Dap is a cutesy horror game set in a forest that wants to eat you alive

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I love games that manage to pull off the delicate balance of being cute-but-creepy and the game that's currently turning my 'awws' to 'aahs!' is horror adventure Dap. The top-down indie has you control a ghostly sprite—called a dap—who is on a mission to rescue its fellow spirits from an infected forest filled with monsters.

Starting as a single dap, you need to navigate through the dark undergrowth and find other daps that will then join your group. Although they look a little dead inside, the daps are a chirpy bunch and when one joins your group you can give them simple commands like 'wait' and 'follow' as you get them to safety. 

I can't help but feel super protective over my creepy, ghost family. Guiding these child-like creatures through a forest gives Dap a psychedelic fairytale vibe, like Hansel and Gretel but with more sharp teeth and blood. There's one moment where you come across a clearing where lots of little bodies have been scattered about and unnerved is certainly one word for what I felt.

The monsters you fight are just as creepy. There are floating masses of tendrils, plants with huge, gaping jaws, and possessed daps that fly into a rage when they see you. You're not completely helpless and have a melee and spell attack to protect your group, and when you have more daps in your party they can help you charge-up stronger attacks. There's definitely strength in numbers, but there are parts where you have to scout ahead on your own, and suddenly going from ten daps to one makes you feel super vulnerable.

I've not played much else like Dap, and I'm keen to find out more about this otherwordly place—there are hints of god-like monsters further into the game. The developers, Meltingparrot, don't currently have a release date for Dap, but the demo is about an hour long and free to play over on itch.io. For more cute creepiness, check out Ghostbutter's Penko Park, an eerie Pokémon Snap game set in an abandoned wildlife reserve.

Rachel Watts

Rachel had been bouncing around different gaming websites as a freelancer and staff writer for three years before settling at PC Gamer back in 2019. She mainly writes reviews, previews, and features, but on rare occasions will switch it up with news and guides. When she's not taking hundreds of screenshots of the latest indie darling, you can find her nurturing her parsnip empire in Stardew Valley and planning an axolotl uprising in Minecraft. She loves 'stop and smell the roses' games—her proudest gaming moment being the one time she kept her virtual potted plants alive for over a year.