The Town of Light trailer is predictably dark

The Town of Light

See that thing up there? That's a creepy doll, beloved of horror film directors and pre-horror-film children everywhere. Said doll, along with the rusty beds, dirty baths, and dilapidated asylum setting featured in the following trailer, make me a tad sceptical of upcoming horrorventure game The Town of Light.

I say 'horrorventure', firstly because I'm a terrible portmanteau man, and secondly because I'm not quite sure what The Town of Light is. Is it a horror game? Is it an adventure game? Is there really much of a difference? (Like, isn't everything an adventure, man?) Developers reckon it's both, and who am I to disagree?

Two things I'm sure of are that it's very pretty indeed, and that the voiceover/music made me feel sad. I'm as sick of asylums, and their often harmful depictions of mental health, as anybody, but I'm sensing a note of humanity/empathy to The Town of Light that I don't often see in games of this ilk. Here's a bit from the Steam Greenlight page that makes me optimistic:

"The Town of Light is a first-person psychological experience with locations and characters inspired by real events, made by the independent studio Our goal is to recreate the experiences, the anguish and the human drama of patients living in mental institutions up to the end of the last century: both the pain of mental disease and the horrors patients underwent within the walls of the institutions where they were being 'treated'."

We'll know for sure in Autumn, which is when The Town of Light is due out, but for now I'm quietly hopeful about this game set in a real-world Italian asylum.

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.