finds: March 2023

Church of Stratum (Prologue)

From Break Even Games, developer of my favorite pick from last month Northwood Legacy, comes another prologue/demo puzzle Church of Stratum. Featuring similarly-gorgeous graphics and atmosphere, this was a fun game to play. There were a couple parts that I got stuck and had to refer to the play-through video, but otherwise I got through it on my own. The ending is very sudden and a little lackluster, mostly because I was not ready to stop playing and wanted more!


A short exploration of a seemingly-abandoned house, Contemp features very nice graphics and sound design. The design of the house was really good and felt very cramped and claustrophobic. Like Church of Stratum, I was left wanting much more of this game!

Dead Containment

I have always been terrible at on-rail shooters, but Dead Containment is a lot of fun!

Feet in the Snow

A wonderfully eerie and strange adventure game, Feet in the Snow is a really nice change of pace from other games, as it certainly takes its time and I would recommend really looking around each scene/screen.


A very intriguing and creepy point-and-click, INVITATIONEM is genuinely one of the scariest games I’ve played in a good while. Running the game in-browser worked ok, but I’d really like to see an updated native application for it. The puzzles and inventory management worked really well and never got in the way.

Mooshie’s Kitchen

The greatest PC game ever created: it is not Half-Life, not Left 4 Dead, not Doom. It is Mooshie’s Kitchen. Go play it.

Re Watch

A short but very interesting and haunting experience, Re Watch really impressed me. The ending will definitely hit you hard, provided you’re not a soul-less zombie.

Rooted in Darkness

A very short but enjoyable and atmospheric game, Rooted in Darkness deserves more time and development to bring us more!

Security Booth

Although very short, Security Booth was a lot of fun and definitely left me wanting more. I liked the concept, and there was quite a bit of tension while waiting for the next car and odd sounds coming up.


A fun adventure with only a few quirks of pixel-hunting and trying different item combinations, Shiver really impressed me. There was a little bit of backtracking, but overall it was a good length and would work great as a prologue or part 1 for a larger game.


A fun and different take on a lidar game, SUB has a beautiful atmosphere and music as you explore and fire off the sonar rays.

VHS Slaughter

A fun scary game similar to other “normal boring jobs interrupted” games, VHS Slaughter does take its time before the strange and scary things start to appear. The only disappointment is the ending; you’re given two choices, to call either the police or the number of the abductor. The former will get you killed, while the latter just abruptly ends the game.

Artwork find: Brian Kotzky

Both the Hardy Boys Casefiles and Christopher Pike books were a huge part of my childhood and a reason I continued to enjoy reading through my teens and up until the present. Like anyone else, of course, I can’t help but judge a book by its cover. Luckily, both series had an incredible cover artist for most of their books that instantly drew in younger and older readers alike: Brian Kotzky. The son of comic illustrator Alex Kotzky, Brian painted a large number of book covers along with continuing his father’s comic strip, Apartment 3-G, for a few years after his death.

Among all of the covers that Kotzky has done, some of my favorites would have to include Die Softly and See No Evil (pictured above). My absolute favorite? That would have to be the cover for Christopher Pike’s See You Later. It perfectly matches Pike’s tendency to mix horror with science fiction and mystery.

YouTube find: Smosh Pit

Apparently I missed out on quite a bit on YouTube back in the day, including various comedy sketch channels along with Let’s Plays (I didn’t get into Markiplier or similar until 2016 or so). One the longest-running and well-known is Smosh, which has now branched into several channels including Smosh Games and my favorite, Smosh Pit. Along with Smosh co-founder Ian Hecox, this channel features Shayne “Chosen” Topp, Courtney Freakin Miller, Olivia Sui, Damien Haas, and other regulars doing a wide variety of skits, try not to laughs, and other videos. finds: February 2023


A very short walking simulator, DESCEND is very atmospheric and engaging. It certainly left me wanting a LOT more!


Out of all the games on this list, let alone I’ve ever played, DREAMDISC is one of the most surreal. It’s appropriately named, as many of the super-short areas do feel straight out of a dream. The graphics and sound design really work well, and though the overall game is short, it absolutely leaves an impression and encourages re-playing just to continue enjoying the immersion.

Fear the Spotlight

If there’s a game that really hearkens back to the graphics, atmosphere, and mood of classic horror-survivor games, it’s Fear the Spotlight. Thankfully the controls and inventory management are far more refined than those older games. The enemy, while a bit goofy and not scary per-se, were fun to hide and sneak around. The full game is in development, and I look forward to seeing how it turns out.


A bit different from the other lidar games I’ve tried so far, InfraRED uses “flashes” of invisible beams rather than requiring the player to hold down the mouse button to constantly scan. It can be a little more jarring and quite a surprise what might suddenly be revealed. Like the other lidar games there’s an enemy roaming around, and the level itself is a bit smaller than I liked. Regardless, the graphics and immersion were great and left me wanting more.

The Keeper

Oof. Among the normal horror games in these lists, The Keeper is more of an emotional jab. Crashing into the shore (of an island?), you must make your way to the home and lighthouse. The graphics, fog, and atmosphere are amazing. The only thing that was a bit jarring was the player’s voice; too much of an accent for my taste.


Of the few lidar games I’ve discovered and played so far, LIDAR.EXE is my favorite. I enjoy its graphics and atmosphere so much I’ve re-played it countless times. The second level is a bit small and the sudden ending isn’t great, but I enjoy just walking around, whether I’ve hardly used the scanner or blasted every corner to a bright white. I was actually pretty scared when I first encountered the enemy, as I played it several times without encountering it at all!

Lost Lab

A fun lidar game utilizing colored dots, Lost Lab is a much larger area to explore compared to LIDAR.EXE, and the enemy chasing you can kill you and end the game if you’re not careful. Ultimately that’s what happened to me before I could find all 3 artifacts, but I had fun roaming around and seeking every corner.

A Mall Near You

A game that deftly mixes horror, comedy, liminal spaces, and more, A Mall Near You is a great fun short experience. Starting with your mom dropping you off and then hauling off, you wander the mall looking to return items, gain money, and purchase gifts before the mall closes. When it does all of a sudden, you begin to wonder what’s going on and if you’ll actually make it out…

Missing Hiker

After mostly enjoying Gemezl’s previous game Driving Home in last month’s post, I was happy to see the next release, Missing Hiker. While this is also a fairly short game, it also had a great atmosphere and a scary ending. I didn’t mention in the previous review but one thing lacking in both is sound design and ambient noises. In this game for example you supposedly hear a scream after falling asleep in your tent, but I didn’t hear anything. Also, while walking in the woods there should be rustling of leaves and trees, occasional footsteps that could be an animal or a stalking killer, etc. Things like that go a long way to make a complete and immersive experience.

Night Of

Like Fear the Spotlight, Night Of really reminded me of classic survival-horror games. While a short abandoned game/demo, I had a lot of fun playing this, and the graphics and atmosphere rivaled anything I’ve played in quite awhile.

Northwood Legacy

Out of all the games I’ve tried from so far, Northwood Legacy might actually be my favorite. I’m a sucker for mysteries and adventure games, especially those that have little or no combat or other time-dependent stressful features. I was immediately taken in by the graphics, sound design, interface, and of course the story. I had fun exploring the house and finding different clues, notes, and keys. While short like most other games/demos I’ve tried, it certainly didn’t feel as short, and I would really like to play more games like this!

Stick to the Plan

Discovered through’s front page, Stick to the Plan is a wonderful little puzzle game. It has simple but ingenious controls, and each stage is a nice progression in difficulty. I’m glad to hear new levels and other items are forthcoming, I look forward to them!


Courtney Campbell, RPG blogger and writer, has a Kickstarter (already funded!) for an old-school cyberpunk RPG. This is inspired by another popular cyberpunk RPG, where magic has returned and intertwines with the 1980’s aesthetic. While I don’t have a Kickstarter account anymore, I am VERY intrigued by this, and will certainly be checking it out on DriveThruRPG once it’s released.

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