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For: iPhone   Also on: Android, iPad

Faux marble hornets

Product: Slender-Man | Developer: Rory Harvey | Publisher: Rory Harvey | Format: iPhone | Genre: Adventure, Conversion | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0
Slender-Man iPhone, thumbnail 1
Roughly ten minutes into the original Slender on PC, I bitterly regretted turning off the lights before hitting 'start'. Even more than that, I regretted my choice of light-coloured trousers.

The free experimental horror title by designer Mark Hadley is essentially a brief amalgam of the internet-created Slender Man mythos (watch the marvellous YouTube series Marble Hornets to find out more) and the gameplay of PC scare-'em-up Amnesia: Dark Descent.

It does, however, really nail that horror film effect of making you not want to know what's waiting for you in the dark.

Consequently, it feels like a massive insult to such an inspired piece of lo-fi gaming that Android and iOS developer Rory Harvey is making profit with his execrable, deeply cynical clone Slender-Man.

Slim pickings

In a manner strikingly reminiscent of Slender, you start out alone in a wooded area dotted with a handful of industrial buildings and abandoned machinery, and you have to search through near pitch darkness for eight pages stuck to random pieces of scenery.

Each one depicts a child's drawing of the Slender-Man, a very tall gentleman in a suit who will drive you insane if you stare at him too long (cue screen blur and distressing static noise).

In the PC original, he stalks you like a rather dandy Blair Witch and has the unnerving habit of appearing out of the corner of your eye the moment you're distracted. It's his omnipresence that instills the fear, rather than the apparition himself.

But in this lame iOS and Android knock off he's practically a co-op partner. So often does the Slender-Man pop-up that he induces about as much terror as a kitten in a flowerpot.

Control your fear

From the outset, this feels like a badly faxed imitation, and its problems are compounded by the dreadful controls. Two virtual joysticks allegedly control your movement and first-person viewpoint, but the lurching, soupy camera makes it a nauseating battle to stay looking ahead - let alone spot any pages.

Despite having been put-together using the same Unity3D engine as Slender, which should it mean it will scale well to mobile devices, every texture, object, and static blade of grass screams lack of effort.

With only a flatulent-sounding heartbeat left to induce any sense of growing tension, Slender-Man is a diabolical effort to piggyback on the success of a free title.

Avoid it like you'd avoid the Slender-Man himself.
Reviewer photo
Paul Devlin | 18 October 2012
A dastardly effort to cash-in on a genuine indie horror sensation that's as fun as it is terrifying, i.e. not at all
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