This retro horror demo has some of the best first-person platforming around

It's long past time we put to bed the idea that first-person platforming doesn't work, when even the retro thrillseekers working under the Haunted PS1 label are giving games like Titanfall and Mirror's Edge a run for their money.

Lorn's Lure, from developer Rubeki, is a terrifying descent into a brutalist, bottomless pit. It's not strictly horror, but the infinite void you're descending feels impossibly foreboding, a sense only added to by the game's sparse, throwback aesthetics.

Not that it would matter if Lorn's platforming didn't feel utterly sublime. Thankfully, this tiny thriller has some of the best first-person movement I've felt in years. It really does feel like an indie take on Titanfall, sans wallrunning—fast run speeds, a healthy degree of air control, and a generous mantle onto ledges you didn't quite reach. Even if you miss a jump, a quick press of a button will reset you to the last safe ledge.

The game really shows its hand when it hands you a pair of climbing picks. Sheer cliffs suddenly become shortcuts, opening new routes and providing a last-minute lifeline for failed leaps. Not every surface is climbable, and you've got limited stamina to hang on to—and with these restrictions in place, the platforming suddenly becomes dense with climbing puzzles.

It may be small, but I'm already excited to see how speedrunners tackle this thing—bounding between thin poles and crooked ledges at frightening speeds. I'll be right behind them, anxiously avoiding fatal falls as I slowly uncover more about this endless, terrifying hole in the ground.

Lorn's Lure is coming to Steam sometime next year, with a fairly hefty free demo available to try now.

Natalie Clayton
Features Producer

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time, and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and a part-time game developer herself, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She also unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.