Swedish Indie developer TAD Productions have released Blackbay Asylum on Steam, a top-down adventure/puzzle game that appears to revel in bucketloads of gore and insanity.
The game casts players as Doug Dunheiw, a “confused psychopath” whose only friend is his teddy bear. Locked up in his cell at the titular asylum, Dunheiw is on schedule to undergo “exploratory surgery” when something awful and unknown happens at the facility and his cell door mysteriously unlocks itself. From here players, taking control of their ghastly looking protagonist, must explore the building and figure out what is going on.
Blackbay Asylum largely takes place from a top down perspective that rotates along with the player. Combined with the massive amounts of gore and surreal atmosphere, many players have commented that the game looks remarkably like the 1995 PlayStation 1 shooter Loaded.
At any rate, unlike Loaded, players in Blackbay Asylum will spend their time solving puzzles, unraveling the story by reading old journals and notes and interacting with fellow inmates and dealing with monsters with traps and wits rather than firearms. The game switches to a first person perspective during puzzle solving sequences, which the developers constantly insist are “mind shattering”, and interactions with non-hostile characters allow for multiple dialogue choices.
In spite of the amount of death and gore in the game, Blackbay Asylum contains a great deal of humor, most of which stems from the fact that everyone in the facility is insane. There is some controversy with the presence of several racist jokes from the protagonist, but developer TAD have pointed out that the game comes with a warning for these things.
If the idea of being a puzzle-solving death-row psychopath roaming around a blood-drenched mental asylum sounds appealing to you, you can purchase Blackbay Asylum at a 20% discount from its original $19.99 price tag until August 8.