The Backrooms is one of my favourite internet phenomena, a series of blogs, short films, and creepypasta stories detailing a creepy liminal space between realities haunted by Lovecraftian ghouls. Inspired by Slenderman and SCP, Backrooms now has a new survival horror game, available to download on Itch.
The Backrooms in 1998 is a found-footage style psychological horror whereby you must navigate the eponymous sub-reality by finding clues, using spray paint to mark your path and, naturally, avoiding the various New Weird creatures trying to hunt you down. With high-end visuals and some decent voice acting, it’s remarkably complete for an independent project. “Things you may see in the shadows are sometimes not shadows,” says the game’s description. “Something or someone may be lurking in there with you. Use your stamina only when needed, and tread carefully.” As if I need to be told…
Created by Steelkrill Studio, a one-person developer selling the game for whatever price you choose to pay, The Backrooms in 1998 is incredibly professional-looking, capturing the grainy VHS and stark lens-flare lighting effects of very best found-footage movies. It’s also, naturally, very scary, an eerie slow build where you’re stalked by ghosts, mannequins, and blink-and-you’ll-miss-them shadow monsters.
The current version is just a teaser, but if you like good horror, and especially if you’re looking for something as we head towards Halloween, The Backrooms in 1998 is unmissable. Just don’t forget that spray paint. The Backrooms are alive, and they’ll do everything to trap you inside.
As October approaches, be sure to check out some of the other best Halloween games. You might also want to try some of the best indie games on PC, or if first-person scares are your thing (meaning you’re braver than me) some of the best VR horror games out now.