asylumjam.pngThe second annual Asylum Jam concluded recently. The goal of the jam is to create a horror game without using tropes that exploit or demean the mentally ill. There were 50 games submitted in total, created in just 48 hours.

You can sort through all the entries, ranked according to a recent vote, on Asylum Jam's official page, or check out the three samples I've selected below.

Lullaby (PC, Mac, Linux)

lullaby.jpgDespite being extremely sluggish to control, Lullaby is a pretty cool game with an ending that's worth playing through to the end for.

The game is set in a seemingly empty house, with nobody there but you, a baby, and a mysterious black mist that occasionally creeps out of a room at the far end of the hall. Typical babysitting gig.

The aforementioned demonic mist only shows itself when you're not holding the baby, but the problem is, when you are holding the baby, you can't interact with objects like doors or items - things you need to escape.

You have to act quickly then, going back and forth between important areas, solving puzzles while still making sure to bring the baby along when you can afford it. The puzzles aren't spectacular, but the ending adds a pretty cool touch to the whole thing.


Blossom (PC, Mac, Linux, Browser)

blossom.pngBlossom is not a perfect game by any means, but it does something very interesting with what limited time allotted.

Your only goal in the game is to wander your home during a presumed blackout, with nothing but a broken lighter. Floating text appears to narrate and instruct during the game. The home itself is empty and bland - at least what little of it you can see.

The actual tension comes from the way the lighter functions, or rather, doesn't function. To flick it on and keep it on, you have to hold down on the left mouse button. What feels like 90% of the time, the flame won't keep, so your only option during the majority of the game is to click as rapidly as you can to keep the light on.

This flickering effect is disorienting and unnerving on its own, even when the game itself offers little else to cower over. A neat experiment with a good mechanic.


Atticus (Browser)

atticus.jpgThis is easily one of the best looking Asylum Jam games this year. It's a point and click adventure game with some beautifully hand drawn scenes, and a pretty challenging puzzle early on.

There isn't much to say beyond that. If you like old school adventure games, give Atticus a try.