After a full decade of being the go-to visual style for indie games, pixel art is slowly giving way to low-poly 3D. I, for one, welcome the change. It’s not exactly that I’m tired of pixel art per se, but it’s been a long time. If you’re also one to hanker for the olden days of fuzzy, angular Playstation 1 graphics, you’ll be happy to hear about the Haunted PS1 Demo Disc. It’s a project that gathers seventeen indie horror game demos in one place. No, silly, it’s not an actual disc.
Gosh, demo discs. You remember those? You old fart, so unlike myself, young and full of life. There are untold multitudes of games I’ve never played in full, but have replayed their demos over and over again, trudging through their opening levels or, less often, specific vertical slices that were made for that purpose. I remember borrowing them from people who were well-off enough to have magazine subscriptions, or getting them in a plastic bag with a bunch of actual games whenever I’d swap my Mega Drive for my cousin’s PSX. There was always an air of mystery around them, around guessing what could come after those 20-30 minutes of out-of-context play.
The Haunted PS1 Demo Disc aims to recreate those cherished memories with 17 brand new indie horror game demos. I can’t say I’m familiar with any of the creators at a glance, but the games’ names do inspire confidence – just look at Filthbreed, Dread Delusion, Effigy, and A Place, Forbidden and tell me you don’t feel at least a bit uneasy. It’s completely free, as these things tend to be (or tended, way back when they were an actual thing), and it’s only 2GB. If you have any sort of inclination towards lo-fi 3D graphics and/or horror fiction, I’d say it’s a no-brainer.