Free Indie Horror Game
The Ball Pit is a free indie horror game for Windows developed by Gloopo. This 10-minute game invites you to explore a deserted fast-food restaurant, called McDong’s. Despite the idyllic rural setting, inside, something’s not right. Whatever weird things happen,and whatever you do, don’t jump in the ball pit - you’ve been warned.
This free, first-person, 3D RPG is made even more effective by the contrast between the pleasant surroundings, and what awaits you inside. For more horror games that play on your childhood traumas to scare you, consider trying out Five Nights at Shrek’s Hotel or Sponge Massacre.
The Ball Pit takes a conventional setting, supposed to evoke reassuring memories, and does everything to make it creepy. It uses a ball pit - usually a source of fun and games for children, and asks the question: “Is there something hiding under these plastic balls?”
This works particularly well, thanks to the discarded fast food, which reinforces the sense of isolation. The game is short, taking about ten minutes to finish, but you’ll be tempted to play again to find the secrets and try to interact with every object in the creepy fast food outlet.
Limited actions for more fear
Your range of movement is limited, and you don’t have weapons to fight whatever’s coming for you, apart from a torch. You automatically feel vulnerable. The textures are simplistic, but it helps make you more uncomfortable. Anything in the shadows could be a monster about to pounce on you.
Humour to lighten the mood
Despite some really intense moments of horror, the game occasionally lightens the mood with some internet humour. Some references may seem obscure if you’re not familiar with meme culture, but it’s definitely enjoyable when you get it. It also helps you to take a breather from your nervy exploration, and you’ll eventually let your guard down before the next scare.
A short, fun horror game
The Ball Pit successfully turns the simples - into an exploration of the dark underbelly of that very environment. It’s a great idea, and the developer has done it to perfection with The Ball Pit. They’ve managed to create an extremely edgy atmosphere, sprinkled with laughs to temporarily lighten the mood. Watch out, though; the comedy is sandwiched between layers of scary stuff, so don’t get too relaxed!
The Ball Pit delivers a short horror adventure that you can finish in about ten minutes, but it’s eminently replayable, so well worth checking out.