Ib - a different kind of horror game

Posted by AjayRaz (12465 posts) -

with the sudden skyrocket in popularity of the freeware horror game Slender, my appetite for a horror game suddenly came back to me. i've played all of the main Resident Evil games, a tad of Siren: Blood Curse, the first Condemned and some other horror games, but i've missed out on games like Amnesia because i lack a computer that could actually run it, and the Fatal Frame series because it's hard to find those games when they're not being sold for like, 50$. with those things said, i've played my fair share of horror games, but not the games that i truly want to experience because of limitations.

looking to fulfill my need for a horror game, i came across a little game called Ib-- a freeware horror game created in RPG Maker by some Japanese dude translated to English. you play as a little girl named Ib who comes to an art gallery with her parents. she decides to run off to explore the gallery before the lights shut off and everyone suddenly disappears. from this point on, Ib begins to wander the gallery, looking for her parents and searching for a way out. it's a simple story set in a place that's pretty creepy for what it is-- an art gallery with all sorts of bizarre, spooky paintings through the eyes of a child. Ib is trapped in the world of an obscure artist.

writing on the wall in Ib can range from odd to totally creepy

there's no combat in Ib. if you come across any enemies, you have to out-maneuver them and run for your life, which is more frustrating than scary given the scenario where you're completely cornered. the gameplay in Ib consists of wandering around the museum, solving puzzles and unlocking doors to progress the story. despite being a horror game, Ib isn't ever truly scary, but the story and atmosphere are both creepy in their own rights, and manage to create an experience that's thrilling and intriguing. it's more unsettling than it is outright scary, relying more on mystery, intrigue and oddities than jump scares and grotesque monsters.

unfortunately, while i was starting to get really interested in the game, my save file glitched up. the game prevented me from placing a certain item in a spot that was required to progress the game. with that, i never really got to finish Ib, and i haven't played enough where i'm totally comfortable with giving a final verdict on the game. i could have been completely wrong about everything i've said about this game.

considering that no one else online has said anything about their save glitching up, i could only assume that this was just rotten luck for me. however, it is freeware so i highly encourage anyone who has a taste for horror and wants to try something kinda different give it a shot. while i didn't finish it, others have said that it's not longer than 2 or 3 hours. it's a brief adventure that won't take up too much of your time regardless if you like it or not. some of the puzzles are a bit too weird, and the lack of combat can be frustrating in some situations, but i've never tried anything like it and the time i spent with it was enjoyable, even if i never got to see it through to the very end.

although the game's effect, as with all horror games, varies from person to person. i didn't find Slender scary at all, but this game, while not horrifying, still managed to get me a little. the developer designed the game with the intention of creating an accessible game so that those even with no gaming experience can play through and hopefully enjoy the experience of wandering through an art museum through the eyes of a nine year old girl.

you can nab Ib over here, although it's only for those on Windows. be sure to read the included readme!

edit: i booted it up after writing this for the hell of it and it stopped glitching. IT LET ME PROGRESS. i'll update this thingy when i finish it. i'm suddenly so excited. the game must have liked that i said nice things about it.

#1 Edited by AjayRaz (12465 posts) -

with the sudden skyrocket in popularity of the freeware horror game Slender, my appetite for a horror game suddenly came back to me. i've played all of the main Resident Evil games, a tad of Siren: Blood Curse, the first Condemned and some other horror games, but i've missed out on games like Amnesia because i lack a computer that could actually run it, and the Fatal Frame series because it's hard to find those games when they're not being sold for like, 50$. with those things said, i've played my fair share of horror games, but not the games that i truly want to experience because of limitations.

looking to fulfill my need for a horror game, i came across a little game called Ib-- a freeware horror game created in RPG Maker by some Japanese dude translated to English. you play as a little girl named Ib who comes to an art gallery with her parents. she decides to run off to explore the gallery before the lights shut off and everyone suddenly disappears. from this point on, Ib begins to wander the gallery, looking for her parents and searching for a way out. it's a simple story set in a place that's pretty creepy for what it is-- an art gallery with all sorts of bizarre, spooky paintings through the eyes of a child. Ib is trapped in the world of an obscure artist.

writing on the wall in Ib can range from odd to totally creepy

there's no combat in Ib. if you come across any enemies, you have to out-maneuver them and run for your life, which is more frustrating than scary given the scenario where you're completely cornered. the gameplay in Ib consists of wandering around the museum, solving puzzles and unlocking doors to progress the story. despite being a horror game, Ib isn't ever truly scary, but the story and atmosphere are both creepy in their own rights, and manage to create an experience that's thrilling and intriguing. it's more unsettling than it is outright scary, relying more on mystery, intrigue and oddities than jump scares and grotesque monsters.

unfortunately, while i was starting to get really interested in the game, my save file glitched up. the game prevented me from placing a certain item in a spot that was required to progress the game. with that, i never really got to finish Ib, and i haven't played enough where i'm totally comfortable with giving a final verdict on the game. i could have been completely wrong about everything i've said about this game.

considering that no one else online has said anything about their save glitching up, i could only assume that this was just rotten luck for me. however, it is freeware so i highly encourage anyone who has a taste for horror and wants to try something kinda different give it a shot. while i didn't finish it, others have said that it's not longer than 2 or 3 hours. it's a brief adventure that won't take up too much of your time regardless if you like it or not. some of the puzzles are a bit too weird, and the lack of combat can be frustrating in some situations, but i've never tried anything like it and the time i spent with it was enjoyable, even if i never got to see it through to the very end.

although the game's effect, as with all horror games, varies from person to person. i didn't find Slender scary at all, but this game, while not horrifying, still managed to get me a little. the developer designed the game with the intention of creating an accessible game so that those even with no gaming experience can play through and hopefully enjoy the experience of wandering through an art museum through the eyes of a nine year old girl.

you can nab Ib over here, although it's only for those on Windows. be sure to read the included readme!

edit: i booted it up after writing this for the hell of it and it stopped glitching. IT LET ME PROGRESS. i'll update this thingy when i finish it. i'm suddenly so excited. the game must have liked that i said nice things about it.

#2 Posted by aurahack (2285 posts) -

Ib's been sitting in my downloads folder for a while now. I should get around to playing it. :x It really does sound neat.

#3 Posted by AjayRaz (12465 posts) -

@aurahack: it wouldn't hurt. it's a game that i wish i could have finished. maybe at some point i'll revisit it and play it again, but considering that you haven't played it yet, you should totally delve into it whenever you can. finish what the game wouldn't let me finish.

#4 Posted by eroticfishcake (7787 posts) -

We probably need some other terms when it comes to horror given how it splintered into various branches with gore-porn, action-horror and actual horror. Not sure if there's already a genre for creepy though considering how the only thing that I know of which does anything similar is the movie "The Skin I Live In" which interestingly enough to director describes as a "Horror without the screams". Maybe Ib is on the same vein?

#5 Posted by Daveyo520 (6930 posts) -

So scary!

PS Ajay you need to use the shift key you jugabaloo.

#6 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4700 posts) -

I just tried to play this but there is erratic blinking. Is that supposed to happen or not?

#7 Posted by JJOR64 (19051 posts) -

I watched FinestKO play some of this awhile ago and it's pretty neat.

#8 Posted by AjayRaz (12465 posts) -

@ImmortalSaiyan said:

I just tried to play this but there is erratic blinking. Is that supposed to happen or not?

not that i know of. at the beginning of the game, the lights flicker on and off for a bit if that's what you're talking about. if not, you might wanna check out the enclosed readme. that might have a solution for you since the game is known to have glitched up under certain circumstances.

#9 Posted by thedj93 (1237 posts) -
#10 Posted by TheHT (11682 posts) -

@thedj93 said:

@AjayRaz: if you don't end up picking it up again, you might want to watch this let's play http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAywFilkST4

good blog, ill be checking out the game promptly

Not a 'let's play', but cool nonetheless.

#11 Posted by AjayRaz (12465 posts) -

@thedj93: i don't think that's a LP but that's a pretty awesome song. even at that, i don't think i could watch a LP of a horror game because hearing someone's commentary over the audio pretty much sucks out any sort of tension and fear that could exist without a voiceover. although that's just me. i'm under the impression that horror LPs are super popular.

@eroticfishcake: kind of? Ib is a hard game to describe for me because i've never played anything like it. as much as i enjoy horror, i haven't branched out to as many different subgenre of horror that i should have.

#12 Posted by TheHT (11682 posts) -

@AjayRaz: I thought that too until I watched a Let's Play of Amnesia. I got up to the water monster part which got me freaking out in my chair, during the day, with other people in my room.

#13 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5855 posts) -

Sounds interesting. Finding out about obscure horror games is always fun. 
 
also, slightly off topic but. just out of curiosity, have you played Yume Nikki? 
 
if you're still looking for horror games to play you should give it a try. It's one of the most unsettling games I've ever played.

Online
#14 Posted by AjayRaz (12465 posts) -

@FancySoapsMan: i haven't, actually. i saw it on GB and it sparked interest because it was considered a psychological horror game. has it been translated?

#15 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5855 posts) -
@AjayRaz: yeah, there's an english download on this site.
Online
#16 Posted by AjayRaz (12465 posts) -

@FancySoapsMan: i'll give it a shot. thank you, mr soap! it's always exciting to have another horror game to play.

#17 Posted by MiniPato (2747 posts) -

Ao Oni is another RPG maker made horror game that is kinda popular.

Haven't played it myself, but watched some playthroughs of it such as this one with two Japanese guys.

Even if you can't understand Japanese, you can still understand "WAAAAAAAAHH!" Fear is a universal language after all.

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