Ultra-Indie Spotlight Sunday: The Corruption Within

After a wonderful week in ye olde countryside with ye olde familye, you return to ye olde campfyre to discover they are ye olde missing. Ok done with the old english now. Anyways with nowhere else to go for help, you stumble upon an old(e) mansion and are forced to inquire for assistance. Once inside, you discover the residents are not as helpful as one would hope. Perhaps they have succumbed to some sort of inner corruption in The Corruption Within

The Corruption Within Title

Conceptual Meta-Wank:

The most direct way to convey that something is scary is to present the audience with something that is scary. Many indie horror games are unafraid to let you know that there are creepy crawly heebie jeebie spooky sneaky dangers around every corner. There could be bones and bodies, bugs and beasts, or if the developer is skilled, one very unusual and unsettling tree. But there’s something uncomfortable about a horror game that does not have those direct danger indicators. In this regard, The Corruption Within is quite good at hiding its corrupt withins.

Embodying the aesthetic qualities of a gaming era I was probably 5 years old during, The Corruption Within creates beautiful scenes that, despite having nothing overtly scary, fill me with dread nonetheless. I honestly cannot explain it. The house has many people in it, alieving the sense of being alone. The areas are fairly well-lit. And the contents inside the areas are, for the most part, entirely ordinary. Yet somehow, the ambient dread remains. 

Non-Wanky Game Recap:

There are two major mechanics in The Corruption Within. The first is pointing, the second is clicking. Yes indeed, this is a classic point-and-click adventure. Without much more to add than that, I will conclude the paragraph with this final sentence a bit longer so as to improve the reading flow. 

What Works:

What I like most about The Corruption Within is the thoroughly detailed world in which the game creates. Just about every object has a nice detailed sentence when you do the ol’ pointing and clicking, and the environments themselves are well drawn. The characters have interesting dialogue and the lore is deep but leaves me wanting more. 

More than that, I appreciate that The Corruption Within does not rely on shocking visuals to convey the unsettling atmosphere. Perhaps it is my instinctual aversion to all things British, but the house is just plain unsettling without any spooky ghoulies or even big spider webs. The ability for the developers to create a simultaneously PG and PG13 environment takes some tremendous skill. 

What Doesn’t:

Perhaps this is my own foolish youth speaking, having never played this type of game growing up, but the puzzles sometimes took me a bit. The Corruption Within has a lot of stuff you can point and click on, as the genre dictates, but that means that I have a lot of objects in my inventory that I need to use and point and click on in the environments. There was at least once where I almost called it quits, but I powered through and it was no real issue. 

How To Fix It:

This style of puzzle is something I am not used to, which is not a reflection of the game. I would not say that The Corruption Within needs any fixing. If anything, it left me wanting more. I would say that for the price, the game is a little short, but I think it is well worth it. Perhaps it warrants The Corruption Within 2: Even More Corrupt Withinnards.

Wanky Musings:

It may not be the scariest game, and certainly not very action-packed, but there is something uniquely interesting in The Corruption Within. The ethereal quality of horror here is something any indie horror developer should check out. The sound, the visuals, the atmosphere, all of it comes together perfectly into one grand and mystifying horror experience. 

You can buy The Corruption Within on Steam by clicking here.