As someone who has quite a soft spot for both the psychological horror of early Silent Hill games and the unique low-poly aesthetic of the 32-bit PlayStation/Sega Saturn era, The Tartarus Key immediately grabbed my attention when I saw it start to pop up online. Seeing a lot of big budget horror games largely rely on in-your-face jumpscares for their value threw me off the genre for quite some time, not wanting to partake in that kind of cheap substitute for genuinely unsettling stories. And it’s clear that indie studio Vertical Reach had this in mind as well when working on this game, with that sense of unease coming from every bit of the world presented. When the gruesome environment combines with building tension to where even the slightest shake or out-of-place noise leaves you questioning your surroundings, it’s a sure sign that you’re in quite an unforgettable horror experience. (more…)
Joan Zahra Dark is a writer, organizer, and interdisciplinary artist. They love talking about queer comics, stories that can only be told through interactive mediums, worker cooperatives and gay robots. They’re based in Queens, NYC.