms has their yearly “Terror in the Corn” event, where guests take a haunted hayride through a series of creepy occurrences and sudden jump-scares, as do many other haunted house events across the nation.

However, what about horror on a digital platform? If haunted house events are not exactly an option, what options are there for horror-seekers or general computer gamers online?

Out of the hundreds to thousands of game options, Imscared definitely sits in a considerably high spot. Developed by Italian game developer Ivan Zanotti, Imscared is an underrated yet amazing and clever horror game.

Imscared, intentionally written out incorrectly, is a pixelated masterpiece that was originally released as a demo in 2012. The complete version of the game was released four years later in 2016 on Steam, a well renowned online game retailer.

The game takes the player through a series of often seemingly simple tasks, yet the simple tasks can range from puzzles that require critical thinking to fearful and terrifying moments where you can do nothing but feel shivers down your spine as you play.

It is played in what seems to be the player’s perspective, but there is one particular part of the game that can easily disprove of the perspective depending on the meaning the player gives the game.

In the beginning, you are presented with a simple room with a wardrobe, bed, nightstand, and a typical door. Upon attempting to open the door, the player is presented with a message:

“I need a Heart in order to open it.”

The quest to search, find, and use the said heart begins but with multiple obstacles that make the quest more difficult than it appears since the obstacles are actually sentient.

The player meets White Face: the name of the virus that not only manipulates the obstacles of the game but also holds the ability to create files on a computer. In fact, some computers identify the Imscared game file as a virus and give the player a warning before downloading it, but Zanotti programmed the game to intentionally manipulate settings to create a true horror game experience.

Not only that, but Imscared, specifically White Face, is known to be extremely deceiving to the player by providing false instructions, nearly indecipherable messages, and false endings. The player is responsible for making good judgments and making sense of the vague instructions that White Face provides.

Users on Steam overall have rated the game at a high 90%.

“This game will not only make you want to die of fear, it will also make you feel guilt for the rest of your life.” -User on Steam

Personally, this is my favorite computer horror game of all time. Although the set-up and the interface of the game is very simplistic, that is what emulates and increases the fear factor of Imscared. It is $3.99 on Steam, and definitely worth the buy and the horror.