The Call of Karen Brings the Madness on Steam
First things first, this is an article about a comedic horror game. If you’re against funny in your scary, you’ll probably want to skip this one. Now that that’s out of the way, though, this is a hilarious and frustrating free indie game on Steam called The Call of Karen, and you should play it. It takes about twenty minutes to finish and brings a good laugh. I am not going to give it a full review because it would take longer to write than the game took to play, but I give it a solid recommendation with the caveat that I also recommend you pair it with your mind-altering vice of choice. Make of that what you will, but the game is trippy and fun.
The Call of Karen is a life simulator where you play Karen, a 1950s housewife with a rude teen-ish son and an even more rude twit of a husband and a somehow even more rude PTA President next-door neighbor who tattles to the husband about Karen’s daily antics. Cthulhu also shows up and bandies about the house causing chaos, but frankly, he’s the least problematic person in Karen’s life. Fun little asides pop up, like when Cthulhu trashes the living room and one of the books you pick up says women cannot be main characters, only prizes for the main characters. Framed photos in the living room include Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt posing happily and what we must assume is Karen but actually looks exactly like Serena Joy from Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale. The daily radio host has a little too much insight into Karen’s feelings and picks the worst moments to egg her on. Cthulhu seems hellbent on making daily life more frustrating but comes across by the end as an allegory for the frustration of daily life as a housewife. I cosign this entirely, myself being a housewife with kids whose gratitude takes more vacations than I ever will. I get it, Karen.
The Call of Karen is free and available on Steam right now, so grab whatever PC you have and go give it a whirl. You can even finish it while waiting for the timer to ring on dinner. Trust me, I’m a housewife- and I totally played this while waiting for the timer to go off on dinner and had a great stress-relieving laugh. Now to go clean. Hey Karen, can I borrow that vacuum?