Let me give a brief, but much needed, history of Slender Man. Slender Man is a fictional horror icon that has grown completely from the internet forums, online videos, and edited pictures. Starting in “Something Awful” Forums, he was depicted as a tall figure, nearly eight feet in height, with long protruding tentacles from its back and arms that can reach the ground. Dressed in a black suit and nothing but a blank white face, he has eluded all major forms of documentation evidence aside from the quick glances and blurred stills.
I’m sure we’ve all been here before, scared out of our minds because of some boogeyman in the closet or monster under the bed. You probably try and spend a greater portion of your childhood trying to prove to your friends and family that it’s real. But then you grow up, laugh it off, and move on.
That does not happen in “Slender,” at all.
In Slender, your unnamed (assuming) female character is wandering in the woods armed with only her flashlight and barely present wits, trying to find proof that a mysterious creature is more fact than fiction. To do this, you try and find eight pieces of paper, each carrying a warning that is more disturbing and skin tingling than the next. No, seriously. The first page is just some scribbles of a child walking with a tall figure. The fifth one is someone writing the haunting message, “Can’t Run.”
The worst part about this? Every time you collect a page, the woods “appear” to grow darker, a dark ominous music begins to play, and you can literally feel something following you. You don’t know what, you don’t know how, you don’t know why. All you do know is that you have to keep moving. Page after page, beat after beat, you grow closer and closer to you goal, until he appears.
Let me make this perfectly clear, obvious, and transparent. There is absolutely no way to meet this guy and not scream. Ever.
The game lasts only half an hour at longest, unless you stop to cry, like I did. But, in this time frame, you’ll find yourself growing more and more agitated with every passing second, scared and terrified of the evil you know is lurking just around the corner, but never able to escape its presence. When you finally find it, staring at you with arms that reach the ground, tentacles flailing from its back, and a blank face without eyes, nose, ears, or mouth, you scream. It’s not random, it’s not up for debate.
You. Will. Scream.
Unfortunately, that’s where the depth and joy of “Slender” ends. There are no challenges, additional maps, or more characters to play as (not like it matters). Don’t get me wrong ,you’ll be biting your nails through the entire experience, and several dozen times afterwards, but you can never change up the scenery to match where you are, or give yourself a whole new feeling of terror.
“Slender” is a unique and terrifying game that has put to shame many of the other horror icons. No longer to Pyramid Head or Jason Voorhees scare me. Slender Man is the only thing I can no longer look at, all because of free game on my laptop that tells me to never go into the woods again.
Rating: 4/5 Elephants