Fear Equation is a horror sim set on a haunted train

Fear Equation 6

The world has been consumed by fog that brings nightmares to life and you've been awarded a leadership role on a train trapped in the evil murk, what do you do?

This bastard-hard job interview question also serves as the premise of Screwfly's upcoming horror management game, Fear Equation, which follows on from the almost-great Zafehouse Diaries and Deadnaut. Like its predecessors, Fear Equation simulates group behaviour in high-pressure scenarios. You send passengers out into the fog to acquire supplies, plot routes for the train and resolve arguments between faction leaders that can "swing the balance of power".

In Screwfly games your charges are as much a threat as the supernatural event that's destroying the world. In this scenario passenger dreams can come to life and kill you, so you have to monitor dream diaries "to discover what kind of horrors will attack the train—and how to defeat them". Fears include "devils", "spiders" and "getting old". If your passengers think you're doing a bad job, you get to experience a bonus nightmare called 'being thrown off a train by an angry mob'.

Fear Equation traps you in a carriage full of rusted cranks and old instruments. It's a weird train, but captures some of the submarine claustrophobia that worked so well in Deadnaut. It's full chunky analogue machinery that I want to tap and crank. Hopefully, like Soma and Alien: Isolation, Fear Equation can capture the tactile pleasure of operating big old machines.

Fear Equation is "coming soon". Here is the official site, if you're interested, and some screenshots.

Fear Equation 1

Fear Equation 2

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Fear Equation 6

Tom Senior

Part of the UK team, Tom was with PC Gamer at the very beginning of the website's launch—first as a news writer, and then as online editor until his departure in 2020. His specialties are strategy games, action RPGs, hack ‘n slash games, digital card games… basically anything that he can fit on a hard drive. His final boss form is Deckard Cain.