This indie adventure has you playing the hapless security guard from every horror movie

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Oh yeah, I'm thinking it's time for a new indie genre name: the night shift sim. Interference: Dead Air (opens in new tab) is building off the likes of Five Nights at Freddy's or Security Booth (opens in new tab) to tell a new tale of after hours supernatural woe in a first person adventure releasing February 2.

Interference is set in the 1980s in the Southwest, still in the heyday of Sun Belt military contractors and far-out hippie UFO chasing. As an employee of the not at all ominously-named Barclay Institute, it's up to you to… mostly just hang out and vibe as an underpaid rent-a-cop.

Things go wrong, as they are wont at "institutes" out in the desert, and it's left to the lone schmuck security guard on the outside to save those within. Or not, as the case may be. Developer Fear of Corn cites playthroughs as only taking around one hour, and you've got just as much incentive to goof around in your meticulously-rendered little office as you do to engage with Interference's puzzle gameplay.

I tried out Interference's free demo on Steam, and I came away impressed with its presentation. The security booth is really lovingly furnished, with a smorgasbord of fully-interactible office clutter that reminds me of Dr. Kleiner's lab from Half-Life 2⁠—a real, "if you can see it, you can pick it up and maybe break it" sort of game. I've also got high hopes for Interference's central navigation mechanic.

Your office has a cork board-pinned map of the Barclay Institute, and your friend on the inside needs help finding her way out. Through a combination of radioed communication and keeping track of her on your board with some handy push pins, you might just help this scientist survive the night. 

It weirdly reminds me of an absolutely ancient game, 1983's Suspended: A Cryogenic Nightmare (opens in new tab) by Infocom. That text-based game came with actual, physical maps and tokens you had to use to keep track of your digital colonists as you guided them through saving their habitat. If you're interested in learning more about Interference ahead of its February 2 release, you can check out its demo yourself and wishlist it on Steam (opens in new tab).

Associate Editor

Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.