Dungeoneer: Saw the Game

I never liked any of the torture genre; though I grudgingly admit the clever writing of the earlier of the Saw series, the material makes me physically ill – no hyperbole.

Dungeoneer: Beautiful Escape is an indie game created in RPG Maker by a psychotherapist (who also hates Saw-like movies) that places itself solidly in the horror genre. You play a sub-par serial-killer named Verge, a member of a secret society of serial killers who post videos of their kills on the internet and rate each other. He is infatuated with the androgynous Daily, who is a superstar of the serial killer world.

The game consists of a dating-sim component, where you navigate dialogue trees to make your victims like and trust you, and a tower defence component, in which you create a sequence of traps to injure and traumatise your victim, driving them to death, despair, or a “beautiful escape”.

The atmosphere is downbeat and depressing, and I think the creator succeeded in bringing some psychological depth to the characters and the supporting cast. According to the creator, the setup is a satire of the game-making community, where reviewers tear apart works to show off their writing skill, and meaningless praise is given for adherence to trends rather than expression of individuality. And interestingly, there is nothing in the game that forces you to pursue the “beautiful escape” aside from that community groupthink.

The game is very short, and the subject matter will repel many. I found it innovative and worth a play.

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