31 Days Of Horror Games: Day 7

Here’s one I almost missed, but ended up blowin’ my mind.


Helltown is exactly what you expect. That’s a good thing. It knows what it is and focuses solely on being good at that thing. That thing, more exactly, being a spooky little theme park romp through a town inspired by The Stepford Wives, The Shining, Call of Cthulhu, and the like, all funneled through the lens of an early PS1 game style.

It’s unabashedly goofy. You run around mazes, avoiding over the top monsters in order to collect runes and perhaps solve some of the mysteries of the town. There’s a few jumpscares, some campy 40s music and conventional horror beats, it’s all stuff you’ve seen before. Yet it fuckin works, and so effortlessly does it still manage to ramp up the suspense and scare the bejeezus outta you like a solid horror flick.

The low-poly style is, as usual, effective in simply suggesting grotesquerie and letting the player’s paranoia and imagination fill in the rest. It’s a masterful little joyride, one that shouldn’t be missed if you’ve ever played a PS1 or Nintendo 64 game and thought they were maybe just a little bit creepy.

Helltown is available on Steam.

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Professional grump. Writes media criticism at WURRWALF.net. Whines on Twitter a lot. Likes rice.

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