Retro-style games are practically a dime a dozen these days, but far too many of them simply wear the aesthetic of their classic inspirations rather than embodying what made those games classics to begin with.
That’s why whenever a throwback manages to get it right, it’s something to be celebrated. Such is the case with indie dev Somewhat’s Please, a brief but horrifying PS1-era homage that can be completed in ten minutes but will surely cling to the darkest corners of your mind for far, far longer.
The setup is vague: you are a repair person working in a massive complex, and every day you must wake up and perform your duties by heading down to the basement and tinkering with a mysterious machine. All the while, strange and eerie noises emanate from behind locked doors, leading up to one of the creepiest title drops in recent memory.
One aspect of horror that I find to be criminally underutilized in many games is sound (so often they do nothing interesting with the aural soundscape beyond the rote scare chords and tension-building music) but Please makes it the linchpin of its horror experience. Somewhat demonstrates a keen understanding of how critical this aspect is to the genre, to the point where the longest passage in the game’s minimalist itch.io page reads as follows: “Sound is an integral part of the experience. Please run this software while wearing headphones and keep the volume at the highest level tolerated. Please.”
Please is available for download on itch.io, and between the short length and Somewhat allowing players to name their own price (including simply downloading the game for free, you dirty cheapskate), there’s literally no excuse to not check out this phenomenal blast from the past. For anyone who’s ever shuddered while walking down Resident Evil‘s dog hallway or felt their hair stand on end during a stroll through Silent Hill, this is a must-have experience.