Twitter is the social medium that just keeps on giving, or at least the amazing indie developers that use it are. Thanks to Aston Raze at Owl Cave Games, I have managed to get my grubby mitts on a Steam key for The Charnel House Trilogy, three short adventures that combine to create one journey of story-driven horror that the studio is known for. What? You haven’t played Richard and Alice yet? Sort it out.
The Charnel House Trilogy will have gamers play through one fateful night, where a number of different motives have led a few lost souls to a train journey that is hiding more than a few mysteries. Alex Davenport is getting away from a painful break-up, heading for the island of Augur Peak on a kind of “personal pilgrimage,” and meets Doctor Harold Lang, beginning the exact same journey for his own reasons. Tying their stories together is this one night aboard a train, and the strange conductor who seems to be running the show. Not before he whispers to the luggage and breaks a crow’s neck, though, so there’s that.
I’ve only been able to jump into the first tale of The Charnel House Trilogy, but the writing behind the game is as strong as ever. The first character I was in control of was Alex Davenport, a sarcastic gamer with a love for reading and horror films, and voiced by best-selling horror author, Madeleine Roux. Needless to say, I’m smitten with her. By interacting with the objects around her apartment, I was able to get a glimpse into her life and opinions, as well as pull together an image of the books and games the developers themselves enjoy; the bookcase is full of satirical and honest opinions, and including Roux's real-life novel, which adds a human touch to everything that has made it into the game.
The voice acting so far, along with the pixel-art visuals that I find myself becoming more obsessed with as time goes on, has really pulled me into the story of these characters, and I can already see myself caring about what happens to them. In a horror game, this is significant. They could die. I really don’t want them to die… Bringing The Charnel House Trilogy to life are the voices of Madeleine Roux, Peter Willington, Jonathan Grier, Jim Sterling, and Ben Chandler, with art by Ivan Ulyanov and Ben Chandler, and music by Jack de Quidt, nervous_testpilot and Bryan Henderson.
I’m hoping to get the time to write a full review of The Charnel House Trilogy in the near future, as the mysterious tale of pixel-terror already has its hooks in me. Until then though, see whether you might like to play it for yourself by going to the studio’s website, Steam, or chatting with the studio on Twitter.