Slender is a psychological horror game centered on the “Slender Man” mythos, the product of an internet forum a couple years ago. To make a long story short, Slender Man is an entity resembling a tall, lanky man in a suit with a featureless face who has a nasty history of abducting and killing children. Pleasant, I know.
As for the game, Slender is simple. You’re dropped in the middle of a fenced off park full of trees, fog and abandoned buildings, and tasked with gathering eight pages scattered across the game world at various landmarks. Each page has some very encouraging messages scrawled across them that totally aren’t foreboding at all. Once you pick up that first page, though … well, that’s when the real fun starts. Ominous music pumps through your speakers, and the clock starts ticking to see if you can nab the remaining seven pages before Slender nabs you.
Aside from being able to sprint for brief periods of time, you’re utterly defenseless. All you have with you is a small flashlight that, while providing much needed illumination, also makes it easier for Slender Man to track you down. Your only warning that he’s closing in is when your screen fills with static, and you can’t even look at Slender directly for more than a few seconds or else its game over. With every page you pick up, the music gets louder and louder and Slender gets closer and closer and … well, you get the idea.
After a few minutes of playing, you’ll find that Slender becomes a delicious exercise in paranoia and fear. The vast number of trees block much of your sight, making it very tricky to get an idea of where you are in the park and what’s around you. It’s terribly easy to get lost, especially if you have to turn off your light and try running blind to shake off your relentless pursuer. Corners and enclosed rooms become deathtraps, and you’ll dread having to explore them in your hunt for more pages. From that first time you see Slender Man in the distance, just standing there, watching … you’ll be looking over your shoulder constantly because you won’t know where he’ll be hiding next.
While there may be scarier games out there, Slender offers up quite an adrenaline rush with its tension filled atmosphere and imposing antagonist. Since it’s a free download, there’s very little reason to not give Slender a try, whether you’re a hardcore fan of horror games or just looking to try something different. Just be sure to crank up the sound and turn off the lights to get the full experience.
After all, life’s no fun without a good scare … right?
Check out Slender here.
Bottom Line: Slender will scare you witless.
Recommendation: It’s scary, it’s atmospheric, and it’s free. There’s no reason to not play Slender at least once.[rating=4.5]
Genre: Survival Horror
Developer: Parsec Productions