Under the Radar – Worse Than Death

Worse Than Death
(Benjamin Rivers Inc – PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, iOS)
Release: October 8th 2019 (PC)

Can you escape the shadowy horrors that lurk in the dark?

There aren’t too many things in the world that you would classify as being worse than death, because, well, being dead probably isn’t that great. Benjamin Rivers Inc, the same developers that brought us Alone With You and Home, has created Worse Than Death, a horror-adventure game which is all about a high school reunion gone horribly wrong.

The thought of attending a high school reunion is already a horrifying experience in itself, but there’s more to this seemingly innocuous event than meets the eye. You play as Holly, a woman from a small town located right in the middle of nowhere. Holly’s plan for the weekend was to go back to her old home and attend her high school reunion. It doesn’t take long for things to spiral out of control as Holly soon discovers her best friend’s fiancée died in a recent accident. Soon enough, Holly and her best friend Flynn find themselves exploring the town trying to find answers to the mysterious circumstances of the accident.

In order to solve this mystery, you will need your thinking cap on for some of the puzzles in the game. As is the case with adventure games, solving the puzzles will reveal some of the dark secrets of both the people in the town as well as the town itself. It would seem Holly moved away from her town for a reason, and it looks as though even Holly has some secrets of her own.

Settle in for a spooky Halloween experience

In this 2D side-scroller, you will need to keep your wits about you as the shadowy figures around you begin to threaten your very being. These monsters are not visible to the naked eye, forcing you to use nearby objects to track these creatures. By utilising any light sources, sounds and even Holly’s heartbeat, you can get a sense for where these monsters may be lurking. These enemies will have Holly running for her life at points, but you need to look for objects like tables to crawl under as these hiding spaces will be vital to staying alive.

When you consider that Worse Than Death was originally designed for iOS devices, the developers have done an excellent job translating the touch controls to keyboard & mouse, as well as controllers. When playing on PC, you can actually hot-swap between either of the control schemes making it easy to determine which set of controls suit you best. The Steam version of Worse Than Death features cloud support, allowing you to play the game at a friend’s house and take your progress with you back to your home.

The studio that created this game is comprised of only two people which makes things even more impressive considering how polished Worse Than Death is. In terms of replay value, there are three difficulty modes (Normal, Hard and Nightmare) to select from to test your skills. If you are looking for a spooky game to play over the Halloween season, definitely check out Worse Than Death. Benjamin Rivers Inc is known for their excellent storytelling and it looks like Worse Than Death is no exception to this.

Written for the October 18th issue of DailyBits.