Slenderman is a character we all know and fear. The unnaturally elongated arms, the white skin that strikes terror into our hearts. And so it was that Slender Man Origins 2 Saga (or Origins 2) came to give me restless nights. You will be in a perpetual state of fear the entire game. A simple act of crossing a bridge becomes a challenge of mixing bravery with eyes-closed-ignorance and hoping that all ends well.
Origins 2 begins with you finding out that your daughter has been kidnapped. You then embark on a quest to find her, following in the footsteps of a detective that has searched for, and rescued, kidnapped girls in the past. You follow his journey through corpse pits, murky catacombs and blood smeared dungeons.
Gameplay – Mind bending and terrifying
The game is not going to be for everyone. It is a slow paced game that focuses on two things. Solving puzzles and keeping you in a constant state of fear. You traverse dungeons looking for notes that give you clues as to what to do next. The complexity of the puzzles are astounding and I can only do it justice by giving you an example.
**WARNING: SPOILER ALERT**
In one puzzle, you pick up a note, written by a mysterious “Madam” who informs you that the lady of the castle despised the colour green unless it was in her hands. You continue walking and find a lever with a green stone embedded in it. If you interact with it, you pull it to the other side and reveal a red stone. These levers are littered across the map and you realise you need to turn all the levers red. After that, you need to find a green gem and place it in the hands of a statue of the aforementioned lady of the castle. Only then can you progress.
Why this game is not going to be for everyone is the fact that once you get over the initial fear and focus on the puzzles themselves, the game gets rather dull, for a variety of reasons. You often have to go back and forth as you find the pieces you need to solve puzzles. This back and forth can become tedious at times. This is exacerbated by the lack of a minimap that sometimes leaves you lost and disorientated, unsure of whether you looked through a specific room or not. Whilst one could argue that this merely adds to the sense of terror the game is trying to create, it can prove frustrating at times.
A great feature in the game is the various notes and journal pages that are strewn across the game, which is a hallmark of all Slenderman games. Notes come from the detective whose footsteps you follow, a “Madam” that was close to the lady of the castle and notes from scholars. These notes serve to give you clues as to what to do next, but they also add to the tense atmosphere as they describe the feelings certain rooms evoke, or they give you a glimpse into the owner of this castle. It helps enhance the story as you collect each note and find out more and more about what is going on.
Graphics and sound – A haunting experience
The environment is as haunting as the music that accompanies you. Corpses decorate the floor and walls, from bloody rots to skeletons. The flickering torches will leave you second guessing yourself, wondering if you saw something or not. The graphics are not impressive on their own, but the way the environment that has been crafted is terrifying and enthralling nonetheless.
The sound in Origins 2 is the magnum opus of the game. The music is haunting and leaves you on the edge of your seat. However, it is the random moments of silence that are the most deafening. Everything sounds like danger in those moments. The creaking of chests and drawers as you open them, the occasional heavy breathing from your character, to the random clanking you hear in the distant. The game is a master of manipulating your senses with ominous subtlety.
Final thoughts – Not for everyone, but great nonetheless
With Halloween on the way, if you’re looking to scare yourself, this is the game for you. Origins 2 will not appeal to everyone as its slow pace can leave some players bored, but the experience of feeling in danger every step of the way will keep many glued to their mobile screens. It will also satisfy those looking for a stimulating intellectual challenge and not just cheap scare tactics.
Origins 2 is available on Android and iOS devices. The damage to your wallet is R53.72 (Android) and $4.99 (iOS). It can be purchased on the Playstore here and iTunes here. The size of the game is 66mb. I played the game using my Nexa Orion 10.1, a powerful yet affordable Quad Core 10 inch tablet, which helped me during the terrifying journey.
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Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not MWEB Connect (Pty) Ltd