The Black Heart just landed a front page endorsement on popular indie game website, Gamejolt.com, so you’ll be forgiven for thinking it’s a brand new game. I just discovered it due to its new publicity, but it was actually released in 2009. After a seven year development period, Andrés Borghi singlehandedly released his darling out into the world, and it’s been hiding from me ever since. Here in 2013, it’s just as fresh and exciting as anything you can download, and it’s absolutely free.
The Black Heart is a 2D fighting game developed in the popular M.U.G.E.N. engine. Setting itself apart from many other freeware indies, it drips gothic style from every bloody orifice. The entire game never breaks from its mesmerizing, dark tone. The levels range from ghostly hallways to bloody hellscapes, and the soundtrack follows suite with eerily appropriate tunes. Shades of Silent Hill accompany some of the tracks, and others follow great tropes of the horror genre and make them special.
A fighting game is nothing without its characters, and Black Heart delivers in every regard. The characters vary wildly, from ghost dolls, to spider ladies, to demonic snake creatures. Every player has a sense of personality and style, adding gobs of believability to an already exquisitely crafted world.
It’s rare to see such obvious love and careful polish in any game, but this was a labor not taken lightly. Sure, every game probably shouldn’t take seven years to develop, but every once in awhile it pans out alright. For reasons unknown to me, Borghi isn’t charging a dime for the game. It can be downloaded for free right here. Color me impressed, I’ll be looking out for whatever comes next from this developer in the year(s) to come.