The 3rd Night is a free adventure game that evokes classic survival horror

(Image credit: Asteristic Game Studio)

Like Resident Evil 7, free indie horror The 3rd Night manages to translate the feel of third-person survival horror to the first-person perspective. It's not quite as comprehensive as that mostly brill game, however, lacking combat, and length, and without any real scares to speak of. But it's still an atmospheric, authentic adventure game that feels convincingly like something you might have played in the late '90s.

Waking up in front of the TV after a little too much booze, you have to...well, your goal is never overtly explained, but the locked front door is a clue. The key lies at the end of a series of item-based puzzles: you've solved them before in Resident Evil, or Silent Hill, though these are simpler.

Where The 3rd Night really succeeds is in capturing the feeling of survival horror, with its tactile inventory system, and the room transitions that take the form of animated door-opening or staircase sequences—yep, just like in Resident Evil. Most of the constituent parts are here for a full-fledged survival horror, so it was a little disappointing to see the game end almost as soon as it had begun.

The fact that it's titled as a demo gives me hope for more 3rd Night, but even if the nightmare stops here, the game offers a neat blast of survival horror nostalgia, that will feel instantly recognisable to fans of the classic games.

For more great free experiences, check out our roundup of the best free PC games.

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.