[Preview] Caffeine

Now, whilst drinking, my ability to converse on the finer points of topics can go from reasonable sentences, to straight out pure belligerence. On Ready Player 2’s first live podcast I talked vaguely about a preview called Caffeine, and I don’t think the words, ‘It’s alright’, quite does the job of conveying what this game is, or what it’s about. So without further a due, put the kettle on chaps, because we’re about to talk coffee.




When someone mentions horror, space and caffeine in the span of a sentence, I go into a state of pure euphoria. Filled with mixed feelings of anticipation, hope and above all excitement, so you can forgive me for saying that I was riding the tidal wave of clamor that’s surrounding the indie project Caffeine.



Atmospheric was the word I used for this short taster, and however brief, I will say this, it leaves you wanting more. Pretty to look at, and certainly to listen to, my encounter with caffeine was a treat to the senses. It looks fantastic, and I can’t really want more from it aesthetically, the Unreal Engine 3 is being properly utilised and it really pays off. The dimly lit corridors certainly hum with dark potential and each moment is poignantly delivered with an appropriately eerie soundtrack. As everyone knows by now, I’m a stickler for story, and I can certainly get behind a game that offers one so delicately as Caffeine. No loud narrations fill the void of your exploration, and you are left to discover snippets from post-its and posters on the wall, or the scribblings of on-board occupants. The lack of voices give this game an edge that I for one enjoy, as I find all too many games shoot themselves in the foot on this front. A poorly delivered voice-over can get me leaving the room as swiftly as an air raid siren can. That and the pure quiet allows you to become absorbed, and allows for much more fertile ground to plant seeds of horror.


In-Game Screenshots


But not all is screamingly good horror here gamelings. The experience was not unlike wandering through a few corridors with some lighting issues. Vaguely creepy, but if you’re calling it ‘horror’ and scary off of these few moments you may just be sensationalising something that doesn’t quite deserve it yet. I need to experience more, and I do not bestow the horror title lightly. Somehow it feels harsh of me to say so, but this certainly isn’t a dig at the developer at all, more the great expectations that have been placed upon him. This is the work of one lone prospective dev and I do wholeheartedly wish him success, but we need more than just a few faulty switches and a meander about a couple of rooms to lay a solid foundation for such hype.

But in the depths of my cold and slightly stony heart, I can feel the faint stirrings of hope, as I do with many small indie titles that bastion together under the horror umbrella, because I genuinely want to be scared, and I can see the glimmer of potential that Caffeine has. However, horror is such a hard genre to master. Normally with the materialisation of the ‘boogeyman’ any semblance of terror soon vanishes with it, and I have a great hope that Caffeine might not turn into one of those abysmal jump-scare experiences. I hope that Caffeine doesn’t turn into something akin to Deadspace, because as much as I do like Deadspace, it’s not scary, and it’s not horror. I would call it macabre, but it seems that horror is a title that is just thrown away these days without much thought.


Unreal 4 Screenshots


So hear me indie dev Dylan, you have a great expectation that has been placed on you. I wish your first venture all the luck in the world. And I dare you, scare me. Because little else has.


Check out Caffeine here: http://www.indiedb.com/games/caffeine
And help make it a reality here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/caffeine–2


Thoughts? Questions? Can’t wait for things to go bump in the night?
Use that comment box below.


Images used under creative commons, rights to respective publishers/ manufacturers.


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