To be perfectly honest, the whole Slender Man phenomenon had kinda passed me by; I hadn’t realised – until quite recently – just how popular the big weirdo is with those crazy internet-using kids (more below).
There’s no shortage of Slender Man apps on the App Store, but reportedly one of the best – and most terrifying – is Slender Rising by Michael Hegemann (£1.99). It’s scary sh*t, man.
Originally the creation of Something Awful forum user Eric Knudsen, Slender Man is, well, a slender man in a black suit, with a featureless face and multiple tentacles for the stalking and the abduction, usually of kids.
The whole thing is fairly open to interpretation; there’s no strict origin story, and thus there’s a ton of original Slender Man content, from written stories to social media stuff to independent films to games.
Here, Slender Rising is an immersive first-person scare-a-thon, tasking the player with collecting seven signs in order to escape, with eerie whispers (and a red arrow) guiding the player towards said signs.
Slender Man appears intermittently, at which point it’s necessary to run like hell in the opposite direction. If he gets close and catches you in his stare, simply swipe like a maniac to escape.
And that’s Slender Rising in 200 words. Now to detail the good and the bad (mostly good).
For starters, Slender Rising is up there with the scariest games I’ve played on the App Store. Year Walk is perhaps more creepy; Slender Rising is balls-out terrifying, thanks to the immersive first-person presentation, and Slender Man’s propensity for appearing when you least expect it.
There’s also a choice of four locations (Cursed Ruins, Desolate Town, Haunted Forest and Lost Ward), and four ambience settings (Day, Night, Nightvision and Storm).
I didn’t much like the controls at first (tap to move), but thankfully there are four options, alongside the ability to invert look and adjust the look sensitivity.
On the poop side, Slender Rising is quite samey. Even the presence of two game modes (the second being an endless offering) can’t hide the fact that you’re essentially running about collecting signs ad nauseam.
Some of the locations are utterly bewildering, too. Rather than systematically exploring the Lost Ward, for example, it feels very much like wandering around a maze with no sense of direction. Though maybe that’s intentional.
Slender Rising is pretty hard, too. It’s easy enough to escape Slender Man at first, but four or five signs in it becomes almost impossible.
But on the whole, I rather enjoyed Slender Rising, and I’ll probably go back to it momentarily, as I could never quite grab seven signs in one sitting.
It’s worth noting that there’s a Slender Rising 2, which I’ll be checking out later this week (probably), but in the meantime, you could do much worse than chucking a couple of quid at Slender Rising.
- Scary. As. Fug.
- Customisable controls
- Four locations, four ambience settings
- Quite samey (signs, signs, signs; run, run, run)
- Some of the locations are quite maze-like
- Pretty hard
Summary: Slender Rising is a pretty terrifying first-person escape-a-thon, and something you probably won’t want to play in the dark by yourself. You’ve been warned.
Developer: Michael Hegemann
Price: £1.99 @ App Store
Compatibility: Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimised for iPhone 5.