Developed in Toronto by Blue Isle Studios, Slender: The Arrival is a sequel, of sorts, to Slender: The Eight Pages, an indie survival horror game with a simple premise: collect pieces of paper scattered within a compound without being captured. The danger lies in the Slender Man, a freakishly tall, faceless creature that stalks and abducts people (the character of the Slender Man is an Internet meme first popularized by website Something Awful).
While the first game was set simply in a forest, The Arrival takes place in a variety of locations. What hasn’t changed is the fact that, equipped with only a flashlight, the only way to survive is to run and hide. There’s no fighting the Slender Man. Your stamina is limited, as are the batteries in your flashlight (they are unending on the “easy” setting).
Presented in first person, it’s a particularly frightening game in part because it is so minimal, but also because the appearance of the Slender Man is so random. The character moves by teleporting, and can suddenly appear in front of you. It’s the kind of thing that you just can’t get used to.
The Eight Pages had no real story to it, but is retroactively given one here: The Arrival strings out its own narrative and also provides a context for that first game. With secret levels and alternate endings, this game is on par with The Blair Witch Project in terms of its simple ambition to scare the pants off its audience.
Developer: Midnight City
Platform: OS X, Windows; PS3, Xbox 360