The only other thing that could make this scenario of unsanitary sheets and restricted doorways any worse would a bout of that gosh darn inconvenient amnesia! Oh wait, ‘The Guest’ has that too? And low lighting teamed with uncomfortable droning ambient music?! Well, that’s just straight up nightmare fuel, right there!
Anywho, we’re getting off topic and exploring my irrational fears a little too much. ‘The Guest’ is a first person exploration game from indie studio Team Gotham, much in the same vein as The Fullbright Company’s ‘Gone Home‘. Only this time you’re a pill-popping Russian doctor trying to escape a single room, as opposed to a college girl rifling through old VHS tapes of the X-Files.
In an interview with Polygon, Lead artist and game designer Juan de la Torre said that Team Gotham aims to make the comforts of a hotel room unsettling; taking the perceived safety and subverting it to something menacing.
“There’s an interesting thing with familiar places,” he said. “For me, a familiar place can be creepier, because it’s normal. It’s like the image of a baby — you have a baby and you twist the image, it can be scary. I think it’s the same with rooms and homes. You’re used to it, but when things go wrong in a familiar place, it can be creepy.”
From the few snippets of gameplay, it looks like it follows the point and click formula of 90s classics like 7th Guest or any of the LucasArts games. Find item, use item on this item, receive puzzle, admit intellectual defeat and ring the 1800 tips line at $2.99 a minute- man, the 90s was a scary time for phone bills.
This design and scope was a specific choice by the creators though. “We couldn’t do something super big,” de la Torre said, “and we don’t want to do something super big, because we want to control what we were doing perfectly and focus on game design. Let’s take it easy and build a tiny room — and then we can scale the game to bigger rooms, or open spaces. One step at a time.”
If the claustrophobic environment and oppressing atmosphere wasn’t enough to sell you on it, well, it looks like it gets downright Lynch-ian / Aronofsky at points..yeah, I know. I’m in too!
The Guest is currently coming to Mac and Windows PC on Steam via Greenlight in early 2016.