When Nevermind initially was on Kickstarter, I had high hopes for the game. Professing to be a “Biofeedback Horror Adventure Game”, the premise was that you could plug in a heart rate monitor to your PC and as you played, your heart rate would effect what happened in the world. Its initial Kickstarter failed, making slightly over half of their initial goal of $250,000. However, after a second Kickstarter with a more reasonable goal of $75,000, the game received funding and hit Early Access on Steam. The concept of Nevermind seems fantastic, but to get the full experience, it seems that you could end up spending a hefty amount of cash.
You play as a Neuroprober, an individual who implants themselves into the mind of psychologically traumatized patients. Their goal is to travel through the subconscious mind of these individuals and help them remember the initial moment that caused their trauma. This, in turn, will help them cope with their lives.
There are two levels in the early access build. The first acts as a tutorial to show you how the world works. You travel in first person through the mind of your patient. Along the way, you encounter ten photographs and get glimpses into the mind of your patient. Throughout the land, there are small clues as to what specifically happened in their life but there are also misleading clues that the mind created as a coping mechanism. After you’ve gathered all of the photographs, you will have to discover which five of the pictures are actual events that occurred and which five are coping mechanism thoughts.
The initial level is, frankly, quite bland, even as a tutorial level. There are some minor scary moments but overall the environment just doesn’t seem threatening. That all changes when you hit the second patient, though. This individual is dealing with the recent death of her mother and trying to discover exactly why she is having issues being around people.
As you unravel the pieces of the puzzle of this patient, there are some legitimately messed up moments, including a scene with a group of screaming heads and a bloody refrigerator. Had you based your opinion of the game off the first level, it may feel like a pretty boring excursion, but the second patient has some legitimately creepy moments, even when there is no direct threat to you. There is a huge level of detail here which makes the whole experience feel unnerving.
That said, to get the whole experience you’ll have to shell out quite a few dollars. The Early Access build is currently selling for $25 and if you want to experience the game with its biometric feedback device, you could be spending anywhere from an additional $80 to over $1,000. You really will need to be into the idea of Nevermind in order to be willing to spend over $1,000 for it.
That said, there is a massively solid foundation built for Nevermind. There is a level of creepiness that many other games simply do not have in the indie horror scene. While it could be very interesting to see how the game uses biometric data, it is still incredibly creepy without it.
A code for Nevermind was provided to Pixel Related for this preview.