Escape A Low-Poly Nightmare City In ‘Strayation’, Free On Itch.io Now
As demonstrated by recent indie horror games like Filthbreed, there’s no shortage of interesting, bite-sized horror experiences available on itch.io. The independent game storefront, in addition to hosting various games of all shapes and sizes, also allows developers to plan game jams, where individual or teams of developers get together to make a game in a limited amount of time. Recently, developer Blood Machine finished their game Strayation for Trans Gal Jam 3, and it’s definitely worth checking out.
It’s no secret that low-poly horror games are making a big comeback, thanks to projects like Back in 1995 and Vaccine, and developers like Puppet Combo. But instead of cribbing directly from Resident Evil or Silent Hill, or deploying the retro aesthetic on other subgenres like slasher movies, Strayation blends multiple influences to great effect during it’s brief runtime.
Taking the role of an unnamed protagonist in a white dress, players must navigate through a dungeon environment filled with grotesque monsters, shooting enemies and solving puzzles to escape. Once they leave the basement area, they must then make their way through a nightmarish, ever-shifting cityscape, continuing to face down monsters and picking up vague clues about their situation through cryptic notes scattered around the environment.
On paper, the game sounds incredibly Silent Hill-inspired, and just looking at the fleshy monster designs, that’s almost certain. But in gameplay, Strayation takes influence from Resident Evil 4. With a camera placed behind the player, aiming locks the player in position and forces them to stand their ground against their enemies. With the story hinted at through notes and the unique design of the main character, Strayation also manages to find a memorable identity of its own.
Understandably, Strayation isn’t the most polished experience out there, but as a free title made in 10 days it’s damn impressive. Aiming can be a little finicky to get used to, but the core design is strong and the visuals and atmosphere alone are worth experiencing for any fan of low-poly horror survival. It’s free and takes about 15 minutes to play through, so you’ve got nothing to lose by giving it a try.
You can check out Strayation on the game’s itch.io page right here.