This horror game makes searching the walkthrough part of the mystery

Mirror LayersThis is a standard horror movie experience. I’m trapped in a house with two realities and hidden secrets, being hunted by a terrifying humanoid monster of some kind. I can shimmy underneath a bed or lock myself in a closet to avoid its gaze, but I’m still trapped in this Silent HillApartment with a mystery theme

The normal apartment is perfectly mundane — the only thing scary is thinking about how much rent costs for this spacious spot. Dark, corrupted by dark veiny roots and all-around evil, the alternate universe apartment looks dark.

Ah, but there’s a twist! There’s an old PC in the apartment, and I can use it to ask questions and check progress with other players who are at a similar stage. We’re all connected to the same PC, and we can ask questions, answer each other, share notes we’ve drawn, and even digitize and upload quest items we find along the way. You can solve the mystery together in real-time with others by using the FAQs.

Mirror Layers - a humanoid monster with an oblong head approaches the player intimidatingly

Image: Revolab/Ivan Zanotti

It’s a very clever trick, and it completely transforms the game. Ivan Zanotti and Revolab have created a social game which is very effective because it provides a great incentive to play with other players. First of all, I don’t want to get murdered. Second, the ability to reach out and ask for real help from people is far more satisfying than just alt-tabbing an internet walkthrough.

My success is dependent on the PC and other users. I have grown to love them even though they are only a handle or simple icon. When I’m in the nightmare apartment, I’m hiding and sweating, creeping through dark hallways and jumping at every sound. When I’m back in the normal apartment, I return to the trusty PC and get some encouragement from my new buddies. HimboGod, a friend of mine shared an important tip to stay safe. Thanks, buddy!

Mirror Layers - players use the in-game PC

Image: Revolab/Ivan Zanotti

The PC also allows me to kind of sequence break the game — without spoiling the entire show. At one point, I managed to get a power line by sneaking into the dark world. After getting outta there, I returned to my apartment and checked the computer for power cord posts. Each piece of console was uploaded by someone else, so I could easily 3D-print my own. While I have the benefit of people with deeper knowledge than I do, I have to learn all the details on my own.

I’m not very far into Mirror Layers, but it’s a fascinating indie game that’s worth the $20. It’s on sale until Nov. 5 as well, which makes it appealing for a post-Halloween fright night.

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