Boogeyman is a horror game released on November 3rd, 2015 developed by Barry McCabe. The game can be played with either keyboard and mouse, controller or VR headset.
Boogeyman… is not a fun game. It is not an enjoyable game. It is not something you play if you have a little time free. It is not something to play before you go to bed… if you plan on sleeping at all that is. Boogeyman is a game that goes to show that you don’t need flashy graphics, thrilling story or huge amounts of gameplay variations to be a good game. You do, however, need no other sound interference and an empty bladder.
You play as a small child who was recently moved into a new house, and you have instantly found out that your house is home to a boogeyman, through information relayed to you from cassette tapes. The previous child who occupied this room fought off the boogeyman herself and informs you how to quell its efforts to get to you as well.
Each night you will sit at the end of your bed, armed with a flashlight, in order to effectively shoo away the evil monster. It will attempt to get into your room through a number of different avenues, the bedroom door, the closet door, the window, the air vent and from underneath the bed. The last one is especially unfortunate as in order to replenish your flashlight’s batteries, you must quickly pop under the bed and find more. While you do this, however, the boogeyman has a chance to infiltrate your room and get to you, so you must be quick and search at the right time, not that it will only try to get in when you are under the bed mind you. It will first attempt to open the entrances (bedroom door, window, etc), and you can stop this by quickly shining your flashlight on it before it opens. If it does manage to get something open, that makes it a lot harder to hear, as it won’t have to deal with any obstructions and can simply stealth in. Each night is made up of six hours, from midnight to 6:00 am, converted into six minutes. When morning hits, you are safe. This is when the exploration kicks in.
After each night, you must then search the house, again at night for some reason, for the flashlight. It has ended up somewhere else in the house and it is your job to locate it so you can begin the next night. As you no longer have a portable light source, you must rely on the lights around the house for safety, and the sounds. Once you have found the flashlight, you may return to your bedroom to start the next night. If you get caught during your exploration of the house, you will restart at the bedroom entrance, and the flashlight and any other pickups will have relocated to a different room of the house.
The game utilises a unique sense of strategy, in that you must use sound to aid your attempts against the creature. You can hear it scuttling through the vents, creaking open your doors and breathing from unknown locations throughout the house. This is why it is highly recommended you use a headset and play in the dark, for full immersion. As the nights progress, it becomes more difficult to spot and hear the boogeyman. Some nights have inclement weather which can blot out any light from the outside, or even overshadow any noise from inside the house. The lights inside your room will sporadically fizzle out and leave you in complete darkness. Spotting the boogeyman straight away and lighting it up does nothing for the fear factor, it’s when you turn around and find out he is already halfway in your room, making no sound whatsoever and almost close enough to touch you. That is the moment you decide to calmly take off the headset, leave the computer and go scream into a pillow or cry in a corner.
The game isn’t without issues, however, small as they may be. There is no real pause screen, so if you decide to start a night, you better be ready to complete it. There is also a serious lack of options, for instance being able to change the sensitivity on your mouse. In the exploration parts, while moving you will notice some screen tearing and distortion, even on max settings. This doesn’t cause a huge problem, but it does detract from the game when you think you see something move and it simply turns out that part of the door or wall you just moved past tears and continues on for a second.
Boogeyman is out now on PC for AUD $11 and receives a 9/10. If you are after a cheap, simple and most of all, frightening horror game. Spend your money on Boogeyman. There are no cheap jump scares and no gruesome or gory elements, just good old fashion suspense and mind torture. The sound being absolutely crucial to the game causes it to become a lot more frightening and suspenseful than you would think, as any tiny little sound could be the thing that saves your life. Make sure you play alone, for fear of friends or family who enjoy pranking you while you play a horror game, it will not end well if they get that chance. Grab your flashlight and prepare to defend yourself, against the Boogeyman.