The Glass Staircase Is a Maze Horror Game
Don’t Play Alone
This Game was released last week tries to capture the feeling of classic horror games like Clock Tower and Silent Hill. My early time with The Glass Staircase has been tense, revealing a moody game that silently waits until you’ve finally relaxed before killing you.
Capturing the essence of fixed-camera horror games can be tricky. It’s not simply about having tank controls or adding a little bit of fog to your game. The Glass Staircase has those things, but it also understands the value of a good slow burn.
You play as a group of children inside an run-down manor. One by one, you are made to explore and perform simple tasks: Grab this package that was delivered, light all the candles in the house.
But something’s wrong. A dark force lingers just out of sight, and when you least expect it, tragedy arrives. In my first hour or so with The Glass Staircase, two of my playable characters seem to have died, and I’m sure that more deaths are to come.
It results in a sort of Groundhog’s Day loop. Each new day starts calm before slowly shifting to something more sinister. That cyclical structure might allow me to get to know the manor grounds better but it can’t prepare me for bloody monsters.
What is this game The Glass Staircase?
For instance, one early part of The Glass Staircase involves a hedge maze. The camera makes it all the more easily to get lost, which is uncomfortable and even a bit frustrating. It also means that the maze can shift off-camera, or add a terrifying monster right out of frame. It’s smart, using the limitations of early horror to create a memorable set piece.
I’ve not progressed far enough to get to the gorier bits teased in the trailer. I haven’t picked up a gun and shot a shambling husk-creature yet. But The Glass Staircase has proven a solid student of the slow burn. Whatever explosive confrontations await, there’s been plenty of silent wanderings to go with it. That’s some solid horror game design, sure to please anyone eager for a fresh scare.