I decided to give each game its own video instead of a "Double Feature". The second title and video can be found after the break!
Escape the zombie apocalypse... by flying to the moon!
GentleMoon is a first person shooter made by the creator of the Timore horror series. As the lone survivor of the zombie apocalypse, you formulate a less-then-genius plan of escape... to the moon. To accomplish this task, you'll need a working rocket ship and some supplies. Scavenge the area and gun down any zombies that stand in your way!
From the premise to the enemy AI, it's obvious that this game is not meant to be taken seriously. Your character has three hands and the moon is decked out in gentleman attire! That said, this title is inexplicably better than some games found for sale on Steam these days. The level design actually looks custom made and the gameplay is at least competent, which is more than can be said of the asset-flips and just plain broken games currently flooding the market.
Explore an asylum of neverending terrors!
No Escape is a first-person horror game inspired by Amnesia, Slenderman and The Stanley Parable. You wake up in an abandoned asylum and begin exploring it, presumably looking for a way out.
Your flashlight dies immediately, but fear not - fresh batteries can amazingly be found throughout the asylum's decrepit rooms! For a common horror trope, it seems really far-fetched that so many batteries even exist in one location, let alone being brand new to boot. I'm not totally put off by it, but I have very little to complain about with this title otherwise.
The asylum itself is procedurally generated, meaning you'll never have an identical experience. This also greatly helps with maintaining that feeling of uncertainty, which is an important aspect of horror titles. While I've yet to absolutely prove it, I'm also fairly certain the game moves the exit door around while you're exploring. Considering some of the other tricks this title plays on you, particularly with changing your surroundings just by turning around, I'd say moving the exit is entirely plausible. The majority of the level remains the same though, so you're not hopelessly lost like in VANISH.
As you explore the asylum, you'll inevitably discover notes that expose the history of this location. There are exactly six notes to be found per level, though you're not required to obtain any of them to advance. This loose narrative works well alongside the somewhat random generation, as you're left to piece together what happened here bit by bit.
Like any good horror game, No Escape has its fair share of scares. The components of each room have a variety of possible events, such as objects moving around, disembodied whispers or entities appearing and disappearing. I can only assume that the game's use of "intelligent dynamic events" means that it's coded in such a way to respond (at least on a basic level) to your position and actions. I say this because the timing of many of these scares are uncanny beyond some of the best-scripted events found in other games.
Without a doubt, the most disturbing room type has to be what I assume is the "art room", which contains (among other furnishings) a blank canvas on an easel and a white mannequin with clawed hands. I can't help but wonder if it was merely a coincidence that room type seemed to appear twice as often as any other, or if the title was somehow tallying my in-game reactions to events and adjusting accordingly. Regardless, this game does an amazing job at messing with you.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, including the list of tricks available to No Escape. During my stream, I explored seven or eight levels, collecting no less than five notes in each. By the fifth or sixth level, it seemed like the game ran out of new events and notes to present me. Thankfully, the game is labeled as early access and they at least intend to add much more content in the future. I for one would love to see some new room types, more possible events for each room, and of course more notes and story.
Additionally, I'd like if they added some type of failure mechanic, as it seems there's no way you can die or get a 'game over'. To be fair though, I don't think you can win the game either as it very much seems endless.
In its current state, No Escape still manages to bring an unnerving experience full of spooky atmosphere and well-executed horror. Turn down the lights, turn up the volume and prepare for scares!