Developed by: Kitty Horrorshow
This is clearly a big turn from the games I've been reviewing lately, and definitely an older title, but I've been meaning to cover this one for a while. I actually played it during October, when it was high time of what I like to call *Spook Season*. Anatomy is a short 3D horror game where you explore the rooms of a house and slowly learn more about where you are.
I will be honest: I'm pretty bad at playing horror games. Every time I've started one, I quit about 5 minutes in, unable to bring myself to open another door because I do NOT want to see what's on the other side. I love watching horror movies, but they're something about playing horror games that feels like the circumstances are real and outside of my control. After hearing Anatomy was a short and had no terrible images, I decided I could brave it... Just kidding, I still had to play it with my partner sitting by my side. There was one point in the game I would consider a jump scare, so, do have that in mind going in. However, I'll reiterate , truthfully, that there are no disturbing images or monsters. It's mostly psychological horror.
You're in a house from the beginning, with several places to go except outside of the house. Exploring the house is simple enough, although you have to make sure you pay attention to details in each room. The tapes you find in the house seem to be from some sort of lecture or class, but will slowly reveal more to you about the circumstances you find yourself in. More doors open, but at the same time, you begin to be more aware that you are trapped. There are multiple endings, so if you still feel bold after beating the game once, it's definitely worth going back in. It only takes about 45 minutes for a full play-through.
I have to limit my summary and screenshots of the game, since the point of Anatomy is to discover the pieces all on your own. It's truly haunting, but the reason that it is so is because its elements of fear are all very real and easy to imagine. It has the authentic feel equivalent to a found-footage film translated into a game. The graphics aren't excellent, but they weren't meant to be. You're given just enough, both in aesthetics and sound, for it to feel real, but distorted.
Kitty Horrorshow is just one developer, and she has several short horror games on itch, many of which are actually available for free. Anatomy is one of her better known games, but she is still a small developer and is continues to make games with the help of her supporters on Patreon. I want to continue playing her other games, especially the different volumes of Haunted Cities, but we'll see how brave I'm feeling.
I can't say I have the most experience with horror games, but I really think Anatomy does something very unique and unexplored. It's the type of horror I appreciate: not consisting of gore and shock value, but instead of the unknown that can creep into your mind, that watches you. I really recommend this game, even if you haven't had luck with horror games in the past, and especially if you enjoy found footage horror films. It's short enough to play in one sitting, after which you can take a breather with perhaps a more light-hearted game, and it's only $2.99 on itch.
Anatomy is available on PC.
Played on: PC (itch.io)
Playtime: 1 hr
How I heard about this game: Recommendation