Spooky, low-poly 3D games are the new frontier for indie aesthetics (opens in new tab), and the latest evidence of that is the Haunted PS1 Wretched Weekend (opens in new tab). A 48-hour game jam held over the last weekend, it had just eight rules:
- Make a game to fill this cold empty void.
- Make it in 48 hours.
- It should have minimal gameplay.
- You may use a game you've started to make before.
- The majority of the game should be made during the jam.
- Featuring low poly models, pixel art, and possibly a pixelation filter if it's 3d.
- Use whatever you can to make the game.
- The game should be spooky.
The completed entrants are now available to play, and there are 69 of them. Included in that number is Rottenwood Lake (opens in new tab), which is oddly not the first combination of fishing game and horror I've played. After you catch some ugly fish in the fog you're sent off to track down three skulls in the creepy lake, while being pursued by a beast of the deep. Fortunately the skulls can be tracked because they emit a noise like Tuvan throat singing. It's an unusual one.
I also enjoyed my time exploring A Structure of Unknown Origin at Little Pine State Park (opens in new tab), Quiet Manor (opens in new tab), and P.A.R.I.S. La nuit en marche (opens in new tab), which is where I saw a gigantic projection of Kate Bush around a smaller screen that mashed up footage of student protests with snippets of movies like the Bela Lugosi Dracula. OK, they were all unusual ones.