At the farthest edge of the explored universe, the research ship Xanadu slumbers in orbit around a mysterious planet. Her systems remain active but there has been no message from her crew for months. Now a lone operative has been sent to wake the Xanadu and bring her home to Earth.
User reviews:
Overall:
Very Positive (125 reviews) - 83% of the 125 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Mar 26, 2015

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Recent updates View all (10)

July 30

Very tiny patch

-Changed the text on the "Communications" Auxilliary power unit as it's misleading, it enables the computers not the communications. The communications, external communications to HQ that is, can't be restored. Which may have led to confusion about the communications option in the save terminal. Lord that took a year to fix that mistake.

-Change a thing that can only be done once per sesson to a thing that can be done more than once per session.

-And ditto for another.

-Small lighting bugfix.

5 comments Read more

July 28

Another small patch

This is just a small update to address some things I forgot in the previous one, and a few other things I felt like doing.

-Updated to Unity 5.4 which was just released, its changelog indicates audio and GI improvements, as well as multi-threading performance improvements (I can't tell any difference).

-Hard Mode no longer resets you to your last save point when you die.

-You can now disable the key prompt display, in addition to the hint text, when hovering your cursor over something you can interact with.

-If your "Interact" key is longer than one character it will display a hand icon instead of the key's name (e.g. when assigning the third mouse button to "Interact", the on screen text would previously display obtrusive "Mouse3" text).

-Pressing the Escape key will cancel a key assignment in progress, and is no longer allowed to be changed from "Pause".

-Fixed the first pillbot being invulnerable.

-Fixed a rare bug that wouldn't allow you to unpause the game when leaving the controls screen.

-Stubborn shuttle ramp straightened out.

-Hopefully fixed the bug that prevents doors from opening (still can't reproduce it on my end, not 100% sure if fixed).

-Pistol fire-rate increased, shotgun fire-rate decreased and spread increased but deals much more damage, the SMG's fire-rate is the same but its damage is reduced.

-AI Balancing. Pillbots shoot faster, flybots move slightly slower, recreational droid exploding behavior modified a bit.

-More improvements made to improve the gamepad controls.

-Toned down the volumetric lighting a bit.

-Other misc stuff I can't remember because I didn't write them down.

edit:

You might have seen another update after this one, it was to fix a bug introduced in this patch as well as add the ability to scroll through options by holding down the mouse button or the analog stick. Makes it faster to go through the sensitivity options especially. Thanks Bigsybee for mentioning that in your Let's Play, it's something I've been meaning to do but kept forgetting.

3 comments Read more

Reviews

“Spirits of Xanadu offers an enriching gameplay experience that lingers on the edge of my thoughts even now. While I feared it would turn out to be just another sci-fi horror adventure, it jumped up and surprised me with meaningful storytelling, interesting mysteries, and three different endings (all of which are extremely impactful, depending on what kind of psychotic person you are).”
Johnny Ohm, Gizorama

“The game is proof that you don't need Unreal Engine 4 visuals or graphic violence to be scary and immersive, all you need is a character, a ship and the endless void where all your dreams - and all your nightmares - can exist.”
Steve Buja, Gamenguide

“This is an impressive little horror game because of how heavily it avoids typical horror imagery. Sure, there’s a blood trail marking the path of a [dragged] body, but that’s the only bit of gore in the whole game. Instead, Spirits of Xanadu leans into the surreal and the mystical, like floating kabuki masks and lotus flowers casually placed in a briefcase, all taking place in an alternative futuristic 1983.”
Nick Dinicola, PopMatters

About This Game

At the farthest edge of the explored universe, the research ship Xanadu slumbers in orbit around a mysterious planet. Her systems remain active but there has been no message from her crew for months. Now a lone operative has been sent to wake the Xanadu and bring her home to Earth.

Spirits of Xanadu is an atmospheric exploration game set aboard a deserted starship in an alternate 1980s. It draws inspiration from classic sci-fi films, novels, and games to create an immersive and highly interactive environment, featuring puzzles and FPS elements in the service of a unique and layered plot.

Key Features:

  • Discover the truth
    Get to know the crew and piece together what happened through fully voiced audiologs in addition to various types of documents and e-mails.
  • Three distinct endings
    Make a decision based on what you have discovered, and decide the fate of the Xanadu.
  • No hand holding
    You have one primary objective: Return the Xanadu back to Earth. There are no objective markers, you have no map, and the ship has been sabotaged. You begin your mission with only a flashlight and a message from your superiors back on Earth, the rest you'll have to figure out on your own.
  • Hot robot action with first person shooter combat
    Evade the ship's security system while battling hostile robots.
  • Fully interactive environment
    Inspired by the immersive environments of games such as Deus Ex and System Shock 2: Open every drawer, use every computer, and read every document you find. More importantly, you can flush every toilet.
  • Optional 'Peaceful' mode
    Not a fan of violence against robots? Switch to the Peaceful difficulty setting in the options menu to make the robots passive, allowing you to explore the ship, experience the story, and solve puzzles at your own pace.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP SP2 or later
    • Processor: 2.451 GHz dual-core
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Dedicated graphics card with 512MB of VRAM and shader model 3.0
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows XP SP2 or later
    • Processor: 3 GHz dual-core or better
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Dedicated graphics card with 512MB of VRAM and shader model 3.0
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.6+
    • Processor: 2.4 GHz dual-core
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Dedicated graphics card with 512MB of VRAM and shader model 3.0
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.6+
    • Processor: 3 GHz dual-core or better
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Dedicated graphics card with 512MB of VRAM and shader model 3.0
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu/Mint
    • Processor: 2.4 GHz dual-core
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Dedicated graphics card with 512MB of VRAM and shader model 3.0
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Nvidia GPU recommended
    Recommended:
    • OS: Ubuntu/Mint
    • Processor: 3 GHz dual-core or better
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Dedicated graphics card with 512MB of VRAM and shader model 3.0
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Nvidia GPU recommended
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Overall:
Very Positive (125 reviews)
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105 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
7.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 24
If you, like me, love mid- to late-90's FPS games like System Shock or Deus Ex, you're likely to enjoy this game. It's kind of amazing how much it feels like a game of that era just on a modern engine. Complete lack of guidance means lots of exploration and non-linear gameplay.

There is one very strange design choice by the devs which is to erase all your save data after you beat the game. So there is no going back to further explore the ship and find things you missed once you trigger an ending. You must restart. I found this disappointing since I had no warning it would happen, so I couldn't go back and explore the ship more in the state it was in right before finishing the game. Actually, this was so bizarre to me that I thought it was a bug; however, a dev responded to me to let me know this was a completely intentional design choice.

I still recommend the game, but I think you should just go in knowing you'll have to replay the whole thing to make different choices later in the game. I was happy with my choices (which is why I chose them first!), but I wanted to play through the others without needing to tediously repeat the rest of the game. So even though I thoroughly enjoyed my playthrough, I was left with a bad feeling of disappointment once it ended and the title screen returned missing the option to Continue from a save. Knowing this in advance, I think you can go in and enjoy it without any feelings of disappointment.

Overall the experience is very unique and interesting, and the narrative well-told. And it was fun.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 29
Great little game that i will be playing again to try and get the other endings.

The atmosphere is great and has you listening to very sound for any edge against the robots.
The occasional music you can find from the tape recorder is very haunting and works perfectly.
All round a solid little FPS, space horror, and i hope the developers make a sequal or something simular.
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2 of 10 people (20%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 4
I tried roleplaying it but after an hour of running around in the dark all I did was get blown up and locked in the brig.

There are no hints of what you should be doing and enemies respawn.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
52 of 61 people (85%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 26, 2015
Spirits of Xanadu is one horror game, out of few, that I like and enjoy playing, because it focuses on atmosphere, music, story, and narration with nice voice acting, but aside from all that, it's good horror game in my eyes because it uses the atmosphere and its environment to inject fear in you.

How this game does it's thrills is, again, it's great atmosphere, and how the enemies that want to kill you are all in their place, doing their own thing, and will attack you because they saw you, not because they know exactly where you are, and they won't magically appear in front or behind you to cheaply scare and kill you, like most other horror games do.

Another great thrilling aspect about the game that makes me fearful of it, is how they do illusions by letting you see these space ghosts from time to time while exploring the ship. They magically appear and disappear, but in a slow seamless way, and these ghosts are not trying to scare you in the since of a quick spook, but more in the way that they're watching you, and you see them doing they're own thing rather than to stupidly scare you, it's what I'd like to call a cool scare.

The game looks great by the way, yea it's just simple plain colors with simple structures from the looks of it, but with nice lighting, great affects, and 'not' crappy models with a great amount of them, it all combines together to make great scenes to look at. I also want to give extra credit to the team for making small quality details like books with readable titles and good quality pictures on them, and having me think that the environment I was in feel like it was lived in before, just from look at rooms and finding nice notes.

Speaking of notes, the game is filled with just enough story content like notes and voice recorders, that it kept me interested in that story throughout my duration of playing the game. Some these notes were mostly interesting to read, but some are part of, what I feel, the environment as a means of making the world/ship believable, which was kind of cool. The voice recorders are awesome, with great voice acting, and ones that are unique with how everyone has their own thoughts and personalities, but they all share the same despair and downfall. So the story, in all angles, is great.

Going to gameplay, you start off with a laser gun with unlimited ammo, so scavenging for resources of any kind is not necessity, which I'm kind of happy about, but I'm not against having them if done correctly in a game like amnesia. The gun play in the game is decent but a bit jittery when zooming, although I haven't found myself zooming much, firing from the hip was more optimal. You have to look for items to collect, and usually place them in other areas or machines, fix broken machinery, and maybe find some clues to open locked optional doors for added content like a different gun.

What I like about the whole experience that the game throws you into the game with no hand holding of any kind mostly, as in no tutorials, no objective markers, nothing, you have to figure it out with the notes in the game or audio log, or just plain figuring it out. That can be viewed as a negative also, but for me It's an alright thing to put in (or not to put in) as the stuff you have to do is not insanely hard, it's manageable.

Overall I had a great experience playing Spirits Of Xanadu, I'd even compare to Alien Isolation, obviously not in graphical power, technicalities, or gameplay elements, but in story, atmosphere, and voice acting, all of them being low level nice qualities, but a worthy comparison to note. The asking price can be argued upon, as the game isn't long, but it is a great experience, for me I'd say 10$ is its sweet spot, but I'm not against the original price.

Shameless link to original post.
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49 of 58 people (84%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 29, 2015
THIS GAME IS RAD.

It’s got a really simple visual design, but it is still very atmospheric to explore.

The game is KIND of a shooter… there is definitely shooter gameplay in it, and the shooting feels just fine, but what you are really looking at with this game is an ADVENTURE GAME that also just happens to let you shoot robots with laser guns.

The premise is sort of like the first Dead Space. There is a vessel that has gone silent for some reason. You are sent to the vessel to assess the situation and then fix anything that needs to be fixed to assure that the vessel will return to earth properly. The difference is that in Dead Space, this is just some explanation for getting you on board the ship full of aliens so that you can start shooting aliens. Sometimes a guy on a radio tells you to fix something and you press A to fix it. But in Xanadu, you actually have to like… figure out how to disable the rogue turret outside the engine room, then disable it, then break into the engine room and look at the engine to figure out why it’s not working, which is partly obvious (replace fuses, unjam the cogs, etc), but it also means performing some quasi-Myst-like gameplay where you fiddle around with knobs and switches and buttons until something interesting starts to happen.

There are also audio logs and text notes you can find, as well as computers you can log onto to read emails and such, which fulfills the part of the mission where you’re trying to investigate what happened. But the weird thing is… and this is coming from a guy who nearly always HATES audio logs and note pages… I actually am really enjoying finding them and reading/listening to them?

They are actually really well written (and the VO is not bad at all), and there is an interesting element of the story that adds an interesting quirk to a lot of the messages. But I also like that the logs and stuff you find aren’t just exposition dumps. You also find the sorts of notes and things that people would actually write down. You might find the recipe for an omelet, or a scrap of paper on which someone has simply scribbled down the Konami code (ha ha). One of the audio logs was made by one of the crew, who got really drunk and basically just drunk dialed his voice recorder. I literally laughed when he starts talking about his girlfriend’s hair for some reason and about how it looks “very Roman… like the hair a Roman would have”. The sort of weird, incomprehensible babbling your drunk friend would actually say.

The most obvious sign this is an adventure game though? I've never played a shooter where I had to get out a pen and paper to SOLVE ONE OF ITS PUZZLES. But you will have to do that at least once here. Don't be scared, though. The puzzle quality is very good. Just remember to be very thorough.

Using my own scale below, I give Spirits of Xanadu a hearty 7!

I WANT MORE GAMES LIKE THIS.

7) A classic, essential, and/or must-buy game that is worth full price.
6) A good game that is worth the full price.
5) A pretty good game worth checking out--especially if discounted.
4) A pretty good game, but I would recommend buying it discounted.
3) Worth checking out, but I would recommend buying it heavily discounted.
2) Only worth checking out if you are dangerously curious.
1) Avoid at all costs.
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30 of 35 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: March 29, 2015
Don't be discouraged by the graphics. The look of this game is simple, yet functional. What this game has going for it however is a strong atmosphere, great writing and a huge attention to detail. This is not only a game that rewards your curiousity and attentive exploration, it demands it!

If you're unattentive, you might start the game without a flashlight. Or you might overlook that you can repair a fuse and turn on the lights and play the whole game in a dark ship, only with your flashlight. Or you might miss a new weapon. Or you might overlook the myriad of hidden clues, notes, scribblings and hints.

In fact that's what happened to me. My first playthrough was quite short (around 3 hours) and I thought I found almost everything. Imagine my surprise when I found out I only got about one third of the story (and a bad ending)!

I probably don't have to mention that this game has been inspired by System Shock; that's pretty clear from the trailer and the description. I can just reassure you that this is not a low-cost remake of SS, this is an interesting and original take on the "investigate a spaceship that stopped communicating" theme (of which there is not enough if you ask me :). Just be prepared to work hard for a complete understanding of what really happened and a chance of changing the ship's fate (and yours).
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29 of 36 people (81%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 12, 2015
Spirits of Xanadu is an atmospheric first person adventure game with simplistic combat and graphics, light puzzle and exploration aspects and a well-told, interesting story.

It is set during an alternate version of the 1980's on an unresponsive research vessel, the Xanadu, which is in orbit around a planet far from Earth, and, playing in the shoes of a one-man recovery team, you are instructed to return the ship the and all of it's research material back to Earth to it's corporate owners even at the cost of the well-being of the crew. You start the game on a small recovery vessel making it's final docking approach on the Xanadu, and once aboard it you have nothing more than a flashlight, a laser pistol and your wits to complete your task (although technically you could never pick up those two items and complete the game in complete darkness without shooting anything).

There is no hand-holding or tutorials or explicit guidance given. Period. The puzzles are simple, the map is small, there are only be a few weapons to collect and a handful of enemy types to fight, but discovering what happened to the Xanadu and completing your mission entirely through your own actions makes the whole experience feel surprisingly rewarding.

The atmosphere of this game is something to behold in and of itself, though, and it's carefully crafted by a combination of the impeccable presentation of the mystery of the Xanadu and the game world's immersiveness. You discover the details what happened to the Xanadu primarily through tape recordings made by it's three former inhabitants which are scattered around the ship, hidden, but put in logical places. There's even poems and notes that you can find that add even more intrigue and flavor to the narrative but the recordings truly are unforgettable. These personal accounts of the crew's self-destruction and are believable, well-written, and incredibly well voice acted. As you listen to these voice logs, playing through the game slowly becomes more and more tense as you learn about the what caused this cryptic tragedy and realize that, soon, you too will suffer their fate. This ambience is pitch perfect for me: unsettling and bleak but not outright terrifying or unbelievable or depressing (in other words, it's almost completely devoid of any melodrama).

The interior enviroment of the Xanadu perfectly complements the storytelling of the game in order to make its atmosphere so absorbing. No detail inside the Xanadu is out of place besides the occasional easter egg. The interactivity of the enviroment, while oddly limited in some ways, is, overall, realistic, and the limitations prevent it from being distracting or superfluous (this is not a Visceral Cleanup Detail rip-off). The various living spaces, amenities and utilities all feel like they are necessary components of this vessel. All together, they give an important sense of realism as you explore the ship which keeps the whole game experience grounded despite the game's minimalistic visual aesthetic and ominous mood. It should be noted, too, that while thorough exploration is necessary for experiencing everything all this game has to offer, its small scale prevents any serious tedium in this endeavor.

The only real problem with the immersion of the game is that the design of the enemies and how you fight them is not nearly as interactive as the enviroment they inhabit. Each one attacks you in their own, singular, boring way, and you just have to shoot them to kill them (except for the security drones which you can shut off if you can sneak up behind them). One enemy type, which I call kamikaze robots, are especially frustrating to deal with because their one attack pattern is to run up to you and destroy themselves and you with a fatal explosion. It's nearly impossible to stop them before they get within arms reach since they have plenty of health with no weakpoints, they run faster than you, and most areas of the ship are quite confined and free of obstructions to outsmart them with. A seperate but related issue in the immersion is that some of the enemies (including the aformentioned kamikaze robots) are somehow capable of respawning on a derelict ship in space for no reason and the debris from potentially infinite encounters with these respawning enemies causes performance degradation over a playthrough.

All in all, this is a great indie game that can engage you with it's enigmatic and disconcerting atmosphere and make you think. Even if it's light on the play-time and mechanical depth, it can be just enough to make a lasting impression on those that play it.

EDIT: Added much, much, much more detail.
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20 of 23 people (87%) found this review helpful
Recommended
8.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 3, 2015
An objective based FPS that doesn't hold your hand.
Excellent voice acting.
Excellent writing.
Excellent shooting gameplay.
Minor performance issue in certain rooms.
Finished in 3 hours at a leasure pace.
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17 of 18 people (94%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 25
TL;DR
+Good atsmosphere, nice puzzle, bunch of secret/easter egg, fun
-Too short
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22 of 27 people (81%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 15
It's nice (and very rare) to see a game with some good writing.
The people in Spirits of Xanadu seem to have had a real human life before you got there, they do not seem to just be there for the sake of the story.
Overall a great game with a superb mood.
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Recently Posted
wheatleyco
0.4 hrs
Posted: September 20
This game was really frustrating. It is a FPS game where you roam around an abandoned ship. I played it for about half an hour and the game did not give any clear instructions on what needs to be done. I just kept dying against the aliens. The gunplay was very poor and I did not like the graphics style at all. It was all very tedious to carry on and figure what actually was going on. It seems that ther was some mystery going on in the ship but I was too bored to try and figure out what was happening. there appear to be various sections of the ship you can go to to find out.
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Soren1015
3.3 hrs
Posted: August 22
Never before has the question "Would you like to play some basket ball?" Stuck such fear in me.

In all seriousness though, solid little game. Nice exploration and not overbearning on the action (the robots don't respawn so once you kill them, they're down) oh yeah and multiple endings (3). Personally I think it was worth 10 bucks, if you're unsure then flag it to your wishlist and grab it when it goes on sale.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Kaishi
9.7 hrs
Posted: August 22
The atmosphere in this game is pretty fantastic. Also the writing. It reminds me of a minimalist version of System Shock meets Dead Space.

It's short, sweet, and cohesive. It feels like a fleshed-out game-jam-type production. The systems present in the game are well-developed (lighting, basic combat, item placement, mystery) and while other systems could have been implemented, they don't feel missing to me.

For example, all weapons have infinite ammo. This means the devs didn't have to spend time balancing ammo pickups and placement, magazine sizes, overheat meters, etc. It's an oldschool decision that works well in this environment.
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casual_gamer_guy
3.4 hrs
Posted: August 14
The game has interesting premise, and there's some depth to the story. However, the actual gameplay is very tedious. Progress, especially for the "good" ending, relies on finding items scattered throughout the ship, and there's unclear logic with regard to where those items might be. As a result, it becomes necessary to check all rooms and open all drawers / containers. The fact that the character starts in a totally dark ship with only a flashlight and a gun made early exploration more annoying. Much of the game's length is due to this search for items and bits of information. It becomes very obvious on replays -- with knowledge of all the important information (e.g. location of required items, coordinate for destination you want), the game itself can be completed in about 10 minutes.
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Ren-chon
4.9 hrs
Posted: August 7
A the beginning i was a little disapointed, but for any reasons i couldnt stop playing, the ship and the audiologs made me intrigued. After a hour playing discovered a hidden gem.

If you like games like SS2 or films like Event Horizon, Space Odysee, West World, this will like you. Its like all of that togheter.

I highly recommend this

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Al principio me decepciono un poco, pero por alguna razon no podia dejar de jugarlo, la nave, y los registros de audio me tenian intrigado. Y despues de una hora jugando sabia que estaba ante una joya desconocida.

Si te gustan los juegos como SS2 o peliculas como Horizonte Final, 2001 Una Odisea en el Espacio o Almas de Metal, este te gustara. Es como una mezcla de todos.

Lo recomiendo bastante.
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Owlmanandy
3.1 hrs
Posted: August 1
As the Rely on Horror reccomendation says, it's a very well-crafted little game made especially impressive by its limited number of developers. And while I absolutely agree that it's a fantastically written game, and I might add that I find the visuals quite appealing and the exploration quite fun, I would argue that it's less horror and more action. While it certainly builds tension at the beginning, that goes right out the window as soon as you die (and you will, at least once) since there's really no penalty to dying, and the robots aren't particularly frightening, though seeing a glowing red light approach me from the end of a darkened hall is something I won't be forgetting soon. This lack of horror is what I find to be the game's biggest draw, though it certainly makes up in other departments. I reccomend giving it a go.
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PhD.Q'zo
1.6 hrs
Posted: July 31
Short and intriguing. Absolutely worth giving a try when on sale.
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