Cannibal Abduction Review – Selewi Delivers Another Short Experience in Line With Slasher Classics
Developed and published by Selewi
Available on PC
The current landscape of indie horror gaming reminds me a lot of the flood of direct-to-vhs horror films that filled the shelves of video rental stores in the late 80’s and early 90’s, and similar to that time, it can be hard to determine what is and isn’t worth seeing. A cursory glance at the Steam or Itch.io pages for horror will overwhelm the player with so many choices that you could spend more time searching for a title than playing one. So today I wanted to take a moment and talk about a short, movie-length horror title I recently enjoyed. The title, Cannibal Abduction, was released Friday, January 13th by Selewi, the developer behind Night of the Scissors.
Cannibal Abduction sees the player fill the shoes of a man named Henry, who in true classic horror fashion has found himself at the wrong place at the wrong time. The game begins with a classic horror set-up, the broken-down vehicle, and a friendly old man who offers to fix it in return for a simple favor, repairing his wife’s wardrobe. But as any horror fan will surely expect, the player will have to handle a lot more than boards and nails to escape the farm. Once the sun goes down, and Henry tries to find the old man who promised to fix his vehicle, things begin to turn sinister. Upon realizing he has been locked in the home, Henry must navigate the area, solving puzzles, collecting items, and most importantly staying one step ahead of the cannibal roaming the estate.
While the setup may not blow your expectations away, I find that the gameplay loop of Cannibal Abduction does take steps to differentiate itself from others in the genre of “PSX Haunted House” games. While avoiding a stalker character and hiding in cabinets is now the norm for this style of game, I liked the extra steps that were taken to make the player more aware of their players actions. For example, some items can only be found while using the flashlight, which has the drawback of making the player more noticeable to the pursuing cannibal. Scouring the home for items is another action that will consume a resource that is either in great supply or scant availability, your time. Whenever the player goes through drawers in search of items, the animation is drawn out, forcing us to watch each drawer open in succession before revealing its contents. While this may seem like an annoyance at first, when there is no fear of being captured, it isn’t until the arrival of the cannibal that those precious seconds may be the determining factor in your survival.
Aside from the hunter and prey aspect of the game, Cannibal Abduction feature a series of puzzles similar to past horror titles, ranging from finding the right key for a door, to item puzzles that have the player distracting dogs or tuning radios to certain frequencies for solutions. While the puzzles are unlikely to break your brain, they do give the player a reason to be running around the home that feels more fulfilling than simply retrieving 8 identical items or spending the entire game searching for one key. And as the game progresses the player will see more of the home, with the dread and horror increasing with each new area discovered.
On top of the content that you get in the original base game, the developer has also been working on the game to give repeat players more reasons to return to the horrifying hillbilly house. In the most recent update, titled “The Deadly Update”, the cannibal is now capable of laying beartraps for the player to get snared in, and also gives your fearsome foe the ability to barricade you out of the hiding spaces located around the house. If the way Selewi continued to support Night of the Scissors after it’s launch, I do not think it is out of the realm of possibility to expect more content and challenges in the future. It is also worth noting, if you are not a person who can handle playing scary games at home, then know that Cannibal Abduction is now Steam deck verified, so you can bring this tiny tale of terror with you to a beautiful park, or Disneyland, being scared can now be a part of your travel plans!
While the game can be completed in its entirety in under two hours, I feel as though for the low price of $5 you are still getting your money’s worth with this title. I find myself collecting these shorter experiences, and similar to the way we were back when video rental stores were still a thing, I have had a lot of fun bringing my friends around to play these games. So go ahead, add Cannibal Abduction to your library, in the same way that people used to have shelves of slasher movies to watch with friends, consider building a stable of smaller horror games to enjoy with your horror minded homies. Turn off the lights, get your closest chums in the room, huddle around the PC, and relive the feeling of watching brutal b-movies with your old pals. In the interim, if you need more recommendations for gruesome, gory games, then head back to DreadXP and read more of our revolting reviews!