For some, the scariest thing in the world isn’t that jump-twitch scare that randomly freaks you out for a second in your sleep. No, that becomes familiar and bearable over time. The scariest things in the world are the unseen; the things in the dark that you can’t see but know are there. The Last Door plays off that fear and crafts a story based on the work of Poe and Lovecraft, tapping into the player’s imagination, rather than visible horrors, to generate fear.
To work even more off players’ imaginations, the game is in 8-bit. Nothing is scarier than what you can create in your own imagination, so the developers at The Game Kitchen chose not to distract players with too many visuals; this served as the inspiration for creating an 8-bit game. In lieu of this, they created a game with terrifying sounds. Every sound is crisp and ominous so as to allow players to feel immersed in the strange world of protagonist, Jeremiah Devitt.
The Last Door is set in Victorian England and starts off with Jeremiah’s friend sending him a letter and committing suicide. The two were friends in college and were part of a secret group dabbling in things that were better off left undisturbed. Jeremiah heads to his friend’s manor to find out what happened to him. After finding not only mysterious notes from the servants but also his friend’s body, Jeremiah decides to stay and find out what exactly drove him to ending his life over the course of several episodes. This collector’s edition is a compilation of the first season, which is made up of four episodes. The dev team is hard at work starting season two, but a release date is still up in the air.
I had a few involuntary laughs while sitting with the game, since at the beginning, Jeremiah reacts to his surroundings exactly like I would: refusing to go down a dark hallway, and staying far away from a murder of crows feasting on something since they are “too vicious”. Hopefully, this common sense stays evident throughout the game.
The Last Door Collector’s Edition is available now on PC, Mac, and Linux, while mobile ports should be incoming this summer.