Fears To Fathom is the debut adventure horror game from developer Rayll. It’s a free game and the first episode of a planned episodic storyline.
The game has a retro aesthetic similar to the VHS video effect and photo-realistic graphics. Having been left alone overnight while your parents are away working, you must overcome your fears and fathom the strange unfolding events. Survivors of these events supply the in-game narration. Maintaining the first-person gameplay, you’ll occasionally receive text messages from NPCs (non-playable characters). If you're looking for an alternative psychological horror game, check out Northbury Grove and Still Ridge.
The almost true-to-life graphics are highly effective at making you feel like you’re in the environment. At the same time, the VHS effect creates an edgy atmosphere that takes its cue from first-person horror movies such as The Blair Witch Project.
You are 14-year-old Miles, and you've been left alone in the house overnight while your parents work out of town. Although you're home alone, you still have your trusty mobile phone that you can use to exchange text messages with other characters, including your mum and your teen friends.
Unfortunately, although the game runs smoothly, the main problem is that there’s no indication of what you need to do next to move the plot along. When on-screen hints appear, they tend to disappear too quickly. As a result, you have to decide whether to hide until something happens or deliberately put yourself in harm’s way to force the story forward.
The ‘home alone’ setting of the game fits the tense setting, but the inability to turn on the lights in the house, with no reason given for the apparent blackout, makes it very difficult to see across the room.
Is there more to come?
Yes, the developer plans to make this an episodic game. If you'd like to support Rayll's work in creating future episodes, you can make a donation before downloading the game.
Fears to Fathom is an extremely promising first episode. If supported by the gaming community, it could become a significant presence in the world of indie horror adventures. The gameplay is smooth and the atmosphere is suitably tense, so give it a try and support future episodes.