If you like your nightmares with an extra helping of anime-inspired ultraweird, you've come to the right place.
Stray Cat Crossing is a 2D horror game that's coming to Steam soon (via Greenlight), but you can play a free demo right now. It's... unsettling. Think Studio Ghibli's Spirited Away, but with whimsy replaced by simmering bloodlust, or maybe the Persona series' stranger moments, sans combat. Check it out:
Here's the setup:
"You find yourself in a roadside clearing. A little girl named Cat is crying nearby. She needs you to take her home, where you'll encounter bizarre monsters, ethereal places, and heart-wrenching secrets about Cat and her family."
If the demo's any indication, the game will largely be puzzle-driven, with leaky fountains of strangeness springing up around every corner. The puzzles in the demo aren't exactly difficult. They operate on bizarro dream logic, but they're linear "go here, do this" affairs. However, the story's central mystery — what even in the fuck is all of this and why does that dog have a bald man baby head — was enough to keep me going. It's gross and menacing and a little bit scary. I want to play more.
The full game will apparently be about two hours long. Short, yes, but the developers plan to charge $US2.99 for it, and the demo will remain free for those on the fence. As ever, I'll take a short, focused experience over a lengthy, bloated one any... well, most days of the week. Stray Cat Crossing, a game featuring the mother of Koh The Face Stealer from Avatar: The Last Airbender, will be out on August 28th.