Horror is definitely a subjective thing. Some people find clowns scary, while others find spiders scary. There’s a lot of wiggle room. However, being thrown into an abstract environment where nothing seems right can be easily the most terrifying thing ever. This was done with great success in the film adaptation of Pink Floyd’s The Wall. While much of the story is strange, the later half of the experience is unforgettable. Ape Law’s recent release of Albino Lullaby Episode One, clearly draws heavy inspiration from the film and, as a result, has created a strange and surreal horror game unlike almost anything in the market.
When you first begin Albino Lullaby, you’re initially unsure of anything, After you are involved in a car crash, you awaken inside of a cage. The cage collapses from it’s ceiling hanger, and you are able to escape. You see hundreds of shadowy eyes in similar cages, telling you to run. You quickly discover that the world here is completely wrong. It appears that people are being mutated into something less than human, as you find strange contraptions and notes around the environment.
However, it’s what you discover those people being transformed into when the game really hooks you into its world. The best way to describe these things, called “Grandchildren”, is that they are more or less flesh tubes with shining eyes and deformed teeth. Add that to the fact that they talk in these screeching, exaggerated tones, similar to Roger Water’s performance in The Trial, and they become even more horrifying.
These are the things that have captured you, and you need to find a way to escape them. However, you appear to be miles below the surface of Earth. You quickly delve even deeper into the world, discovering more about these creatures and their rituals. The whole atmosphere is absolutely creepy, with notes about these beings drinking tuna can water and abstract paintings around the environment.
If one of the Grandchildren spot you, you need to run from them. While you can usually run around one or two of them, they are usually in groups of five or more. Get too close to them for too long and you’ll be captured. As you progress through the game, you are given a couple of tools to deal with the Grandchildren. You can light blue lamps around the environment to dissuade them from coming near you, as they don’t like the blue light. You are also given a device that will let you immobilize large groups of them at a time.
The environments compliment the weird, uneasy feeling incredibly well. The buildings look somewhat normal, but as you progress, more and more of the world looks out-of-place. Near the end of the episode, you get a chance to see a great deal of the environment at once, giving you a real feeling as to how off everything is. You see how the world is built into the rocks and all of the strange angles everything is on.
There are a couple of minor complaints that you could make. It’s incredibly easy to fall off of some of the environments and because the world is laid out in a unique way, it can be difficult to find your way around. Also, there are a couple of moments where you need to press a button at a specific time, and there seems to be a bit of a delay between when you press the button on your controller and when your character does it in-game.
The whole experience can be completed in a couple of hours and it will likely stick with you for a while. There are still two more episodes to be released, with Episode Two coming in Q2 of 2016. Coming into the Halloween season, Albino Lullaby is the perfect way to start off the season.
SCORE: 9.5 out of 10
A code for Albino Lullaby was provided to Pixel Related for review.