Ludum Dare is a rapid game creation community, creating fully playable games in weekends or even within 24 hours. One contribution from the independent studio Hypnotic Owl with the title The Day The Laughter Stopped is worth playing before you read my initial reaction to it but the game does come with a HUGE TRIGGER WARNING. However, this trigger warning is on the start menu for this game so you can read it there*
I'm not great with horror games as the tension really does get to me and I really wanted to stop playing so as not to see what happened next but since humans can't always easily 'press quit' or 'try again' I carried on and just felt dread the whole time. So well done game.
I felt super nervous as I went on and although my choices even from the start weren't what I wanted to happen I felt that the character of the protagonist was believable enough that I didn't feel like the game lost too much credibility there. I tried to get away from the situation but the story kept justifying why I couldn't do so. However, I found it believable that someone could feel and act in that way so that was acceptable to me.
I was happy to see that they didn't go for the 'random attacker' for the game's villain. What they went for was much closer to the reality with the attacker being someone that the protagonist had some degree of truth and faith in, as well as the attacker being part of the protagonist's social circle/local community.
The trigger warning* is welcome but I feel this game is important for those least likely to be triggered to really try and engage with without imposing your own will and experience on the 14 year old girl you're meant to be playing as. If you get into the RP of it reasonably well this game will get to you, but I think the privileged of us really need getting got to quite frankly.
*which by the way is really quite stellar and hugely considerate.
by Jak Marshall