With the advancements in technology over the years, the landscape of horror video games has changed drastically over the years. Console games like Silent Hill and Resident Evil in the '90s spawned a slew of imitators, with gaming companies constantly trying to find new and inventive ways to scare players in ways that movies or TV can't. The goal of the new Augmented Reality game Night Terrors: The Beginning, is to make "the scariest game ever made" and succeeds at being a nerve-wracking experience that's hard to shake, well after you've thrown your phone across the room.
When people think of mobile games, they typically conjure images of simple graphics and repetitive puzzle games, serving as merely a way to pass the time while waiting in line or riding public transportation. Thanks to the advances in smartphone's hardware, the equipment you have in your pocket can allow for lush graphics and a compelling interface, blowing console games of yesteryear out of the water and even giving current console games a run for their money.
What makes Night Terrors so unique is that the horrifying imagery is taking place right in front of you in your very own environment.
Many other games, whether they are first person or third person, allow you to disconnect yourself from the horrific environments you see on screen. If you turn the light out and turn the volume up, you can feel immersed in the story that's unfolding in front of you, but you aren't in a haunted house or zombie-infested landscape, which is what makes Night Terrors so effective.
Thanks to Augmented Reality technology, the game uses your smartphone's camera and flash to mirror the feeling of looking around a dark environment with a flashlight. Many of us are quite familiar with the feeling of looking at your phone while in a place with little light, which makes it difficult to see anything outside of what's emitting the light. The result of this effect in Night Terrors is that, even though you can try to convince yourself that the ghouls on your screen aren't in your house, your sense can't get any other information to tell your brain it's only a game.
Few games have blurred the line
Even better, the current version of the game is 100% free, allowing you to experience everything the game has to offer.
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[H/T Youtube, Novum Analytics]