Free / Horror / Indie Games

Bad Dream: Butcher and Bad Dream: Graveyard – Nothing but Nightmares

bad dreamI’ve only just discovered Desert Fox Software’s episodic horror series, but it didn’t take long for it to peak my interest. After finishing the first two games, I can’t wait to see what they do next.

The games don’t really feature any clear plot, and instead task you with clicking around to find items to use on other parts of the environment. It’s a point and click adventure series, but there’s always something a little darker through each new doorway. The game creates a great atmosphere with a mix of music, creepy creatures, and surprises on every screen. If the rest of the episodes turn out this well I’ll be ready to call this one of my favorite horror games in a long time.

Each episode only lasts about 15 minutes or so, but you never have any idea about what you’ll be doing in them. You collect a seemingly random assortment of items throughout, and use them in odd ways until you reach the final screen. Ghostly shadows stalk you, and strange noises always know when to come in and unnerve just a bit more. The abstraction of your actions really do make this feel like a dreamscape, and the endings are always oddly confusing.

graveyard

Some scenes do require some pixel hunting to figure out what to do next, but it’s never a huge issue because of how compact each episode is. Scouring the half dozen or so screens available to you will take a couple minutes at most, and you’ll be on your way to finding the next bit of disturbing imagery the developers have placed. It takes the best parts of horror, the constant confusion and bewilderment of the unknown, and keeps you entertained and on edge all the way through. I can’t recommend them enough, and knowing there’s more on the way is reason enough to play through them and get caught up. It’s really exciting to see a new developer learn their way around making games with each episode, and you’ll notice clear gameplay improvements between the first and second.

It’s set to be one of gaming’s weirder horror anthologies, and I’m ready to see it through to the end. Go play the first episode, Bad Dream Butcher, and then play the second, Bad Dream: Graveyard. Plug in your headphones, play in the dark, and hide under your blanket until episode 3.

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