Subject 65 is a short, but chilling horror game for Windows created by developer Max Horror. It's set in a mysterious, abandoned psychiatric hospital that's been the subject of local rumours for years. Unable to resist the temptation any longer, you decide to investigate in search of answers. The game is available to download and play for free.
The concept of the game is nothing new, of course, but the execution is extremely effective. The graphics are some of the best we've seen, the audio is extremely effective without being obtrusive, and the game flows nicely. If you fancy a change of setting for your horror mystery games, take a look at Fears to Fathom (your own home) and Solis (an abandoned spaceship).
There are many up-and-coming developers who are technically capable of producing very good quality audio and visuals in their games. However, some of them rely too heavily on long passages of text to set the scene and move the plot along.
Subject 65 doesn't force you to plough through swathes of text in order to understand the backstory. Any notes that you find around the hospital are well-written: they’re descriptive but succinct so, they help to progress the story without pulling you out of the experience.
The visuals in Subject 65 are extremely well done. The use of light and shadow (in what is a dark, gloomy environment) is perfect. There's enough light from logical sources, such as vending machines, to make them look realistic, and it's never so dark that you can't make anything out.
As the graphics in the game, the audio is at the perfect level. It successfully contributes to the atmosphere, creating a constant sense of foreboding. It doesn't dominate, though the developer has cleverly blended it into the game to make it feel more realistic, rather than make it feel like a separate element.
Our key takeaway from Subject 65 Is that it's an extremely well-balanced game. As well as audio and lighting levels being ideal - helping to make it extremely suspenseful - we were also impressed with the developer’s thoughtfulness.
Often, it's the small elements that make a game feel more complete. This horror game definitely benefits from the attention to detail, and the way it’s been put together.