The Witch's House
Created by Fummy and translated by vgperson, the free indie horror adventure The Witch's House combines the surreal creepiness of Ib with tricks, traps, and a whole lot of gore. As 13 year old Viola, you awaken to find yourself alone in a strange forest, watched over by a talking black cat that seems largely apathetic towards your fate. The way out of the woods is blocked by a wall of red roses, but there's a house with a door opened wide in welcome. That's not suspicious at all. Still, Viola's got no other choice but to head on in, and throughout the five floors that comprise the bizarre house she now finds herself trapped in she's going to encounter a lot more than cobwebs and broomsticks.
Use the [arrow] keys to move, and the [spacebar] to interact, hitting [X] or [ESC] to open your status screen and inventory. You can save your game whenever you talk to the cat, and that's one privilege you should probably take advantage of since, uh, well, Viola is full of squishy red meat and this house is hostile. Keep your eyes peeled for danger everywhere, but also for clues as to how to get past hazards. There's nowhere to go in the witch's house but up, and each floor presents different puzzles and challenges for you to outwit or die trying... literally. Heck, just walking in the door can mean becoming a Viola sandwich. Of course, if you want to make it out and find out the truth behind the house and the strange spectre that seems to be following you, you'll have to brave much bigger and stranger dangers than a mere flattening. Especially if you're intrepid enough to find out the true ending and a bunch of other secrets besides.
The Witch's House may have some moments of masterful terror, but for the most case it's more about being shocking. The story winds up taking a backseat to providing an experience somewhat like going through a theme park haunted house. Just when you think you have it pegged as a slow, subtle crawl through surreal imagery and creepy corner-of-your-eye fleeting creatures, it turns into an absolutely bananas chase sequence with giant angry skulls, thrown swords, vengeful giant bears, and more. It's a lot of fun, provided you don't mind terrible things like being rendered into a fine red mist or tearing her own eyes out happening to a little girl when you screw up, and the moments of subtler creepiness do manage to balance out the more outright weirdness. The downside is that some of the clues for solving puzzles can be almost too vague to the point where they blend into the background with all the other useless interactive objects you can find, and wrapping your head around each obstacle's strange logic can usually mean a few fatal tries. But is it worth it? If you're a fan of horror that keeps you on the edge of your seat and tries to make you jump out of it more than once, absolutely. The Witch's House is a gory, moody, fantastic little adventure to spend an evening with, especially with the lights turned down low and your speakers turned up.
Note: You must install the free RPG Maker VX RTP in order to play The Witch's House.
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Thanks to Hyena for sending this one in!