Fallow demo is heavy on American Gothic, exploration and atmosphere


Between Black Friday and the Steam sale and all the games in your backlog, you might feel like you don't need any more interactive entertainment in your life, but I urge you to make some time for the beautiful, atmospheric Fallow, of which a demo appeared on itch.io this month. Particularly if you like the American Gothic of True Detective, Gabriel Knight, certain episodes of The X-Files, or, er, American Gothic itself. I've been exploring Rook's game this afternoon, and it's one of the most elegant adventures I've played in ages.

Fallow puts you in the role of one Isabelline Fallo, a somnambulist in a strange, crumbling version of America that's a little different to the strange, crumbling America that exists for us. There are puzzles to solve, notes to find, and a story and mythology to unravel, in a game that, so far, appears to let you get on with things without intruding with advice, or stuffing collectibles or characters everywhere. Fallow is a game of exploration and investigation, and it's shaping up to be a damn fine one too.

You can download the demo here, and there's a trailer below.

Tom Sykes

Tom loves exploring in games, whether it’s going the wrong way in a platformer or burgling an apartment in Deus Ex. His favourite game worlds—Stalker, Dark Souls, Thief—have an atmosphere you could wallop with a blackjack. He enjoys horror, adventure, puzzle games and RPGs, and played the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII with a translated script he printed off from the internet. Tom has been writing about free games for PC Gamer since 2012. If he were packing for a desert island, he’d take his giant Columbo boxset and a laptop stuffed with PuzzleScript games.