If you scream while playing Don't Scream you have to restart the game

Some games tell you everything you need to know in the title. Don't Starve is a classic example. It's a game about how you need to eat to live. Don't Scream is the same, only there's an added layer of challenge. It's a horror game where, if you scream in real life, the game starts over.

Of course, that means you need a microphone to play it. As Don't Scream's Steam page explains, "You must calibrate your microphone in-game so that every whimper, jump, or even a minor squeak is registered as a scream, increasing the challenge." That doesn't mean you can't make any noise—low talking is acceptable—but even a "quiet gasp" counts as a failure. "You could bypass calibration to shout through scares," the developers go on to explain, "but it'd spoil the thrill. For a genuine horror experience play as designed."

Don't Scream aims to replicate a found-footage horror movie like The Blair Witch Project, only with a runtime of 18 minutes instead of 81. You explore the spooky Pineview Forest with a camcorder, and the timer only ticks down when you move. There will apparently be "dozens of dynamic scares" to test your bravery along the way.

What happens if you make it to the end of the 18-minute runtime? Since Don't Scream apparently hasn't "no story" but plenty of "lore", I don't expect there'll be much to its climax beyond a final jumpscare and a Steam achievement, but it's about the journey not the destination, as incredibly tiresome people love to explain.

Don't Scream is being made by two indie developers who go by Joure & Joe. It's scheduled to release into early access on October 27 this year, and the developers plan to add more scares, expanded lore, optional objectives, and more over the course of its time in early access.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and Playboy.com, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.