One of the more interesting indie games on the horizon, Broken Window Studio’s survival horror game Grave, now has a playable demo that you can download for free. Set in a surreal sandbox environment, the crowdfunded project seeks to innovate the genre with its open-world gameplay and emphasis on player choice over a tightly scripted experience.
The demo level takes place in a desolate desert town, with a few houses scattered about. There are no explicit objectives other than to survive. The demo also shows off Grave’s impressive visuals, which give the game a distinctive vintage look. Designer Tristan Moore has said that Grave‘s look is heavily inspired by the 2003 Disney short film Destino.
Grave‘s gameplay is procedurally generated, meaning every player’s experience will be different. The game features a day and night cycle, presenting players with strategic choices. Do you play it safe by venturing outside only during the day to collect supplies and barricade yourself indoors at night when all the monsters come out? Or do you risk it by venturing out at night in search of more valuable supplies that only become available once the sun goes down?
The design philosophy of Grave has been described as a way to bridge the gap between the two types of survival horror games that exist today: Games such as Dead Space and the recent Resident Evil games in which the player has a grocery list of weapons to combat monsters with, and indie titles such as Amnesia and Outlast in which the player is utterly defenseless and can only flee. “We want to bring the kind of scares that gamers expect from modern horror titles back into an environment where the player still takes an active role in combating the creatures they face, instead of simply running or hiding” reads the game’s Kickstarter page.
With 10 days to go, Grave‘s Kickstarter run has raised $12,781 of its $30,000 goal. It has been in development since January 2013, and is due out for both the PC, Mac, Linux, and Xbox One in early 2015. The game will also have full support for the Oculus Rift.