Looking Through a Camera: Four Found Footage Games From EEK3
Ever since the days of Blair Witch Project, there has always been something terrifying about the concept of found footage. It makes the whole thing feel a little more “real” somehow. As if you’re just a tiny bit closer to the world of the characters. This concept translates to games as well, and EEK3 had plenty of found footage games to get you attached to that horror.
Start Survey 2
If there’s one place I never want to be asked to survey, it’s an alien world. I don’t care what anyone says, there’s just something terrifying about the concept. Yet this is exactly what you’re doing in Start Survey 2, plopping yourself down on some distant moon and setting up cameras with the hopes of catching a glimpse at, well…who knows? Aliens? Ghosts? Robots? There’s something out there, and you’re going to record until you can find it.
The sequel to the popular free horror game Start Survey?, Start Survey 2 looks like it’s taking a more sci-fi and “real” twist. While the first game certainly had a science fiction element to it, and was both creepy and did a fantastic job keeping the player engaged, I’m certain its sequel will do the same. The fact that you’re setting up your own cameras and may only catch glimpses of whatever is out there? I’m certain that won’t sit well with some people.
Start Survey 2 is being developed by PixelDough, who also developed games like Dreamer, Start Survey?, and Hey Arnold and the Quest for the Lost Baseball Cards. You can follow the game’s progress on Itch.io here.
Harmful: The Second Tape
Have you ever found a VHS tape in the woods? If you have then why on earth would you decide to watch it? Such is the concept behind Harmful: The Second Tape, sequel to the original Harmful. The FBI get a couple of VHS tapes that were in the woods, and they’re corrupted and terrible. The trailer for this one shows a couple still shots, including one of an onlooker standing in an open doorway, while a distorted voice tells the police that she killed three people.
Something about the whole trailer is immediately, almost viscerally, unsettling. It’s tough to tell exactly what, maybe it’s the distorted voices, maybe it’s that you just know there’s some horrifying thing being covered up by the grainy old tapes, but it’s good. If you’re looking for some found footage fix, this may be one of the most terrifying ones I’ve seen in a while.
Harmful: The Second Tape is being developed by Tooth and Claw Games, who have also developed games like Harmful, Sanctified, Delvedown, and more. You can follow the developer’s Twitter account here.
There’s a rather famous Stephen King book/movie where a car gets a mind of its own and starts killing people. I am, of course, referring to Stephen King’s directorial debut Maximum Overdrive, but some people may also be thinking of Christine. If you remember it, then you have a good frame of reference to think about Coffin Mall. The game sees someone exploring a seemingly abandoned mall and filming what they find, only to be found and attacked by a living car.
While Coffin Mall will be a full game, it’s actually an extended version of the game jam game Rustbucket Revenge. In that game, you had to explore a city and dodge an angry living car that wanted to do nothing more than run you over. Your goal was to find a way to destroy it before it succeed in its goal. It’s interesting to see the concept becoming a full game, and I can’t wait to see what they manage to do with it. Also it’s in a mall this time, which just tells me there will be fun store hijinks.
Coffin Mall is being developed by OKSoft, who also developed CubeMark and Night Witch: 558. You can follow the developer’s twitter page here.
Ok, this one may be stretching the definition of “found footage” a little bit, but I think it’s doing so with good reason. Video games are weird, and their version of found footage is going to be a little different. Such is the case with Respite 2.0, which is less found footage and more found game. The idea is that you “find” a relaxation program that is supposed to play chill music and show visuals to help calm you down. As you may expect, there is something horribly wrong with the program.
While the game’s Itch.io page doesn’t want to give too many details away, the trailer certainly shows enough to know that something is up. While it starts off with fun synthwave music and visuals, at one point the game starts to get corrupted. It shows horrifying angelic faces, warns you of errors and viruses, and demands you assume control of… something. So now the question is if you can find whatever is causing the software to glitch out. Maybe without dying in the process.
Respite 2.0 was developed by Modus Interactive, who has also developed games like Siren Head and Sanguine Sanctum. You can buy the game now on Itch.io.