Catachresis: A Way Too Scary Game is a recent release from indie game developer Cameron Kunzelman. The title says it’s way too scary, but I’ll be honest, it’s not that scary. It’s dialogue and charming sense of humor are actually what I like about the game, though it does have a few scares, they’re not so much “scary” as they are “gazing long into the abyss while you contemplate the permanence or lack thereof of your life and everything you hold dear.” So that’s a thing.
But it’s mostly the humor. The game is all of about 30 minutes long and most of the gameplay consists of walking. You occasionally interact with something, an alpaca or whatever, but mostly you walk. There are no puzzles to speak of and it’s linearity borders on oppressive. But that’s to the game’s benefit. If there were obtuse puzzles or exploratory elements, they’d just weigh down this clever little jaunt into the supernatural.
The bulk of the game sees you in the shoes of Jeff. Jeff works for what we presume to be a shadowy government agency that eliminates all forms of paranormal disturbance. This game has references to ghosts, demons, banshees, vampires, werewolves, wall tentacles, goblins and more. This is apparently a universe where all of that and more is not only possible, but requires good blue collar men and women like Jeff to handle it with all the panache of a plumber snaking his fifth drain that week.
And that’s the best part. Jeff has a world-weary approach to all of this. He’s seen all manner of beast and monster, and it’s just another day in his working week to deal with a possessed computer. His wry responses to nearly every manner of lurking horror frame the world for us; this is routine, this is normal for him.
Of course, it isn’t normal, even for Jeff, and things spin out of control quickly. It’d be a waste to spoil it for you, since it only takes a half hour, and it’s free, but suffice it to say I really enjoyed Catachresis: A Way Too Scary Game. You can really enjoy it too, right here.
- Released: September 4, 2013
- System: PC
- Developer/Publisher: Cameron Kunzelman