'A Mother's Inferno' is a terrifying trip through one woman's personal hell

IndieCade feature A Mother's Inferno follows a mother on her horrific journey to find her son.

The game begins on a moving train, but this train is anything but ordinary. A ride for a mother and son takes a terrifying turn when a demonic entity absconds with the child. The mother, armed with only a shard of broken glass, must pass through the train cars, which are often filled with more otherworldly things than seats. She must decapitate corpses, kill fierce creatures, and do physical harm to her own person if she ever wants to see her son again.

A Mother's Inferno is a free-to-play first-person horror game for PC, developed by students from The National Academy of Digital Interactive Entertainment (DADIU) in Denmark. A team of seventeen created the title from scratch in a little under one month, and the finished product earned a spot in the showcase at this year's E3 IndieCade.

A Mother's Inferno heavily borrows motifs from an inferno of another kind. Dante Alighieri's Inferno lurks in the shadows: the game's atmosphere, the mother's trip through the train – each car more bizarre and dangerous than the last – eerily reminiscent of Dante's descent through the circles of Hell. The mother is tortured by visions: flashing images of the monsters she must kill and the possible fate of her child.

The boss battles, five in total, represent the stages of loss. The mother must brutally kill demons meant to represent her own denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance in relation to her son's abduction. Anger, for example, is a rampaging skeletal bull whose heart the mother must stab.

The game can be completed in about fifteen minutes, but that doesn't make A Mother's Inferno any less harrowing. It plays like a horror movie and its graphics are just low-key enough to keep tensions high. It can be downloaded in full from DADIU Games' website. Just make sure to turn the volume down, and keep on a light or two. And please, don't play this game if you have epilepsy.

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