We’ve already suggested some games that you might like to play this Halloween. But playing a videogame is often an experience that runs over a few days rather than just one night. So, if you’re looking for a gaming experience on Halloween that will go from beginning to end in the same amount of time it will take for you to watch a horror movie, you might want to give The Park a look. The Park is a narrative driven, rollercoaster experience of a game that is, funnily enough, set in an amusement park. The amusement park in question is called Atlantic Island Park and it is, of course, abandoned, probably haunted, and creepy as hell.
In the game you take up the role of single mother Lorraine, who is taking her young son Callum to see the park she used to visit as a child. But Callum loses his teddy bear, and whilst Lorraine is distracted talking to the man in the ticket booth, he runs back into the closed park to find it. After you’re done personally cursing Callum you’ll find yourself searching through the dilapidated park for him. You could probably guess the park has a dark history and nothing is quite as it seems and although this is predictable, it doesn’t feel too laboured.
The linear story of The Park is fairly simple to play, and you’ll mostly find yourself exploring by walking around, inspecting details, and uncovering horrors to progress the story both of the setting and Lorraine herself. The game is mostly a walking simulator, and you won’t get lost as the setting is not particularly big; following the path in the way the game wants ensures you won’t miss anything. The game has a great atmosphere that keeps your heart fluttering even when there are no obvious scares, an intriguing story, and an enjoyable amount of lore to uncover.
The Park itself isn’t the only troubled thing in the story; Lorraine’s well-acted voiceover narration reveals a dark character who has struggled through enough hardships and grief without this experience added on top. You find yourself connecting with Lorraine and this game is most definitely her story; her character is strong and you care more about her than getting to the next jump scare, which, fortunately, aren’t over-used. Another positive when it comes to the use of jump scares is that you don’t feel like they’re there just for the sake of it, they’re tied specifically to Lorraine’s own fears in a way that adds to the story.
The Park is a short game that’s a good replacement for a horror movie this Halloween. It’s nothing overwhelmingly new in terms of the horror genre, and definitely don’t buy it if you’re looking a survival horror experience, but it’s a good addition as a narrative adventure. The game isn’t exactly frightening as much as it is creepy, achieving a disturbing tone that ties in realistic problems for its characters.
The Park is available now on Steam for £7.69, a reasonable price for a reasonable scare.
Main Image via Steam