GameZone's 31 Games of Halloween 2013: Slender: The Eight Pages
There's something strangely rewarding about being afraid. Whether it's through horror movies, novels, practical jokes, or video games, we get a thrill out of scaring others and being scared ourselves. Sure, the moments of impending shock are difficult to stomach, as are instances that make us jump and get our hearts racing, but once that scare is over, the sense of relief is incredible and, oddly enough, quite satisfying. Slender: The Eight Pages is a terrifying game that's sure to quell the thirst of horror fans who valiantly pursue and revel in moments of pure fear, making it yet another worthy inductee in GameZone's 31 Games of Halloween.
Speaking of thrills, our last entry was Haunting Ground, which offers up its own creepy take on hide-and-seek. Be sure to check that out if you've yet to do so. Okay, let's enter the forest and look for eight pieces of paper, all the while being stalked by the hideous Slender Man.
Why it stands out
Slender isn't exactly a lengthy game, nor is it very deep. You basically walk around a contained wooded area and collect eight pages with different messages on them. Even then, the experience itself is memorable due to both the brooding ambiance and constant sense of fear. The forest you tread as you search for those eight pages appears to be quite lonely, but it doesn't take long for you to realize that you're not alone.
Based on the Internet folkloric tale of the Slender Man, the game has you seeking out a few scraps of paper while being stalked by the horrific figure. He's not always visible, but you can feel him watching you the entire time you're playing. It's almost like A Nightmare on Elm Street — Freddy Krueger appears for less than 10 minutes throughout the whole film, but his presence is felt the entire time. In that sense, Slender does a great job of instilling an ever-present fear in you in an almost minimalist manner.
Is it scary?
If Clueless Gamer taught us anything with its special horror game edition, it's that when you're playing Slender with Conan O'Brien, chances are you won't feel even the slightest hint of fear. In actuality, though, the game is quite scary. Of course, that all depends on your approach, as well as your surroundings.
The best way to play Slender is to turn off all of the lights, put on some headphones, and isolate yourself from any noise in your house. To enjoy this game is to put yourself in a position that will ensure you're terrified as you play. The sounds of the forest around you and your own footsteps are almost like a facade, lying to you and telling you that you're okay because you're all alone. Nonetheless, when the Slender Man appears for the first time, you realize that you are indeed alone — alone with an evil presence that wants to terrorize you.
It's not enough to just run around a dark forest as a creepy, pale, elongated figure follows closely; you also need to monitor your flashlight usage. You've got but a single source of light in Slender, and if you keep it on for too long, it'll quickly exhaust its battery life and leave you lost in the dark. It's when you realize that you're all alone in the deep darkness that you feel the most vulnerable, and that's when you know the Slender Man has just found his latest victim.
Why play it on Halloween?
Slender isn't exactly all that diverse as far as its scares are concerned. It'll creep you out with its setting, make your heart race with its sense of impending peril, and cause you to jump when the Slender Man appears. It doesn't exactly have a whole lot of variety, but it certainly carries out its scares in effective, successful ways. For that reason, you should totally enjoy the fear that Slender has to offer on Halloween night.
Due to the fact that you can get through the game in under an hour, I'd suggest making this the last game you play on Halloween. Load it up maybe an hour before midnight, after all of the trick-or-treaters have gone home, and after you've watched your last slasher flick of the day. Then turn off the lights and prepare for one last good scare.
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