Matt Gilgenbach’s Neverending Nightmares was, to me, more interesting in its existence than most other games at the show. The game is a result of channeling the creator’s own struggles with mental illness, specifically depression and OCD. The product is an exercise in pure terror.
The imagery in Neverending Nightmares was what caught my eyes immediately on the show floor. A black and white pen and pencil look but with violent bursts of red to signify that this will, in fact, be one bloody adventure.
A 2D side scrolling adventure game, you’re awoken to find yourself along(?) in an old Victorian style house. Exploring the dark hallways, discovering secrets along the way, the lack of any real combat evokes a combination of Amnesia and Lone Survivor.
Billed as a psychological-horror game, the simple, but immensely effective, art style is an exercise in minimalism creating the biggest impact. Playing the demo in a dimly lit corner of the show floor with headphones, I found myself terrified yet hypnotically compelled to venture off into the dark Victorian house. A good sign of a horror game that relies on the power of nothing at all creating the most effective scares.
If you’re a fan of psychological fear such as Silent Hill or Amnesia then you should check this game out immediately. But even if you aren’t, there can be something to take away from this. Matt Gilgenbach is also attempting to bring attention to a mental illness that is possibly one of the most difficult to convey to the public, and just for that, it should be worth supporting such a cause.
Neverending Nightmares is currently on Kickstarter looking for a 2014 PC release.