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iPhone: Hysteria Project: hands on

02-26-2009, 08:27 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 1,841
Hysteria Project: hands on

"Hysteria Project is a kind of "Choose Your Own Adventure" game built entirely out of spliced bits of footage, taken in shaky Cinema Verite style with a hand-held camcorder. The shots are all from the hero's perspective, complete with hallucinations, flashbacks, slow blinks, and blackouts (he's badly wounded). This weirdness is combined with a seriously spooky soundtrack that involves lots of labored breathing, deep groans and grumbles, punctuated by sudden shrieking. Bulkypix knows how to produce an effective horror atmosphere, that is for sure.

The story-telling is simple and completely non-verbal (more to ease the localization process than for dramatic effect, we think). You wake up in a cabin bound hand and foot with duct tape, half dead, scared out of your mind, and apparently dosed with some kind of drug. Your captor is a sinister, hatchet-wielding, hooded figure. You get your chance to escape when he leaves you alone in the cabin for a moment.

Once you exit the cabin, you find that you're lost in the middle of nowhere, out in the woods. The hatchet man is tracking you down--he's there stalking towards you practically every time you glance over your shoulder--and if he catches you, he'll kill you.

After every ten seconds of footage or so, you're taken to a menu to make a quick decision: should you go left or right at this fork in the path? Will you try to hide, or just run as fast as you can? Most of these choices are timed, and if you don't make a selection in time, or pick the wrong action, it's curtains. Luckily, you can restart from the same sequence without penalty.

There are also some neat interactive sequences that force you to pay careful attention to your surroundings at all times. For instance, you encounter a booby trap at one point, and if you don't touch the screen in the right spots fast enough, you'll get blown to smithereens. In addition, the game has many light puzzle elements, such as subtle visual cues that tell you which way to go.

Hysteria Project isn't a long game. It only took us about half an hour to make it through. But it was definitely a very cool 30 minutes, and it got us primed for the next chapter in the series; this is really just the introduction. Bulkpix's mode of interactive storytelling is very unique, and very effective. Now that they've proven it's possible, we expect it to be heavily emulated in the future."


"Dream as though you will live forever; live as though you would die today."
02-26-2009, 08:28 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Around
Posts: 349
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when will it be out?
02-26-2009, 08:29 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,393
Only 30 minutes long?

"Those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind"- The master himself, Dr. Seuss
02-26-2009, 08:34 PM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 6,900
Everything about it sounds great except the length. Ah well, figures since it's episodic.

One warning though: episodic games only work if they actually come out on time. Sam and Max, Half Life Episodes, all that episodic Valve wanted to spark off a couple years ago through Steam, Xbox Live and PSN, all vanished simply because they couldn't get out frequent updates and on time.

Last edited by arta; 02-26-2009 at 08:41 PM.
02-26-2009, 08:43 PM
Wow I don't care if they charge for more episode this game just seems amazing!