Falling into the broad category of survival horror, Slender: The Eight Pages is a first person puzzler based on the Slender Man myth. Your mission is to find the titular eight pages about the pale, faceless creature before he hunts you down.
In many ways it is a classic hunt-and-collect game, but there’s an added element of suspense thrown in for good measure to keep you on your toes. You find yourself walking around in the dark equipped with a torch to help you see. Spend too long hunting and your battery will run out – if the Slender Man doesn’t catch up with your first, that is…
To cut to the chase, it’s a bit boring. Yes, there is the element of suspense to make things a little more interesting, but at its heart, this is an incredibly simple game with very limited gameplay. There are effectively eight levels to work through and there is no real variety in what you need to do – the difficulty level just increases.
While there is an element of fear to the game, the sense of challenge is diminished by the fact that there is only one enemy to avoid – and the original Slender Man stories are far more terrifying than anything game manages to conjure up. The sense of threat and anticipation is built upon through the clever use of soundscapes.
There is a strange paradox in that the only way to stop the relentless onslaught of the Slender Man is to look at him, but if you look at him for too long you will die. Paradoxical, and a little frustrating – especially if you are keen to get a glimpse of what you’re meant to be running away from.
The sense of threat posed by the game is quite heart-quickening. The pulse-like thuds that indicate the approaching enemy really add to the dark and moody atmosphere, and this is something that it enhanced by the lo-fi graphics and dingy lighting. You’re encouraged to try a session of full screen gaming (ditch the windowed mode!) with the lights out.
While Slender might not be the most spectacular you’ve ever played, it’s clear the indie developer has poured a great deal of effort and thought into provoking an emotional response.
The main problem with Slender is that it’s just a bit, well, dull really. The premise of the game means that you know from the offset that it’s not going to be the most action-packed adventure. This isn’t the issue. The issue is pacing and repetitiveness.
The torch battery is an interesting touch, as is the stamina limit, which means you have to walk rather than run for most of the game, but both can ultimately be frustrating.
While there’s nothing particularly wrong with the game, it’s let down by a limited design that ultimately makes it dull.
Developer: Parsec Productions
- Operating system: Windows 7, 8, 10
- Processor: Pentium 4 3.0GHz or higher
- RAM: 1GB
- Disk space: 100MB