Back in ye olden days, publishers would distribute morsels of hot new games via demo discs, which you could sometimes get via magazine subscriptions, among other places. In 2020, both demos and discs are an increasing rarity, which makes this recent horror-themed demo bundle a delight on multiple levels.
Available to download via itchio, The Haunted Disc slaps together 17 different demos, all inspired by the chunky graphics of the first PlayStation console. The offerings seem to be anything but typical. Orange County, for instance, is a first-person horror ... skating game? Even the more “standard” takes on genres sound refreshing — Dread Delusion is an open-world RPG that comes with stats, choices, and quests, but it’s also only about a couple of hours long. My favorite game description belongs to Neko Yume, a “cat-filled dream with a day/night cycle and dozens of randomized events.” The jewel-case artwork even has a tuxedo cat on the front. I hope it’s not the cat that’s getting scared!
The best trailer of the bunch goes to Ode to a Moon, a first-person cosmic horror game where you have to find out what happened to a town before it descended into madness:
There’s also a “sauna simulator” packed into the bundle, but I’m guessing there’s more to the game than meets the eye. And we can’t forget about Tasty Ramen, which appears to be about a haunted soup mascot.
Basically, if you’re an old-school fan of franchises like Silent Hill and Resident Evil, you’re bound to find something to like here — but the bundle also takes care to have some fun with its concepts, rather than regurgitating the genre’s heyday.