Stay With Me! Alien Abduction Story: Cabin in the Woods
Browsing through itch.io, I came across Stay With Me! Alien Abduction. The game started out giving me a mix of vibes from Slender Man and Paratropic, but what I came away with is a lot more interesting than that. While it is a short experience, this is only an alpha for a full release for later 2022.
Starting off, the whole experience comes to the setup given on a single screen. You are Ana. In November 1999, Ana was lost in Southern America under strange circumstances. All that is known is that while driving home from work, Ana disappeared. We are left to personify Ana and find out what she went through.
The voice acting is quite well done besides the Windows auto reader for the setup, the voice for Ana is done well, and the environmental sounds that lend themselves well to an overall creepy setting.
After my time with Stay With Me! Alien Abduction, I realized that we don’t really see a lot of alien-based horrors these days aside from the Xenomorph-centric Alien series, and even then, there’s not much there anymore.
Aliens are something that I would love to see more of as source material for games because, like in Stay With Me, there is a big focus on the unknown and how we don’t know the reach of these aliens. But, as we find out quickly for Ana, these aliens are your typical short giant head grey-skinned aliens. Think Elvis from Perfect Dark on the Nintendo 64. Except pretty terrifying the few times we actually see them.
The binaural audio used in Stay With Me is excellent, there were a couple of times when I needed to follow some strange noise to progress further, and as you inch closer to the sound, it is almost overbearing but in an enjoyable way. There are a few times where something messes with your vision in Stay With Me, blinding lights from a UFO, hazy eyesight as Ana grows tired for seemingly no reason, that’s not a slight to the game Ana herself even mentions, ” Why am I so tired out of nowhere?” After coming across a bed in an abandoned cabin. Which also happens to be the first real encounter with the antagonistic aliens.
Walking up after a few minutes? Hours? I’m not really sure, but as Ana opens her eyes to look around the room and as your gaze lands on the extraterrestrial in question, you blink and are awake, hearing a phone ring your daughter, I think on the other end. Then, after promising her that you’ll get back to her, Ana’s nightmare begins, which I won’t spoil here.
Developer Dreams Of Heavens Games has a knack for warping the environment around the player, much like Bloober Team in Layers of Fear. It creates this tension of not knowing what is happening behind you as you move forward, making you feel like you can trust the world around you.
For example, Ana remarks she needs to get back to her car when you exit the cabin. As the house fades from view, you quickly realize the vehicle and road just aren’t there anymore, turning around to hear just a subtle humming. Eventually, seeing the outside of the cabin has changed.
There are a few things that I don’t want to spoil, mainly because it’s just more great examples of Dreams Of Heavens messing with the player as you wrap your mind around what’s happening to Ana. It all concludes on a decent cliffhanger that has my interest peaked for what a fully fleshed-out version of this would be.
What kind of twisted games do the greys have in store for Ana. Does she live? Will she get home? Only Dreams Of Heavens has the answers, and with a 2022 released date, you can find out more about Stay With Me! Alien Abduction over at their website and download the alpha over on Itch.io