The 2022 Fall Collection

The stifling heat of Summer has begun to diminish, and the leaves are turning brown and softly falling to their eternal rest. Well, actually,  they already turned brown and wilted when we had an ‘unprecedented’ heatwave a few weeks back, but the last few stragglers are now going via natural causes. Sorry, back on topic, There’s a nip in the air, and I can wear a hoodie again without my underarms turning into Niagra Falls. Yes, it’s Autumn…or Fall as most of you call it. My favorite season of all, not least because it heralds the arrival of Halloween, and in the UK, the increasingly enticing promise of blowing up parliament is recreated via sixty dodgy amateur fireworks displays in the local area on Guy Fawke’s Night and every night thereafter until about January the 3rd.

To me, this is almost a ritualistic time. More than any other season, I have routine and habits associated with it. In recent years, those have grown to include new ones with my children, and this year, I’m trying something new. For me, for my son, and for you. An Autumn Playlist. A Fall Collection of little indie horror games that capture some aspect of my love of the season and/or the things I associate with it. A mini horror game mood board I suppose.

This will no doubt be a bit messy.

Coosta Coffee Break by Foxdog Studios

The thing I hate most about Summer is that it deprives me of the enjoyment I get from my number one beverage. I drink coffee like water, but it’s just not a pleasant time when the muggy heat of Summer persists all the way through the day and night, making a hot drink a sadistic challenge.

In a way, Foxdog Studios’ Coosta Coffee Break captures that inner turmoil. I want to enjoy a hot cup of coffee (black, one sugar since you’re asking), but I must face obstacles to get there. This game is really, really short, but it is weird and pays off nicely for coffee lovers everywhere.

Big Mystery by Atorcoppe Games

Another thing I hate about Summer is that the rain is sparse, fleeting, and rarely stops you from feeling hot and sticky. You just end up hot, sticky, and wet. The rain of Fall is sublime. I am literally writing this now with a cacophony of rainy thunderstorms playing on my phone because it’s such a calming memory of this time of year for me.

So what better than uncovering a mystery in a forest where it never stops raining? Big Mystery offers that. During the day, it’s got a fantastic vibe as you wander the forest. At night? Well, shit gets serious. Mostly though, it has rain, lots of soothing rain.

Halloween by Damian Gonzalez

Of course, Halloween is a big part of my fondness for the Fall season. It’s never been the big thing here that it is in the US, but I grew up longing to have that experience. For the last few years, I’ve made a big deal of it for me, and for the kids, by decorating the house, and making sure I watch certain films. The most obvious of those is John Carpenter’s Halloween. That film is responsible for a lot of what I love about this season, and so, finding something about that Halloween for this selection seemed better than just a random game themed around the event of Halloween itself.

Enter Damian Gonzalez’s Halloween fan game. Taking up the point where Laurie Strode ended up involved in Micheal Myers’ night of terror, this first-person adaptation is easily the closest anything has come to encapsulating Carpenter’s magic in game form. The bar is low to be fair, but it still gets over it.

After School by SirCartaux

While I’m not a fan of early mornings, especially ones where the objective is to gee up two children to get to school, there’s something rather refreshing about taking a walk in the chill air of early morning for the school run. Along the way, I get to hear about the excitement and fear about the day ahead for my kids. Mostly the fear. Naturally, I end up having to tell them the biggest fib of all when I say ‘there’s nothing scary about school’.

It may have been a while, but I remember all too well how terrifying school could be on an emotional level, but I also remember once having to spend an October evening in school helping set up for the morning. It was so different without a throng of other students bustling about the place. It was unnerving.

After School by SirCartaux knows this feeling. Suddenly the worries of being isolated in a familiar place at an unfamiliar time become flesh, and soon, you’ll wish you were as alone as you’d thought you were. 

Probably won’t show the kids this one then.

A Hell of a Soup by Antoine Fauville

I rarely eat soup now, but as the leves begin to turn, I have a deep compulsion to get a hot, meaty soup, some crusty bread, and just gorge on it for a while. Maybe while watching a rainy Autumn day out the window.

A canned soup won’t do though. I need something fresher, and that means a trip tot he shops. Not ideal right now, but it could be worse,  could have to cross a desolate land of monsters to get the ingredients like the protagonist of A Hell of a Soup does.

This first-person adventure makes a routine shop so you can enjoy your mama’s special soup into an epic battle for survival. I don’t know if I want soup that much personally. I think there’s an expired Cup-A-Soup in the pantry somewhere.

Falling Leaves By Matthew ‘Hue’ Henry

What would such a collection be without something to do with the falling of leaves?

Not content with making us clear up their bloody leaves, the trees have decided they’ve had enough of our shit, and are using fallen leaves to maim unsuspecting joggers.

No, Falling Leaves isn’t exactly a horror game, but I do like the idea of dying leaves getting Mother Earth revenge on humanity by suddenly becoming lethal.

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