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The Slender Review: Get feared for free

Terrifying, nauseatingly fearful, diabolical, erratic, shat in my pants

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Grab a fresh pair of panties, put on all the lights, and prepare to meet the horror that is Slender Man.

This free-to-play Indie horror game from Parsec Productions had me in a grip of icy terror. I’ll have you know, that I am no damsel in distress, ever. I don’t flinch in the face of evil, I meet my enemies head on and I am never, ever afraid. That was until I played Slender.

Since I wanted to be a clean slate of innocent bravery and courage when I played Slender, I chose not to read any news that could instil a sense of fear in me. I had no idea of what to expect from this game, except for the following line from co-worker, Reinhard Rheeder-Kleist aka Choc_Salties:

“Almost peed myself playing it, that game is not good for a full bladder.”

This is the tale of my night of dread in the foggy woods of Slender Man’s virtual nightmare.

You spawn in an unknown dark wood, armed with only a torch. Since I am known for my fearless disposition, I chose to play the game with the fog on feature. The sound of your footsteps on the dirt road mingles with the peaceful noise of crickets as you mindlessly start to wander down the road.

“I have to find some notes and escape an unknown entity called the Slender Man, seriously what’s the fuss all about? We are gamers; we tank scary looking aliens on a daily basis for crying out loud!” These were the thoughts milling through my mind as I walked around in the fog filled woods trying to find those damned notes.

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The notes you find are cryptic clues on how to survive the night of paranormal anxiety in Slender Man.

The game changes the moment you find a note, it increases in “dark things”; paranormal activity, sheer and utter terror and the erratic appearance of Slender Man. Years of playing the likes of Doom and Dead Space, prepared me for a daily dose of fear. I therefore, did not scream, or even turn away, no, I ran at the Slender Man, aiming to beat him to death with my torch. As you come closer to the dark evil, your screen fills with static. You hear your own heartbeat thumping so hard that you think it’s going to burst, and the most god awful noise fills your ears. Of course, I also wanted to come as close as possible to Slender Man because I wanted to shove my screenshot in Reinhards face and call him a pansy.

My first confrontation with Slender Man was a complete let down; all that happened was that I unexpectedly died with the game blandly informing me that I collected only one note. A screen then popped up asking me if I was willing to face off with the faceless man again.

“Pfft, child’s play...” I thought, and respawned with fog on again. This time round I even decided to put the torch off and blindly head into the woods. I quickly collected two notes, and then it happened. The Slender Man didn’t appear far behind me anymore, he spawned right in front of me. In.My.Face. A sudden screeching noise hammering through my brain. I was terrified, shocked into complete inaction, frozen on the spot. There is simply nothing that can prepare you for that moment. Slender Man teleports to right in front of you, where he forces you to face him, and the utter shock of that encounter results in instant death.

Since I didn’t read any articles on the game, I had no clue why this happened to me. In my opinion, all I was doing was minding my own business, walking along collecting the notes. I even stopped chasing him. Stubbornly I tried again and again, with the same result; Slender Man would rise in front of me, the screeching noise, and death. You have to understand, having that repeated over and over again filled my mind with such irrational, blind fear that I truly wanted to shit in my pants. The thickness of the fog, the dreadful noise and the ever present suggestion of his presence all became too much. It’s such a sudden bombardment of horror on your visual and hearing senses that you totally overload on fear. It felt like I was physically being cloaked with evil, and I screamed like a little girl.

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Slender Man is known to torture his target mentally for various unknown reasons.

I took refuge in the interwebz and found me a walkthrough. I am ashamed. Good thing I did though, because as it turns out, you must never, not for a second turn around. If static appears, avoid walking towards it and always run. The more notes you collect, the closer Slender Man gets. He starts to gain on you and should you even glance too far to the left or right, you increase his chances of teleporting to you. Yes, I’ve so been doing it wrong.

By the time I was armed with my walkthrough, I was barely able to click on "Yes, I want to try again". I ended up playing Slender with ‘fog off’, flashlight on, keeping to the road all times, and my in game sound turned entirely off. Fear has taken me. I am so ashamed to admit that even with all these measures against the Slender Man, I have only had the courage to collect five of the eight pages. I shall try again in broad daylight to overcome my fear of the Slender Man.

If you feel up to it (I dare you), download Slender here. For the fearful and fainthearted, yet curiously intrigued I leave you this.

Han’s Twitter | Blog

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