Thursday, January 19, 2017

Imaginary Friends for PC

“I had imaginary friends and even they were mean to me.” –Oliva Wilde

Source: Page

Imaginary Friends is a retro style horror RPG created by mannytsu using RPG Maker software. You play as 14-year-old Hailey, who has spent her entire summer vacation alone in her room. Her mother wants her to go outside and get together with her friends, but she doesn’t have any. When Hailey accompanies her mother and brother to the store, something strange begins to happen… Before she knows it, she finds herself in a strange world. To get home, Hailey will have to confront her childhood, and look deep inside herself so that she can move forward and grow.

I don’t play a lot of horror games, and I don’t know what made me decide to play this game to begin with, but I am glad that I did. For good portions of the game, I was just waiting for the jumpscares—but they didn’t come. No, the horror aspect of this game comes from the atmosphere of uncertainty and unease that are created. I use a headset with one ear piece because having both of my ears covered makes me anxious(I might miss something important, like if my daughter needs me), but I imagine the atmosphere would have been intensified if you used both. Particularly in the school towards the end of the game, the shuffling and whispers were pretty unnerving for me.

Source: Screen Capture from Game

I also died a lot in my playthrough, and I mean a lot. Everything and everyone is out to kill you, so save often. Make extra trips back to save points to save again. I must have saved 50 times by the end of my game. I came to think that everything was going to kill me, even inanimate objects—who knows what could happen.

The game is in a charming top down retro style, which I love. In addition to the sprites, drawn images appear of each character next to their dialogue boxes. The artwork for the characters is well done, and the environments are wonderfully made as well, able to be either dark and foreboding, or light and whimsical. The NPCs in the Cloud Kingdom are varied and interesting, as are the dolls in the doll house. All around the style of this game was great. The music and sound effects did a great job of complimenting the environments as well. 

One particular thing that I liked was that during some parts of the game, you would traverse though crayon dawn areas that would flow into the normal game backgrounds. This is something unique that I haven't seen in many games before, so I really liked that. 

Source: Screen Capture from Game

In addition to the horror aspect of the game, the game also has some great puzzles to solve. I did always enjoy a good puzzler. The puzzles aren’t overly difficult, but enough to make you think. I did get help up a little bit in the school because I wasn’t being thorough enough in my search for what I needed. There were puzzles I did not complete. There is a safe in the school that requires two different keys and a combination to open, but I only managed to find one of the keys.

The story is about loneliness, the difficulty of making new friends, and moving on. Hailey will need to reconcile her past friendships and move forward to make new friends. For as unsettling and tense as the game was, the ending was oddly uplifting. I appreciated the entire ride. Kudos to mannytsu for putting together such an amazing game.

Source: Screen Capture from Game

You can try this game for yourself by downloading the game for free on *here*. As always, I hope that you’ll also leave your words of encouragement and helpful criticism(if you have it), that way the creators and continue to develop their skills.

Happy Gaming, Friends!

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