We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
PC games software Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Slenderman: The Eight Pages review - creepy fun, not much gameplay in this first-person survival game

FREE

Manufacturer: Slender Game

Our Rating: We rate this 2.5 out of 5

Running from Slender is creepy fun, but threadbare gameplay limits long-term appeal of Slender: The Eight Pages. Here's our Slender: The Eight Pages review.

Slender: the eight pages

Slender's hipster-Frankenstein genesis as a haunted-Polaroid Photoshop contest winner has spawned an unexpectedly popular homebrew horror cottage industry. Slender: The Eight Pages explores the self-styled urban legend as a short-form first-person survival game, and the result is a mildly diverting proof-of-concept piece that meets its meager goals, but fails to match the creativity and impact found elsewhere in the Slender mythos.

For the uninitiated: Slender is a distorted, faceless, man in black who stalks people and makes them disappear. For a supernatural entity, Slender is pretty sloppy with his abductions, leaving behind a handy mountain of photo and video evidence for endless posts on places like YouTube. Take a look at The 32 best PC games revealed too.

Slender stories brush aside traditional narrative forms and are told via found footage, snapshots, message board threads, audio recordings and similar interlocking sources using a technique called Alternate Reality Gaming (ARG). Imagine a crowd-sourced Blair Witch, served up as digital performance art, and you're on the right track.

It's odd then, to find this risk-taking attitude and creative spirit completely absent in Slender: The Eight Pages. Gameplay is pared down to 3D-engine-bound first-person survival basics, with WASD motion keys and controls for a flashlight and camera zoom. You've got two speeds for motion, slow and slower, the first accompanied by impaired lighting in a failed gambit to add tension.

There are no weapons, no hit points, no inventory, no crouching to hide or any other forms of entertainment to interrupt the purity of the experience, which boils down to collecting eight pages nailed to things scattered throughout the dark woods before Slender catches up with you. This is presumably a horrible event, but since we don't get to see anything past a fuzzy static fadeout, who knows? Audio cues and visual distortions alert you to his presence, allowing you a window to escape, but as you collect more pages this window narrows and he becomes harder to avoid.

This game's origin as a conceptual demo speaks to the limitations of its gameplay, but viewed as a simple, creepy game of hide-and-seek, there's a charm here that can hold interest for a short while, or entertain younger gamers for whom scares are fun but gunfire and gore are inappropriate. Visuals are adequate to the task if a bit repetitive, and scale well enough to run on midrange laptops with reasonable fidelity and speed. See The 28 best ever first-person shooter games.

There's fun to be had here, but the project seems to miss the point of the Slender phenomenon on a fundamental level. Rather than push into new or more varied forms of interactive storytelling, Slender: The Eight Pages shows us a very conservative take on what could have been cutting-edge horror fiction. Since it's free, it's worth checking out for the things it gets right, and Slender fans will be interested for historic purposes, as this title has spawned a sequel and at least one notable competing project.

Slender: The Eight Pages Expert Verdict »

Microsoft Windows 7/Vista/XP/8
  • Overall: We give this item 5 of 10 overall

It's a fun and free curiosity, but there's better Slenderman horror to be had elsewhere.

  • Cube 2: Sauerbraten review

    Cube 2: Sauerbraten

    Cube 2: Sauerbraten is a free editor for designing and playing first-person shooter games.

  • Daylight review

    Daylight

    A horror game which tries a little too hard to court the Twitch.TV generation

  • DayZ review

    DayZ

    DayZ turns frustrating military game Arma II into a top-notch survival horror game. Here's our DayZ review.

  • Halo Wars review

    Halo Wars

    After spawning three best-selling first-person shooters, Bungie's futuristic universe is branching out into uncharted territory with the RTS title, Halo Wars.

  • Silent Hill: Homecoming review

    Silent Hill: Homecoming

    Silent Hill: Homecoming is the sort of game that will genuinely scare horror fans.


IDG UK Sites

Best January sales 2015 UK tech deals LIVE: Best New Year bargains and savings on phones, tablets,...

IDG UK Sites

Chromebooks: ready for the prime time (but not for everybody)

IDG UK Sites

Best Photoshop Tutorials 2014: 10 inspiring step-by-step guides to creating amazing art,...

IDG UK Sites

Apple TV expert tips: get US Apple TV content, watch Google Play, use multiple Apple IDs and more