Neat games. Neat-o, even (for Cat)

Recommendations by Cryptic Puffin

A list of mostly spooky or mystery games for my friend Catarina.

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1. Anchorhead
by Michael Gentry
Average member rating: (383 ratings)

Cryptic Puffin says:

Lovecraftian modern classic. Have not played it personally, but oh boy it looks cool (my brother played some of it and got stuck with the well puzzle).

2. Coloratura
by Lynnea Glasser
Average member rating: (109 ratings)

Cryptic Puffin says:

Amazing sci-fi horror, I played it and it was an enjoyable experience, very innovative and well-written. Basically you play as an alien that can see emotions as colours and affect other people's emotions.

3. Erstwhile
by Aster (formally Maddie) Fialla, Marijke Perry
Average member rating: (57 ratings)

Cryptic Puffin says:

Not a parser game, it's a Twine one (hypertext links), but it's sooooo cool. Murder mystery except you're the dead guy, and you have to solve the mystery of your own murder by sifting through other people's memories. Really neat.

4. Weird City Interloper
by C.E.J. Pacian
Average member rating: (54 ratings)

Cryptic Puffin says:

Boy oh boy I love Pacian's stuff. This one has suchhh cool worldbuilding, it's like this medieval-style dystopian city with religious themes, reminded me a bit of Bloodborne in terms of aesthetic. The story is very compelling, and the gameplay is mostly based around topic-based conversation, so not a lot of fiddling around with physical objects (at least as far as I remember?).

5. Never Gives Up Her Dead
by Mathbrush
Average member rating: (13 ratings)

Cryptic Puffin says:

Still playing this one, it seems to be quite long, but definitely worth it! The puzzles are very satisfying and clever, and the story is really interesting. It's the story of an elderly woman who has been living aboard a colony ship for decades in her role as a Storyweaver, recording the history of the ship's journey and its occupants. Well, yeah, something goes wrong, and you end up exploring lots of different worlds full of wonderful and interconnected puzzles. A banger opening as well, truly hooked me into playing the rest.

6. The Lurking Horror II: The Lurkening, by Ryan Veeder (2018)
Average member rating: (24 ratings)
Cryptic Puffin says:

Ryan Veeder yayyyyy I love his stuff a lot. So this game is actually a sequel to an Infocom game, their only horror game, so if you like older games too, you might wanna play that one as well. I have only played this one cause I am not very good at Infocom games, but this game is amazing to be perfectly honest. Perfect time loop horror game with some comedic elements (if I recall correctly?) and spell-based puzzles.

7. Hunger Daemon
by Sean M. Shore
Average member rating: (64 ratings)

Cryptic Puffin says:

A highly entertaining and well-made game, not least because it's a comedy first and foremost. Play as a demonic cult acolyte who's entrusted with an important task, but your heart just isn't in it.

8. Robin & Orchid
by Ryan Veeder and Emily Boegheim
Average member rating: (64 ratings)

Cryptic Puffin says:

One of my favorite games, I love the spooky vibes but it's never outright scary really. Also quite funny and extremely well-made, not least because of the extensive reference book within the game and of course, the working camera. Experience the horrors of a haunted (?) church at night as a teenage reporter, searching for evidence of said haunting.

9. Cannery Vale
by Hanon Ondricek (as Keanhid Connor)
Average member rating: (27 ratings)

Cryptic Puffin says:

I've never played this one, but I've heard very good things! It's a horror IF in the style of Stephen King, in which you play as both a novelist writing a book and the protagonist of said book, your decisions as each affecting the other. That being said, I've heard it can be very explicit both in terms of sexual content and violence, so be warned.

10. An Act of Murder
by Christopher Huang
Average member rating: (80 ratings)

Cryptic Puffin says:

Have not finished this game, but it seems very high-quality with good replayability due to the random generation of the culprit. Investigate a murder, pure and simple, and smoke out the perpetrator! Set in the 1920s with an interesting cast of characters, seems very fun.

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