A little while back, a guy at work shared a link to a horror game (thanks, Matt!), knowing that I’m a huge fan of scaring myself silly. He said it was free, and wouldn’t take long, but was pretty scary. This game was Tonight You Die, a short first-person indie horror from Duende Games. I decided to play it during my lunch.
Luckily, my day had other plans for me, and I ended up working through lunch that day, but Tonight You Die hid away in the back of my mind, waiting to crawl out of hiding. Then, one fateful evening, Sunday evening, to be precise, it was time.
I donned my headphones, which the game encourages you to wear to get the best experience, and began to walk around the concrete jungle of the game. Everything is dark, and buildings rise into the night sky while the only light comes from lampposts dotted around the environment. There is nothing to do but walk around, hoping to find someone or something to add a little context to slab after slab of grey.
Keeping this interesting is the game’s sound design, which puts players on edge using random crescendos, and sometimes, absolute silence. It makes you feel as if something is right behind you, or is about to be. Nothing ever is. Despite this, Tonight You Die still manages one last shock in its finale, which I won’t spoil for you. Just do what the developers say and wear the headphones. I know it goes against every single thing you have ever wanted to do when it comes to playing horror, but it makes this game so worth the time spent wandering around, and the soundtrack really is quite catchy, in a morbid way.
Tonight You Die is a perfect example of how a horror game doesn’t have to be visually impressive or have a complicated narrative to be absolutely terrifying. As it always seems - to me, at least - the sound design sets the atmosphere, and everything else is a nice, but sometimes unnecessary, bonus. If you have about 10 minutes to experience it for yourself, which can be found if you just ignore the washing up tonight, or leave that homework or presentation for another day, TYD can be downloaded for free (or for a generous donation) . It even comes with the soundtrack by Grypt, if you fancy a bit of musical backing to your death. Personally, I’m in favour of it.here