Slender – a new level of gaming terror

Many of the best horror films were independently produced, and one of the best new horror games, Slender, is an indie game as well.

Slender is a free to play title, and although it went live this June there is already a sequel in the works tentatively titled The Arrival.

Slender’s full title is Slender: The Eight Pages, and it was created by Mark Hadley. In Slender, you walk through the woods and have to collect eight pages, but there’s somebody watching and following you, the Slender man. Apparently the Slender man is an urban legend like the boogeyman, except his myth was spread on the ‘Net instead of good, old-fashioned word of mouth. (Nice to know that we still have campfire tales in today’s electronic age).

Like the best horror movies, Slender leaves a lot up to the player’s imagination for scares. A recent New York Times review noted: “This free computer game is simple, even crude, and yet it serves up bracing thrills. Armed with only a flashlight, a player is placed in a park at night and charged with gathering eight notes from nearby trees and buildings. The notes, scrawled in pencil, drip with portent: ‘Don’t look…or it takes you.'”

As Slender creator Hadley told University Observer, “I didn’t want to have the jump scares be the primary element of scaring the player; I feel that if you don’t have a good amount of suspense before the jump scare, it becomes worthless. Startling is not the same as scaring.”

As Cinema Blend confirms, the next Slender game is likely to be a much more involved affair than the original, with more levels, optimized graphics, and an improved storyline. (As we’ve reported here on TG, there’s much better writings in games today, and you get the impression fans expect more involving storytelling when they play).

The horror site Bloody-Disgusting, which calls Slender an “indie horror gem,” reports that the next Slender game won’t be free to play. To be sure, Hadley is developing the new Slender game with his own company, ParsecProdcutions, along with Blue Isle Studio, and as he told University Observer, “Honestly, it feels very strange having the game get a lot of attention like this. On one hand, I think it’s great that people are enjoying it, but on the other hand, now I’m obligated to finish it as best as I possibly can.”