Dead Estate by Milkbar Lads is a free indie game that places you inside a spooky monster-filled mansion. Its isometric design, silly zombies, and pixelated art might seem lighthearted at first, but it gets more frightening as you climb the floors, uncovering new horrors at each.
A house of frights
Shooter games inspired by horror stories are no novelty for gamers. From highly-developed, popular titles like Doom Eternal to tiny niche ones like FAITH, the eerie atmosphere has inspired developers for ages now. Dead Estate takes an initially gruesome idea and puts a unique spin to it, however—making it a gory, quick tactical challenge more than an atmospheric horror quest.
This game takes place inside a four-story mansion, each floor representing a level. You start at the front door, and your objective is to climb to the top. However, monsters await in each room you enter, seeking to prevent you from reaching your goal.
The mechanics are straightforward, but the events on-screen can get frantic at times, especially as you progress to higher levels. To start, you’ll choose among the two playable characters, each with sets of strengths and weaknesses. Once you spawn inside the house, you’ll explore your environment, look for a key, and find the correct door. You’ll eventually unlock the right one and fight a boss to ascend.
The gameplay is quite varied, too, with 25 weapons and 50 items for you to pick up and take advantage of in your next combat. The game gets increasingly difficult with each floor, so make sure you’re saving HP and gathering tools.
Wholesome and funny visuals
Another element that makes Dead Estate stand out is its bloody yet goofy visuals by Sprite Art. The game manages to keep you engaged with its style—especially in the comic book-like cutscenes—and the isometric view is very retro. The fights are chaotic and funny, and the rooms resemble roguelike dungeon crawler games at times, giving a unique flair to this title.
Overall, Dead Estate is an immersive shooter as much as it is horror. It’s a unique challenge for the players with its continually-changing monsters and maps, forcing you to employ strategic thinking for every next enemy you encounter. It’s a must-try title for any indie fan looking for new talents to explore from their PCs.