Six More Haunted PS1 Demos You Need To Play
Like a great defibrilator for my soul, every six or so months the Haunted PS1 community comes to bring me back to life. Haunted PS1 Demo Disk 2021 is a collection of 25 different bite-sized demos from 25 different indie developers. Unfortunately, I haven’t the time to write about them all. While each one is its own brilliant work of art, six of my favorites are listed below.
Apolysis is a game by developers Valerie Dusk and Valerie “Dawn” Paris, collectively known as From Dusk Til Dawn. Previously featured for the incredible Pillar of Rust, this demo is of a similar vein. Channeling the gameplay and style of Silent Hill, Apolysis is a dark and grimey stroll through an abstract world.
Apolysis takes place in a gigantic refinery, a “temple of machinery and metal,” in what appears to be a post-apocalyptic world. You play a young woman who enters this ancient ruin, in search of some kind of forgotten goddess. The deeper you enter this abandoned factory, the more you see that this is no ordinary industrial plant.
Gameplay for Apolysis is similar to Silent Hill. With fixed camera angles and tank controls, you explore the rooms and corridors of the factory, looking for interactable objects and the way forward. The demo is not nearly as long as I would have hoped for, but that’s because it left me wanting for more. Hopefully, the full game is on the way.
2. Chasing Static
Fans of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. will certainly appreciate the aesthetic and premise of this one. Next up by developer Headware Games is Chasing Static. This title is “inspired by 80s sci-fi horror and contemporary surrealist cinema” with visuals so crisp you will forget it’s supposed to look like a PS1 game.
Set in rural Wales, the Chasing Static demo begins with the player arriving at a diner after hours. You are chatting with the waitress as she closes up shop, when the power goes out. Things get weird, a mysterious voice on the phone tells you not to go into the woods, and suddenly you find themselves going into the woods.
Gameplay for Chasing Static is mostly composed of walking, talking, and perusing. After the intro scene you will be exploring a small sliver of this game’s “zone.” Of course, like all the demos, this one ends right as you’re getting really engaged. But all the same, it’s a well crafted experience and certainly one of my favorites of the bunch.
You can wishlist Chasing Static on Steam by clicking here.
3. Peeb Adventures
Next up is Peeb Adventures, a funny little game by developer Feverdream Johnny. It definitely lives up to that name. Based on action-platforming games like Crash Bandicoot and Ape Escape, this game has you playing as a phallus-nosed (with realistic phallus physics) creature named Peeb.
Peeb Adventures is true to the platforming genre. You must collect 1000 bananas for the monkey king, just because. But before you are even 10 bananas in, the game begins to “glitch” out, sequences break, and you are banished to the back end of the game’s code.
The game may not be as scary as some of the others, but Peeb Adventures is certainly the most fun. Peeb has a grappling hook which you use to swing around the maps, and the jumping puzzles and environments get pretty challenging. And for a few of them, if you fail, Peeb explodes into a fountain of gore. Rareware could never have the courage.
Peeb Adventures can be found on the demo disk or downloaded from Feverdream Johnny’s itch page here.
4. The Chameleon
While we may never truly get a Magnum P.I. game, The Chameleon sure scratches that itch. Created by developer Antonio Freyre, also known as Merlino Games, The Chameleon is a stealth-based game where the character looks like Thomas Magnum. But looks can be deceiving…
The Chameleon takes place in a heavily guarded lab. With a lockdown initiated and the robotic guards turning on you, you must sneak, trick, and falcon punch your way to freedom. Seriously, this guy punches robot guards into next week. It’s amazing.
The writing for The Chameleon is certainly one of its best aspects. Notes around the base as wella s a funny intro scene paint a picture not too unlike Aperture Science. After all, their head scientist wears a push broom mustache and a red hawaiian shirt. How serious could they be?
Check out the Steam page for The Chameleon by clicking here.
This game was previously featured on a Daily Dose, but all the same, it’s still worth playing again. Loveland is a title by developer DevHour Games. Best described as “Ohiopunk” horror, Loveland is a brilliant game set in a rural trailer park.
You play as an anonymous agent from an agency called the Agency. Dispatched to the trailer park where Loveland takes place, you are investigating reports of residents who are a little too close with the local amphibians. The park is seemingly vacant, minus cricket chirps and frog croaks. Your job is to figure out what’s going on.
The atmosphere is great in Loveland. Sound especially plays a huge role in making this title so great. But most important to me, far more so than the sound, the colors, and the detailed environments, is the concept of frog moonshine. Amazing stuff.
You can wishlist Loveland on Steam by clicking here.
6. Protagoras Bleeds
This final game might be my favorite of the bunch. Protagoras Bleeds is a game by developer Bryce Butcher. Best known for Fatum Betula and Disparity of the Dead from the Dread X Collection 3, this amazing and disturbing title is the game from the demo disk most reminiscent of Resident Evil.
There’s a lot going on in Protagoras Bleeds. This description certainly won’t do it justice. The game follows a man and a woman, whose car breaks down. Stranded at a seemingly normal hotel, things of course are not normal.
The atmosphere and style of Protagoras Bleeds are top notch, with a slow boil story that will keep you enthralled from the get go. It also features my favorite type of monster, creature-with-TV-for-head.
Protagoras Bleeds can be found on the demo disk, and you can find more of Bryce’s work by clicking here.