This week’s free games on the Epic Games Store are Layers of Fear, a psychedelic horror game, and Q.U.B.E 2, a physics-based puzzle game.
#1 – Layers of Fear
Layers of Fear is a psychological horror game developed by Bloober Team, based around and artist living in the United States in the 1920’s. The plot follows the artist returning to his home in which he created works of art, throughout the game, parts of the home start to warp and you start to learn you cannot believe the things you are perceiving. Further into the game you learn of the artist’s tragic past and start to find out the reasoning for these warped perceptions you experience, which are due to the artist’s schizophrenia which can be learned about from the various notes and drawings found in the game. A lot of horror games generally opt for jumpscares to create a sense of fear and dread but during my gameplay I found jumpscares to be few and far between, the overbearing feeling of anxiety was created by the ever-changing corridors with rooms and doors disappearing and reappearing at will.
The game bends your sense of reality by changing the layout of the building you are exploring to truly confuse the player and make them feel uneasy due to the lack of familiarity. The ever-changing hallways sometimes become slathered with colour and distort to create a truly sinister image like something from the mind of the deluded artist.
#2 – Q.U.B.E. 2
The second game of the week is Q.U.B.E. 2 developed by Toxic Games. The game is a physics-based puzzle game, with heavy influences from games such as Portal. The player is controlling British archaeologist, Amelia Cross, who at the start of the game gets stranded on an alien world and comes across a peculiar structure with a newly invented technology which lets her manipulate her surroundings and solve puzzles created by the Q.U.B.E. using an assortment of mechanics, such as blue bounce pads and green blocks that can interact with the environment.
The puzzles in the game start off relatively simple to help you learn the mechanics but then eventually get harder and harder, interweaving the different mechanics to make more complex puzzles further through the game. The environments change as you progress with rooms becoming different colours and flora and fauna appearing amidst the futuristic machinery, making you feel like you can’t truly adapt to this ever-changing labyrinth of puzzles.
After playing both of these games, I feel everyone should download them as soon as possible. Layers of Fear brings some excellent ideas to the table and proves that horror games are not just a forgotten trend. Q.U.B.E. 2 has brilliant mechanics that mesh together in an excellent manner to make an overall ingenious puzzle game.