October 25, 2013 3:33 PM | Paul Hack
Have you heard of Aokigahara, the so-called "Suicide Forest" in Japan? It's a real place, and is supposedly the second most popular suicide spot in the world (after the Golden Gate Bridge). It's more genially known as the "Sea of Trees", and lots of people go there to get lost in the woods and take their own lives. The forest is regularly searched by workers who are tasked with retrieving the bodies. Wouldn't that be a great setting for a horror game? Well, 2Quarter Studios saw the potential and have used the premise for their debut title, Run into the Dark.
This short, first-person, 3-D horror experience casts you in the role of one of the "body finders" employed at Aokigahara. On the surface, the experience is similar to Slender, as you explore the forest with your flashlight just knowing that something's watching you. Your task is to find two bodies, find a gate key, and exit the woods alive. But of course it's not that easy.
Some believe that all of the death in the forest has infected the place with evil spirits. In this game, that is certainly the case. Impish things called Iwazaru lurk among the trees, and if they see you, they'll make an ungodly screech that summons another spirit, Kikazaru. This twisted monster will begin to pursue you, making a horrible sound that gets more abrasive as it closes in on you, and it won't stop until you join the other corpses that litter the forest floor.
The setting is appropriately creepy, and the Japanese iconography gives your surroundings a different feeling than your typical first-person game of being stalked in the woods. If you're looking for a free 3-D horror snack that stands out from the pack, Run into the Dark fits the bill.