I don't know about you, but the minute mysterious, unwashable numbers appeared on my apartment wall, I would be getting my security deposit back from the landlord. Apparently the protagonist of rest.less games' free indie horror game Wait is a far more understanding tenant than I. He's been living with the digits for a long time now, and even posting about them on messages boards ranging from the mathematical to the supernatural have yielded no clues. One night everything changes, however. It starts with an oil lamp, and as the nights pass, it turns far darker, and far stranger, than he could have suspected. So... like I said, security deposit, yeah? Use the [arrow] keys to move and [spacebar] to interact, with [ESC] to close menus. You can only save when the game offers it, so make sure you always take the chance! Wait is inspired by both H.P. Lovecraft and the Silent Hill series, so expect things to move at a slow simmer rather than a roiling boil. As the days go by, when the lights go out, the apartment seems to... change... so make sure you examine even the things you've previously looked at more than once as the game progresses.
Wait was created for the 2014 Indie Game Maker Contest, and though it's an impressive piece of work in many ways, you can still see the strain of its constraints peeping through here and there. The most obvious place is in the story, which is deliciously creepy and intriguing right away, but suffers from a few plot holes that explanations throughout that feel like afterthoughts can't quite explain away. Our hero is curiously flippant about the bizarre things that he encounters, and it makes the way he gamely trudges off to work each day all the more surreal. What does he talk about at the watercooler? "Hey guys, did you catch last night's episode of Master Chef? I couldn't watch it because I was being pursued by interdimensional hallucinations in a nightmare land. ... what? Clean out my desk?" Despite that, however, Wait is still a really clever bit of horror fiction, with some amazingly effective scares and surreal scenes thanks to the developer knowing when to go big, and when to keep things subtle. For the most part, Wait is rigidly linear, with only a few real puzzles, but the design is absolutely fantastic, and considering its limited development time, it's also remarkably polished. The ending feels a little anticlimatic, but the journey itself is more than worth it for horror fans looking for something short and wonderfully creepy.
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