Ultra-Indie Daily Dose: The Game Boy Jam Has Some Rad 4-Color Horror Games
Hello, you glorious gluttons for all things indie horror! Are you just starving for the newest of the new, the most unknownest of the unknown? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Welcome to the Ultra-Indie Daily Dose! In this series, we’re going to pick a new game every day from an indie horror creator you’ve probably never heard of. No million-dollar budgets or factory productions. This is the space for the little guy with not but a developer toolkit and a dream. So if you’re down to roll the dice on something different, then stick around and check it out!
The Game Boy holds a special place in the heart of many people. Mostly because it was a lot of people’s first portable system, but also because it really just had a fantastic aesthetic provided by its limited hardware. That aesthetic is great for some spooks, and in the itch.io GB Jam 8, there’s several of them. Here are a few to check out.
If there’s any place things are going to be spooky, it’s a literal haunted house. After all, where else are you going to get all sorts of spooky monsters that ruin your day? From bats to spiders to paintings whose eyes follow you as you move, Monster Manor has plenty you want to avoid while collecting keys. Of course, all of this adds to the game’s wonderfully spooky element. In motion it’s just like the Haunted Mansion ride at Disney.
Your goal is to find keys to open doors and turn lights on so you banish the evil from said monster manor. Is that going to be an easy task? Not likely. But no task worth doing is super easy. So dodge the monsters, collect the keys, and try not to die too many times along the way.
Monster Manor was developed by Nasty Old Wizard. You can play the game here.
Get Out Skeleton!!
Spending all day guarding a dungeon is a lonely life. It’s not really the sort of thing anyone would do willingly. That’s why there’s often monsters doing it instead. Yet even they want to see the world outside. Such is the case in Get Out Skeleton!!, an action sidescroller where you play a skeleton trying to see the outside world. It just needs to escape the dungeon its currently residing in first.
To do so you’ll move back and forth doing some simple platforming and fighting monsters. The game has a lovely black and white art style that makes absolutely fantastic use of the limitations of the Game Boy color pallet, and also serves to really get you in the mood. You want that color pallet to brighten up? Time to crawl out of the dungeon then.
Get Out Skeleton!! was developed by Thom Thom. You can play the game here.
Come to Play
A lot of first person horror games make use of fancy graphics to really sell their scares and make sure you see every creepy detail of monsters and destroyed environments. Not so with Come to Play. What if the modern first person horror genre was on Game Boy first? It’d very much look like this. Creepy and with only four colors.
Unlike many Game Boy games, Come to Play is played entirely in first person. Your goal is to run around and collect six dolls that are scattered among the environment, all while avoiding a monster. It’s not too unlike Slender, just the game only has pixels. It’s certainly not the kind of thing you’d see on an actual Game Boy, but maybe that’s what makes it so neat. It’s a what if for a world that isn’t here.
Come to Play was developed by Game Dev Boi. You can play the game here.
Witch Machine: Spilled Vessel
One of the most fun horror genres in theaters is the found footage genre, where you follow people actually filming events as they happen to them. In a way, Witch Machine: Spilled Vessel captures that with the game’s description, in that it’s an unfinished Game Boy game who’s design documents got smuggled out of a bankrupt studio. Also, it looks rad.
The game looks not too much unlike a turn-based RPG. Just, naturally, it has that beautiful green glow of a Game Boy game. However, it also contains some lovely animations that clearly wouldn’t be possible on the hardware, and makes for something super fun to watch. Add it some horror elements involving witches, and you got a game that looks like one of the best in this jam.
Witch Machine: Spilled Vessel was developed by Victoria Lacroix. You can play the game here.