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Disturbing piece that embodies a malleable entity from folklore, October 21, 2020
Bogeyman is a deeply disturbing and successful piece that casts the titular creature as a sadistic paterfamilias who employs psychological and physical abuse to ensure the children he abducts remain “good."
The design choices for the game are bold and effective, without overshadowing the story. These include a white-on-black palette, text fade-ins, spooky images during chapter breaks, and a haunting, thrumming soundtrack.
The choice-based flow of the game is relatively linear, with short passages that move the reader through the story quickly and smoothly. Every passage adds to the dramatic tension, slowly piling on indignities small and large, flowing through days of quotidian chores and tasks that range from the banal to the grotesque, all in the service of building a complex portrait of life under a tyrant whose moods and reactions are often unpredictable.
The game is able to deftly tackle a number of themes ranging from abuse to the nature of punishment and whether complicity is ever morally acceptable, all while delivering a gripping story with moments where it’s often as difficult to look as it is to look away.