‘Deadly Night’ Captures Players into the Halloween Spirit

Video Game Review

Sal Pendleton, Staff Writer

Now that it’s officially October,  it’s officially the start of the spookiest season of the year. To help kick off the season, one of the best retro indie game publishers, Torture Star Video, recently released a new horror game that might just be a game changer in the retro indie horror game scene.

Torture Star Video is best known for publishing games created by Puppet Combo. Puppet Combo is most popular for the loud antagonists in their games that have created a horrifying atmosphere. Many other developers have tried to recreate the same feel since the release of “Nun Massacre” in 2018, which set a pretty high standard for retro indie horror games. 

Torture Star Video’s release of “Deadly Night,” created by Cubyte Games on Sept. 2, easily achieves the disturbing climate of other games published by Torture Star video, including all of the horrifying gore, PS2 graphics, and insane madmen killers that the site is well known for.

What separates “Deadly Night” from most other retro indie horror games released in recent years is its addition of a dominant storyline with multiple playable characters, routes, and endings.

Most retro indie horror games are pretty short-lived, or the storyline included in them doesn’t seem to be so memorable (and sometimes isn’t even discernable) compared to the actual play of the game. Naturally, I’m excited to see real and sensible storylines introduced into the subgenre of retro horror games, which typically relies on the usual playthrough of simply trying to escape or discover the story behind the setting of the game. Finally, in “Deadly Night,” you are actually making your own choices and not just being guided by the game.

This is Cubyte Games’ first shot at creating a longer horror game that features both storylines and loud antagonists. Most of the game is played inside the “Murderer’s House,” which is the home of the man who kidnapped Carole, your main character. Recently dumped by her boyfriend, Carole hitchhikes to a motel, where her terror-stricken night begins. The murderer is actively trying to kill Carole as she moves through the house to find different clues regarding both how to escape and the killer’s identity.

As Carole, you are in the house being chased around by the killer, who sounds like nails on a chalkboard. The game also doesn’t come with any checkpoints except for one or two, so the pressure is definitely on trying to solve puzzles with uncomfortable noise blasting in your ears and knowing you cannot fail.

The constantly yelling murderer with a bloody bag on his face adds stress to the already elevated anxiety of the game. Some of the tasks included in the game are so hard, they will probably take multiple tries (without dying, as there aren’t really any checkpoints).  For example, there’s a task in which you fill a bucket with holes in it up with water and have to carry it downstairs before it drains. The map of the house is also pretty large, so it’d be in your best interest to remember which rooms contain hiding spots. 

Throughout the fervent search of the house for ways to escape, you will also find clues as to who the killer is and how he committed his murders. There are other characters in the game tied to both Carole and the killer that you get to play as. There are plenty of flashbacks of Carole’s life and even the killer’s life, and the pieces of who he really is naturally falls together. 

As someone who has been enjoying indie horror games for years and has fallen in love with the newer popularity of retro indie horror games, I believe “Deadly Night”  will set a fresh standard for retro horror games and will allow for an incredible change within this subgenre. Cubyte Games has definitely made its mark with this game, and I’m so excited to see what the developers have in store next.