Dread X Collection 2 is a compilation title by Horror Aficionados Dread XP. Compiling titles from some of the most talented and twisted minds in gaming today. Is this an instant horror classic or a bargain bin b movie?.
Dread X Collection 2 is a selection of 12 horror games developed over a 10 day period Game Jam style. All following the condition its horror themed and lovingly tied together in a haunted house styled hub.
Now rather than a traditional review this will be broken up into 14 sections, one for every game and finally as a whole. Jump to the section named Fin? For the summary of the full title. As a key note the game allows you to free play each title OR do a narrative mode, the latter being the only way you experience the hub.
The House is a fantastic way of grouping all the titles together. You are locked in a mysterious mansion and infected with a disease. To cure said disease you need to solve all manner of puzzles to find keys, these allow you to view the VHS tapes which is where you’ll find all the games in this mode.
It’s creepy, interesting, the puzzles are fun and it’s an innovative way of putting all the games together. It helps to set the tone and makes playing on narrative mode a must do!.
Now PC gamers, especially fans of the “Boomer Shooter” genre will know the name David Syzmanski, made a little known title called Dusk. Squirrel Stapler is his take on the classic cabala/hunting genre with a horror twist, it’s also f**king weird.
The premise involves a hunter, hunting down Squirrels and stapling them to his wife, who is dead in preparation for god coming. The game starts out strange and is more than happy to go over the weird side of the tracks more than a few times before this one ends.
Limited ammo, a charming Ps1 era style graphic style and the painful urge to figure out what is going on raises this from the initial slow burn to the game i’d suggest you play first.
Arcadletra is by Vidas Games, this isn’t a team I was familiar with but setting a game in an arcade is always going to grab my attention.
Arcadletra has you starting with a present being delivered to your arcade, this causes hole to appear in the middle of it. You start to investigate the hole using a camera and things take a turn for the strange.
The game crashed on me a few times and i got stuck in the world on a few occasions. The game is a walking simulator and I’m not really a fan of the genre. It looked nice and had a intriguing mystery in the middle of it but the gameplay really wasn’t my cup of tea
Sucker for Love.
Sucker for Love is by Akabaka who also made the VN CHROMATOSE. This is the title than initially drew us to the collection, Cthulu dating experience!.
You through events manage to summon an Eldrich god and are required to follow various steps to get a “smooch” off of her.
You’ll have to choose the various actions and comments in order to get what you need OR purposely piss her off to end the world, your choice!.
The writing is witty, the artwork is fantastic and it’s genuinely a fantastic little title. If you have a love of love and Lovecraft then you need to swing by this lil’ kissing booth.
Touched by an Older God.
Wither Studios dropped this title and it’s their spin on the FPS side of horror. You play a girl who must find her father while a mysterious plague is turning people to monsters.
Game stuff happens and you end up missing a hand and with a hunger for monster body parts, this eventually manifests into powers and this forms the basis for your combat. The more you eat the more choices you have for your magic to help you reach dear old daddy.
The game has a really endearing narrative and art style, it hits hard and is quite a fun little title. The projectiles in it do go fairly slow and it’s not as refined in the level design as I’d have liked but what is here is still a good time!.
Developed by John Syzmanski, Charlotte’s Exile puts a rather interesting spin on the genre of game defined by titles like Five Nights At Freddies. You have to decode a note written in an Eldrich language to find Charlotte, while you’re reading the book and cross referencing with the note you’ll have to keep an eye on your surroundings as all manner of nasty is waiting in the shadows for you be that little bit too engaged in your book and BAM!.
Charlotte’s Exile was one of the games I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about but turn the lights off, headphones on and get absorbed by the game and it’s possibly the most tense and interesting of all the titles!.
Developed by Daniel Mullins Games, Solipsis is a top down exploration game involving your sole spaceman, limited light and checking the gravity levels of the moon. It does a fantastic job of making you feel isolated and scared of what you can’t see but was one of the shorter titles of the game and seemed to end just as it was really finding it’s stride.
The Thing In The Lake
The Thing In The Lake reminded me alot of NES/GB horror games in the best way, while not the most immersive graphics this stealth em up really had my heart going as the killers could and would appear at any given time and really give you a run for your money. 5 Chapters of solid gold in this one.
The Toy Shop
The Toy Shop is one of the more ambitious titles of the collection. Putting you in the boots of a toy soldier you have to navigate the toy shop while there is a war going on with the unwanted toys, a healthy mix of first person gaming and 2.5D platforming means this is quite a varied title but the jumping mechanics can be quite finicky.
The Diving Bell
The Diving Bell is my personal nightmare, I have a fear of underwater and being trapped down there, with pressure, unseen nasities and all sorts of jumps and tension going on had my palms sweaty from the get go. I did run into a few problems in terms of crashing on this one which broke my play session up quite a bit but for me, easily the scariest title of the bunch
To The End of Days
To The End of Days is about as standard as you will get for an FPS on this package, the apocalypse is coming and you and your trusty shotgun are taking it to the cultists who are roaming around the streets. For a title developed in 10 days it is quite impressive but it is a shame more wasn’t done with it as it has the skeleton of a really interesting FPS game. This is a little more straight foward than Touched by An Outer God and is a good chaser for the game in my opinion
Undiscovered is a 2nd Person adventure, you control the camera guy while the main character explores some newly discovered ruins, major vibes of Michigan:Report of Hell, the camera has a tendency to bob and weave everywhere which can be a bit distracting but it’s quite an interesting way of presenting a horror game.
Another Late Night
Another Late Night is possibly the weakest of the titles in the collection or at least for myself, this takes the form of a point and click but on a computer screen. Think the movie Unfriended but you control what to look at and the choices you make. My initial playthrough lasted around 20 minutes and left me feeling rather meh by the end of it.
All in all Dread X Collection 2 is a must buy for Horror fans, it is like a playable VHS (the film) in that each game offers a different take on horror and even the weakest title is still interesting. The standouts for the game are real thought provokers and will no doubt have you googling and discussing like a good narrative should. The performance wasn’t too bad across the board but there was a good few crashes on some of the titles, I would also highly suggest you play the narrative mode and decide which tapes to do in which order so you get a nice mix throughout, the game should see you around 7/10 hours in total.
An essential horror title for those who like creativity and quirk
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Straight from the streets of SouthTown, all Dunks Powah'd and ready to Bust A Wolf. Catch me on Twitch/YouTube.