What mental disorder evokes in your Neverending Nightmares!
This beautifully designed little game Neverending Nightmares, is developed by Infinitap Games and inspired by the lead designer Matt Gilgenbach. The game draws its influence from Gilgenbach's own personal struggle with obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression.
He stated that he was attempting to recreate the sense of terror, bleakness and hopelessness that consumes him and instilling that, not only into the game but in the player, as they play Neverending Nightmares.
Neverending Nightmares plot!
In the game you play as Thomas, a man who experiences that awful sensation of waking up in a dream only to discover that he is has entered another (has this ever happened to you? I have a vague memory of this happening a long time ago. It's not pleasant). In this sense the game is nothing like Inception...at all!
As you progress through the game, awakening from one nightmare simultaneously acts as a save point as you jump up in your bed once again. Each nightmare becomes increasingly more terrifying, always ending when something traumatic occurs or damage is inflicted upon Thomas (sometimes intentional harm). Like this horrible moment.
As you wake up from a dream you may now have something in your room from the last dream that you located, such as a candle, which lights up an area that consumed you in darkness earlier, or an axe which can be used to break through a previously locked door.
As the nightmares become progressively worse, the monsters lurking within them do too. Generally you are thrown out of the dream when they come too close as the intense mental depression and terror becomes too much for Thomas. The game is evocative of the troubles that go on within the minds of mentally disordered people. They can continually be assaulted by things that are beyond their control, something which is clearly built into the game for the player to experience.
A Verdict on Neverending Nightmares!
The animation style of the game is very interesting, influenced by the work of Edward Gorey. It is mainly, as you can see, in this black and white pencil and pen style sketching. Though items throughout the world that are of importance or can be interacted with are in color. A clever device that lets you know what your objective is.
The music consistently eerie and the ambience is always scary. You never know when something is going to flash onto the screen or when you'll be hurled out of a room and out of the nightmare into another one.
The game does a remarkable job of demonstrating how horrific mental illness can be. Recently the world was devastated by the loss of Robin Williams, and this game lends you a small insight into the horrors that can pervade the mind of the depressed (though imagine: we get to turn the game off).
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is not how its portrayed in the likes of Sherlock Holmes where it lends you abilities in terms of noticing small details for crime scenes. It leaves you paranoid and constantly uneasy, leaving you to claw at things in the world finding yourself helpless to change them.
The game seems to be part of trend lately, what with the likes of Gone Home (did you guys play that?). I mean this in the sense that game designers are taking stories that are remarkably personal and laying them out in front of us all to play through. The game is extremely brave in this sense as it deals with something almost too personal to imagine.
It's an artistically challenging game that suffers from uneven pacing and a story that's just too short, but it is far more terrifying than any game where we are chased by a man with a chainsaw. Because this is internal terror, you can't outrun the horrors the reside within your head.
8/10! Will you guys be playing Neverending Nightmares? Let me know in the comments!