Some of the best horror videogames, or at least the most scary ones, were ones where the players had difficulty defending themselves. The awkward controls, camera angles, and lack of ammo made early Resident Evil and Silent Hill games nerve-racking. Japanese games such as Fatal Frame and Echo Night declined to give players any traditional weapons at all. This lack of control adds to the suspense of horror games, and helps foster the feeling that survival might not be completely dependent on player skill.
Krillbite Studio, an indie game developer located in Hamar, Norway, has taken this concept to the extreme. In the game they are currently developing, players take on the role of someone who, quite literally, cannot defend himself: a 2-year-old boy. The studio is calling the game an “interactive experience” where players solve puzzles and experience the surreal reality of a young child. From the description of the game on the Krillbite website:
In Among the Sleep you take on the role of a young child. You have yet to develop a full sense of reality, making you weak and susceptible to the horrifying creatures inhabiting your nightmares.
One particular night a dramatic event occurs, forcing you to flee from your home and enter a surreal world. Only accompanied by Teddy, you must overcome many hardships to stay alive and find a way home.
The concept for the game sounds both mesmerizing and terrifying. Becoming a care-free child again is a fantasy many people have. However, those same people often forget that children don’t understand things and are helplessly afraid. As you can see in the trailer below, Krillbite’s version of childhood is a lot creepier than you remember. Among the Sleep is scheduled to be released for PC and Mac sometime next year.