Apartment by Kalonica Quigley – https://freeplayfest.itch.io/apartment
I forgot to review this one last time so this take first spot. A beautiful affective experience of domestic attachment and lost.
A Hell of a Soup by Antoine Fauville – https://antoinefauville.itch.io/a-hell-of-a-soup
Ultra-weird and minimalist FPS where you find gigantic sandworm one minute and browse an Ikea for meatballs the next. I dig it.
Trapped in Costco by BagelMaster5000 – https://bagelo-masterson.itch.io/trapped-in-costco-2
A highly recommended follow-up to A Hell of a Soup. Playing this should be mandatory to obtain your Costco card. Trashy and hilarious.
Basilisk – SNES by KIRA – https://akuma-kira.itch.io/basilisk-snes
Cryptic meta-emulator? Cursed experience? Haunting in all the best ways.
Cleaning Redville by DopplerGhost – https://dopplerghost.itch.io/cleaning-redville
It has a few efficient scares (and some really funny ones), but I was entranced by the garbage truck driving simulator dimension of this game.
Fear & Hunger by Happy Paintings – https://mirohaver.itch.io/fear-hunger
I delayed throwing myself into this one as long as I could. This was as brutal and agonizing as I expected. Also inspiring on a level I couldn’t imagine. Typos do impact the immersion a little, but it’s a testimony of the brilliance of Miro Haver’s world building. The game blazingly juggles the dark matters of various occult and esoteric sources and it penetrates every aspect of gameplay. Game design as witchcraft, more grimoire than game.
Lost Direction by Hipposcripter – https://hipposcripter.itch.io/lost-direction
If Fear & Hunger is game design as witchcraft, this is game design as a conspiracy against the human race. It seems this title will evolve in time, but this cancerous mass is one of the best takes on the Backrooms I experienced.
La Faille by Lazy Frogs Collective – https://lazy-frogs-collective.itch.io/la-faille
Another one of the best takes on the Backrooms I experienced, but this time you literally clip through the digital k-hole of social media vertigo. Accurate.
Just More Doors by Teagher Studio – https://teagher.itch.io/just-more-doors
I expected a funny experience, I got a cursed take reminding me of Vincenzo Natali’s original Cube.
Sanctuarium by xena-spectrale – https://xena-spectrale.itch.io/sanctuarium-online
This last title by xena-spectrale confirms “their” maverick approach to designing new gameplay through obsolete tactics. The assumed minimalism contrasts here with a rich environment and a strong, mind-blowing finale.
See You Soon by Jacob – https://not-jacob.itch.io/see-you-soon
The short way to get cursed. There’s something hidden there…
Who’s Lila? by Heathen Garage – https://garage-heathen.itch.io/whos-lila
This will probably be my game of the year. I didn’t feel such unheimliche and a need to discover everything buried in a software for quite a while. This Lynchian reversed procedural also reverses the mechanic of LA Noire by making you control the, often noncompliant, facial expression of the protagonist. The ARG aspect is also extremely well made, with some audacious puzzles. Don’t skip this.
The Surveyor by Lazarus Tegra – https://lazarus-tegra.itch.io/the-surveyor
A beautiful postanthropocene exploration title amplified by great writings. Soothing and thought-provoking.
ToiletRooms by KenForest – https://kenforest.itch.io/toiletrooms
For a game with such a puerile premise, I didn’t expect such a strong sense of mood and awe-inducing ending. Kudos.
Other games played :
Inscryption by Daniel Mullins Games – https://store.steampowered.com/app/1092790/Inscryption/
I hate deckbuilding games. I absolutely adored this. The following this game has speaks for itself, but I confirm this is brilliant and genre-breaking.
Welcome to Hamwell by Steel Arts – https://store.steampowered.com/app/611750/Welcome_to_Hanwell/
Played on Switch. It’s not a masterpiece, combat is flunky and the ending is botched. But it really gets the open world mood of Silent Hill urban exploration peppered with some surprisingly crafty set pieces (giant eyeballs mood). Get it on sale.