Solis is a free first-person exploration game for Windows from developer Carbonado. Set on an abandoned spaceship, it's atmospheric and focused on a strange environment. Like the most effective horror movies, Solis relies on sound and visuals to create tension instead of relying on the instant effect of jump scares.
The graphics are low-resolution while the whole environment is almost pitch-black. All these aspects are combined to put you firmly in the centre of the story as you try to learn about the events that led to your finding. For more relaxed first-person games, check out Good Dog and FurnCap.
You're a scrap dealer drifting through space looking for your next money-making cargo. Suddenly, you come across what looks like an abandoned ship; your scanners don't show any signs of life onboard.
You're unable to resist your curiosity and see a potential business opportunity, so you're compelled to go aboard and explore. You put on your helmet and suit and grab your flashlight and radio, making your way in.
The key to the ominous atmosphere that's conjured up in Solis is the minimal use of sound. Apart from intermittent, eerie background sounds and your own breathing, there's little else. Hearing your own breathing suddenly quicken is enough to increase tension; as a result, you expect something horrible to happen at any second.
Along with the highly effective use of sound, the developer has created a strong sense of foreboding. Furthermore, your flashlight is unreliable. The combination of creepy background sounds and sudden darkness keeps you on edge all the time.
Solis is a free, short, first-person experience. It shows a tremendous amount of promise for Carbonado's future projects. This game proves that you don't need to resort to the instant effect of jump scares to create an intimidating gaming environment.