Slender Review – Don’t look at him!

The Slender Man was created by internet users, back in 2009 (according to most precise sources). A strange human like apparition, of a tall slender man, wearing a black suit and bearing absolutely no face. In the created mythos he appears randomly, but does not move, merely stands in place. It is one of those “ghosts” that the more you try to learn about, the less you want to know. I learned of the Slender Man when I heard of a game inspired by him, called Slender. After a long time I decided to attempt and beat the game. It turned out, the game beat me.

Slender

Game Title

Slender Review – Don’t look at him!

Slender is a First-Person Horror Survival game giving you, the player, a simple task. Find eight notes littered about the map. How hard can that be? It all depends on one important thing. Are you easily intimidated by “key” horror elements? Allow me to tell you what is it that most terrified me about the Slender Man, and as such Slender.

In Amnesia: The Dark Descent, you can hear the monsters, walking around, moaning or doing some other noise. The Slender Man does not make any noise. You walk down the woodland, slowly turn around to try and look past the fog, and then you see an inch of a black suit, a foot, or the pale face looking at you from a distance. You start running, but the thumping of your heart and the eerie music does not let you rest. “Is it still behind me?” you think to yourself. “You stop for just a moment, look back, and your screen begins to distort, ripple, so you run more, and you keep running. Your flashlight flails around madly, you lose any and all sense of direction. Then you stop for that one last moment. You look back, nothing, and as you turn to look “forward” again the Slender Man catches you, and the world goes completely black. There are only two ways in which you lose in Slender. The Slender Man catches you (he teleports, but only when you do not look at him) or you lose your sanity, by staring at the Slender Man for too long. What to do if you want to save yourself from the Slender Man’s grasp? Turn your flashlight off, and run in the opposite direction, until you feel you are safe.

Slender

Simple? You have no idea.

Everything in Slender acts against you. Your own footsteps, the shadows, the fog, even your own flashlight. I tried playing with all the graphic commodities the game offered. Then, I could not get my eyes off every single distortion that seemed to remind me of a suit, arm, leg or face. As I approached a landmark, and I collected the first note I could hear the steady thumping of my character’s heart. That thumping made me think “It’s right behind me”, so for the rest of the game I tried not to look back. I forced my brain not to turn the camera around to check if there was anything on either side of the path I was taking. The other mental note that was present screamed “Do not go off the path.”. The seemingly ordinary woodland is not inviting, at all. On the other hand, there is nothing “Evil” about the map. Some deserted buildings, a giant concrete pipe, large boulder, among other landmarks. Although they hold some sort of mystical power, they are not the evil in the game, it’s your imagination.

The controls in Slender are simple. You walk around with WSAD, sprint with shift, turn on the flash light with F, Zoom in with E, Zoom out with Q and pick up Notes with the left mouse button. You do not have an inventory as such, and your only aim is to find the notes. The flashlight can eventually run out of power, and using it becomes both a blessing and a curse. Why? The flashlight attracts the Slender Man. If you turn it on, the Slender Man sees you. If you turn it off you can escape the Slender Man, but you will not see anything.

Slender

Is this a warning or tip? Both.

For such a simple game it offers incredible graphic quality, and a thrill I did not have since playing Amnesia: The Dark Descent. I am still gathering myself to try and attempt Slender yet again, but the experience is draining. As such, if you are after a game that will scare you, Slender is perfect for that.

There is a problem with the game however, and it is the very same thing that makes it great. I tried playing Slender on the highest possible graphic setting and I had problems with running it smoothly. You do not lose much by decreasing the quality, but I still had a small FPS issue, even on lower settings.

Brilliant in its simplicity

Overall though, Slender is another solid proof that the Horror Survival genre is not dead. There are still games out there that will kick your psyche so hard that you will go back to sleeping with your teddy and lights on. Here a warning from myself. If you have a weak nerve, try playing it with a friend. If you do begin suffering from “Slender Man visions” though, contact me! I am almost a psychologist.

Do not think this is a “lengthy” game. At most you will play it for ten to twenty minutes at a time. On the other hand, despite what some might say, this game does not cease to scare you. In different Reaction Videos I have watched people often try to find methods of “working out” the game. They would suggest methods of evading the Slender Man, when not to look, how not to act and so on. From what I could tell? They were still scared, despite having played the game a number of times. You will join that crowd soon as well.

Despite the incredible experience, Slender will have to make do with an 8/10. It is not because the game does not deserve a higher score, but there is simply not enough content in it. There is no story, aside from a child (?) going around a forest looking for notes. If there was something to grab onto and follow this game would definitely score higher. As much as I would want to say that Slender earns a 9 or 10, an 8 will have to do. Who knows what could come in future patches though? On the other hand, Slender manages to tell us how, in a nutshell, real Survival Horror Games should be. A lot of Horror game developers could learn from Slender, and I hope they will.

If you are after a Multiplayer Slender experience check out our Slender: Source article!

Did you hear that the next installment of Slender is underway?

Rating:8/10
Pros:Nice graphics
Terrifying
Free
Cons:Issues with FPS/Graphic Settings
(Slender Man)
Game producer's website:Parsec Productions
Official website:Slender
Game available at:Slender

Alex “WriterX” Bielski

About The Author

Aleksander "WriterX" Bielski
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Student of Psychology, he was identified as a Nut-Job even before he started the course. Having done some small work as a Modder for a number of titles, and worked as a Game Designer part-time, Alex now writes in third person. As Co-Owner and Editor of AlterGamer.com he aims high, while being armed only with a sling. In the future, he hopes to become a fully qualified Newspaper Editor, and purchase Google.

17 Responses to Slender Review – Don’t look at him!

  1. Nero says:

    I think I finally found that super scary game I’ve been looking for. I wondered though in other games that the story seemed to pull me away from being in my character’s shoes. Confusion is scary, so it’s easy for it to become you in their place trying to figure things out. Without a story it becomes a simulator though- a Fright Simulator of sorts (pun, shamefully intended). Anyway, I’m convinced. I’m gonna go see about getting it.

    • WriterX says:

      You are most correct. The story is one of the important segments in Horror/Survival Horror. Amnesia: The Dark Descent? Scary environment, with challenging monsters, and a story that made my mind fall into temporary depression, during a number of “scenes” (I would give examples, but it’s all spoilery).

      Slender lacks a story, yes, but it captures the other elements that should make a Horror game terrifying. Of course, we could say that a teleporting for is “cheesy”. On the other hand, there are fewer and fewer main stream games that reach for the unpalpable “supernatural”, rather than the “Shotgun to the face” supernatural.

      • There’s something to be said for a lack of reason or story. When a monster or ghost is thoroughly explained, it ceases to be scary. The fear comes from being so out of your element it’s not even funny. Wanting to know what this Slender Man thing is, what it wants, and the like is something which has to be kept from the player else, just like with film and books, you’ve lost that sense of the unpalpable and illogical this thing creates. Our ignorance of it, and the notion that it doesn’t even operate on a plane of logic we could hope to understand, is part of what scares us silly.

        • WriterX says:

          Fear the Unknown, eh? I was trying to think of an example where we know a foe, and we would be still scared of it/him/her… and unfortunately, it is the case that once we know something it no longer scares us, or at least scares us to a lesser degree.

          If you do “give away” the secrecy you have to make up with “climate”. Anybody who played zombie games would know where to aim, how to evade them, and so on. A few single games set you in a state where these “Well Known” zombies are still a real threat. And if not them, then the environment is your enemy (lack of supplies, no safehouse is safe, etc.). There is plenty of ground for developers to go on, they just have to be a bit more creative, and know where to prod our brains to make us shudder in fear!

  2. austin says:

    slender is a good game i know were all the notes are its just what scares me or my freinds or anybody is the element of suprise you never know were hes goin to pop up next. hes popped right into my freinds character 2 times and almost got caught i think they need like sound of leaves crummpling or something to leave you guessing besides the fact that he just randomly pops up everywhere!

    • WriterX says:

      It is the same school as Amnesia. Every single sound or visual distortion make you paranoid. Even if you can “figure out” the game the constant feeling that they are out there does not let you rest. In games like Slender or Amnesia even if you do manage to calm yourself down it takes very little to cause a panic all over again.

  3. Seanbuscus says:

    When i first got the game i was so feeble and scared and i would try to play the game but i only played a little at a time and more i would play the more pages i would get and the more braver i get and finally i got daytime mode!

  4. Durante says:

    This is a great game, actually my friends wanted to show it to me, keeping the element of surprise. Although, the fps as mentioned was too weak, so i tried it on my PC on lowest graphics. Its a really chill and goosebumps giving game, most elements that come into play, is that your without any weapons of protection your practically running for your life, which makes the game even more scarier, plus the enviroment of nobody there to help you. In other words, hopelessness.

  5. Andreas says:

    I’m just so afred of slender he scares the hell out of me :( i don’t know what to do. it feels like he’s right behind me every day ,every hour, every min, every sec…. Pls help me ….

    • Michael Wesley says:

      Dude, don’t be so scared. I feel like this for a while sometimes and what i do is: look behind you! He isnt real and hes just a big fat (well, slender in this case) creepypasta. Or just don’t look, sing a happy song, and talk to someone about it.

      • WriterX says:

        You speak the truth there. In a way though, now that we think about it, when we play a Horror game don’t we want to be scared somewhat? If a game somehow embraces the “Scary” factor, should we not embrace it in turn? What I mean perhaps is that we should simply let Horror games scare us? Well, that is if a horror game is actually scary.

  6. notscarry says:

    this is the lesat scarry game ive played allan wake and half life where better make you jump games…

  7. James Stevenson says:

    Why do you have to find the notes?

    • WriterX says:

      That is a good question. It is never explained in the game, ever. In the later games this appears to have more substance (Haunt, the Arrival) because you appear to be an adult trying to discover the truth. In the original you appear to be a small child… so your guess is as good as mine.

      • Marcus jones says:

        Why do people buy this piece of crap?! I mean, there’s no puzzles. All you’re doing is picking up notes whilst being chased by a mannequin in a suit! That’s not even fucking scary.

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