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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Ribarro

Fears to Fathom: Home Alone


At A Glance

  • Released: 7/2/21

  • Reviews: 4773, very positive net, as of 12/2023

  • English Reviews: 2789

  •  Localized in: english

  • Had Publisher: no

  • Majority of reviews:

  • English ~58% 

  • Russian ~10%

  • Portuguese Brazil  ~7%

  • Price: free

  • Review report

  • Negatives:  no controller support, jokes about not being able to throw stuff at killer, takes a lot of resources to run, seems there were some bugs in the past

  • Positives:   mostly joke reviews, players were tense and afraid, 



Gameplay

  • Blinds on the windows go up automatically when approaching them, no need to interact but it offers a better look outside

  • Tv show is on, but doesn’t look like anything I’ve seen before (horror-esque), could’ve been made specifically for the game

  • Reminds the player to do things they might otherwise forget such as shutting off tv, closing fridge door, etc. through narrative prompts

  • Option to hide under bed after receiving scary text

Music

  •  Song for the main menu is interesting, not at all what I expected.  Usually smaller indie horror games have little or no music in the intro, this sounds great

  • Environmental music plays while exploring the house, quiet and foreboding which matches being alone in the house

  • Music changes to something a bit more tense as the night goes on

Sounds

  • Street is pretty active outside with cars passing by

  • The sfx for cars seems to have been recorded from inside, can hear the turn signal from inside the house


Art

  • There is a full-screen retro vhs effect while the game is playing, leans into PSX genre, even though the house doesn't appear that way

UI

  • Text interface to check messages with drag/drop windows for easier control with mouse, interesting

Writing

  • Game seems to be told through a Reddit post, mentions the site by name

  • Can't go to sleep because of homework, cant do homework because i left the tv on, rookie mistake

Scare Factor

  • Heartbeat and intense music plays after waking up in the middle of the night

  • At the beginning a shadowy figure can be seen lingering around the driveway

  • Music changes again and scary stinger plays after drinking water

  • Get a text from mom with someone standing at the door, image came from the house across the street. Picture taken by neighbor then sent to mom?

  • Mom sends more texts as player approaches front door, says to hide no matter what happens, says its Paula instead and the doorbell keeps ringing

  • Forced to go back out and answer the door since it keeps ringing, just before going down the stairs there is a jumpscare from the parents bedroom (creepy guy was in there)

Extra

  • On main menu there are links to discord, other games, and even an email to send ‘stories to share’, marketing-wise the game is rock solid

  • Since this is free it’s an extremely good entry point for influencers, and setting up the expectation of further episodes provides additional content for said influencers if they enjoyed this free ep

  • I believe the strength seen by Fears to Fathom comes from the community-building and sharing of scary stories, everyone has seen something they wish they hadn’t

  • Game states it takes ~20 mins to beat

  • Game force closes itself after the final jumpscare

  • There were more opportunities to push future products as well as the Discord community instead of closing it automatically, but it’s already succeeded on its own merit

Overall

  • A sublime example of working with what you have in an extremely small home setting

  • Most of the horror comes from the player’s own paranoia, very few actual scares are present in the game



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