A downloadable game for Windows

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"A compilation of 20 wildly varied haunt ’em ups from over 20 developers, Frankenstein’d together for free into a single winding narrative anthology." 
- Rock Paper Shotgun

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ChainLauncher v1.0.zip 1 GB

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(+1)

WOW! This is such a cool concept, and playing through all these microgames was so cool. It was so exciting to see how each new dev would be inspired by and remix the previous game. The best part of the game was seeing which bits of the story survived from game to game and witch bits were lost in the telephone game. I was consistently amazed by the diversity of styles, aesthetics, and game play mechanics, all linked together by a slick launcher and ominous supplemental documentation.

As for narrative, it seems like there were almost two separate arcs, one going from "Torch" to "Organ of Eden" and another going from "Day 11" (witch bears no obvious narrative connection to the previous game, though it has some thematic similarities) to "999,999". The first arc is wonderfully dreamlike while the second arc is more structured, both very interesting.

My favorite games were "Mrs. Blanch"(By far the scariest), "Avert Your Eyes"(What the hell is that filter, it's amazing! And I love the ominous lovecraft imagery mixed with snapchat text. Plus any game that can make you afraid while your holding a FLAMETHROWER is doing something powerful), and Scary Library (LOVE the art and the fixed camera made it so tense to round corners).

Overall, everyone who likes horror needs to try this.

(+1)

i loved Dream Aether, played it too many times

Absolutely love the concept and the games so far! The launcher is also *chefs kiss* amazing.  

Playing though it so far is like playing a very cursed game of broken telephone and I am really enjoying seeing what sort of narrative unfolds from that! (and like any broken telephone game where it will end up)

I really look forward to seeing possibly another game like this released.

Some thoughts on the games and my interpretation of the narrative(So I guess spoilers?) in replies in groups of 4 as i play

1) Torch -   Gold star from me. Everything was wonderful including animation, controls, graphics music. Playing this you are filled with a sense of curiosity, why are you here? what are you looking for?

Not too much for my interpretation of the narrative at this point as we are just starting but we seem to be searching for something (and possibly finding it or something else) in the caves at the end.

2) Ms Blanch - Wonderful follow up game that has a nice atmosphere as you start to get deeper and deeper in the game.

At this point it seems like we have found what we were looking for which seems to be something mystical. It seems like a bunch of other people have also found this 'mystical' thing as well and are called 'participants'. My view is that our mind was connected with this mystical entity and teleported but our body possibly is till in the cave (lets see how that view changes later) and we are progressing farther down till our mind hits a breaking point at the end.

3) The participants - Another Gold star from me. The controls took a tiny bit to get used to but where a nice interesting twist to the game and I really enjoyed how this game bought up a lot of different plot point that the next game could take and run with. 

For the narrative we seem to switch to the keeper who seems to be the 'keeper' of this place of transformation. We know that 2 other people than ms blanche are participants and that ms blanche is undergoing some sort of tests related to this transformation. It seems like one of the participants was not able to have a successful transformation and we as the keeper will no longer exists due to this failure on our part. Brings up up interesting question I wonder if we will be able to fill in, Who are these masters? and what will a successful transformation lead to?

4) Emerge - Absolutely loved playing this, Definitely gave me the feeling of playing a surreal playstation 1 game.

In terms of the narrative at this point it seems that ms blanche is undergoing her first test. My view is that this is a test of her letting go of her physical body. By viewing her physical body on the ground though the game she is getting confronted with it. To progress in the tests with the 'masters' she will have to shed her physical body and self. Which she succeeded in at the end by squishing herself in her own hands.  

5) Drip - A pretty solid game, was not what I was expecting after the last game but an enjoyable experience none the less. I found that sometimes the camera would move in a way that made me disoriented but I still enjoyed it.

In terms of narrative we seem to have some interesting dialogue in this game. Ms Blanch is referred to in the third person. While there could be a meta reason for this with broken telephone kicking in I would much rather read into too much and make stretches so big it hurts my back. 
I think the masters refer to you in the third person is a way of reinforcing that you are no longer 'ms blanch' anymore as you had let go your physical body in the previous game. Based on the next couple dialog I read it as the masters pointing out the pointlessness of human life before and testing ms blanch's resolve to continue with this path as she will be doing things that would have made the human her 'very upset'

6) Dream Aether - Another really solid game! The music in this one is phenomenal and the experience of playing it is a little like playing some low fi vapor ware game. 

In terms of narrative with this one I think this is about ms blanch going though a crisis of conscience after the previous tests and really digging into her conscience to connect the pieces for her to know that she wants to continue along this path. She knows that the human side of her brain is mad at her for what she is getting into and she has to confront that part and really remember and explore the reasons why she has sought out this in the first place.

7) Ball out - This is the first game that didn't really connect with me. I enjoy the concept of a cursed super monkey ball game but I found the game just way too hard. It took me AGES to beat this one. While I would expect there to be some inertia/momentum with movement I think the game would have been improved if those values were tweaked to be slightly lower.

In terms of narrative we seem to have gotten to the rebirthing process of these tests. It seems like ms blanch has gotten over her crisis and is going though the very hard and painful process of acquiring a new body. Unsure if the masters are giving her a new human body or if she is to inhabit a different type of body or maybe even take over someone else body.

8) Game 8 - This is another gold star game from me! Everything about it was a joy to play, the music environment controls were all great. It also has the added bonus of making my roommate do a double take when we walked by my desk while I was playing this.

The broken telephone aspect has caused us to be stuck a little bit in dreamscape hell but I am really enjoying this and trying to grasp possible narratives out of these stories

In terms of narrative for this I view this as confirming that the new body she is getting is actually her own body morphed and rebirthed from the tissue and cells from her own body that is still stuck in the cave. While she has given up her old body long ago (emerge) she now has to actually sacrifice the tissue and cells to create a new body she will inhabit.      

Great idea! Is there any other project like this?

(+1)

thx devs for making this game, i loved it really much!! there are a few pros and cons but i absolutely loved the separate and unique atmosphere of each game!!
the overall idea of making games without telling eachother is really interesting, i hope there is a part 2, but if not then its ok :) it brings me back to the old PSX scary games hehe, all of the 20 are top-notch!

Absolutely an incredible collection. Having a single narrative, even if it was loose, helped make this one of the best lo-fi horror collections I've ever played.

(+2)

I don't know if it's been brought up before but I really, really enjoyed the look, and work that went into the launcher itself! The little details, the files, all a super nice touch! As for the games themselves, I loved how eclectic it was, being done by a different dev each with a different art / gameplay style. I found this game because I'm a corpsepile fangirl, but I enjoyed everyone's entry. Most I managed to complete, some I was rubbish at, sadly. Thank you for coming up with this! I had hopefully as much fun playing them as you guys had creating them :)

(1 edit) (+2)

#5 and #8 is absolute brilliant

Full Playlist - Full Playthrough- No Commentary

(+4)

Quick notes on each game (as i play them through, in groups of 5)

1 - Torch. Great intro game. A lot of "haunted PS1" games don't capture what a PS1 game actually looked and felt like. they're just generic smashed-graphics games. This one does some work to make it look and feel right. It's playable enough and creepy enough to launch the series.

2 - Ms. Blanch - Again, great job at feeling like a dream or a nightmare of a video game. Also, a very good rhythm as the game gets, uh, darker. 

3 - The participants - The first game I felt really popped with the "narrative path" element of this collection. Not what I had assumed would happen next at all. However, the flashing glitch elements were not necessary. The color-division and edge-of-screen tearing was glitchy enough.

4 - Emerge. A little more by-the-numbers. This type of game is what I expect from a project like this. I think the ending is great but there could have been other moments like that building up to it where controls were a little bit orthogonal.

5 - Drip. A completely unexpected experience; not at ALL what I expected from a horror game collection. I would have made it even a little more cursed. Solid feeling play.

(+4)

6 - Dream Aether - At first I was a little taken aback by the lack of horror in the horror anthology entry but it was actually a nice vaporwave breather (get it?)

7 - Ball // Out - Tried to bridge the gap back to horror but I couldn't finish it because it was too hard. This entry raises the question of difficulty in "connected" anthologies like this, because perhaps I would have appreciated the next game more if I had finished it.

8 - (Can't tell the name) - A real pleasure of a game, capturing both the truly haunted/cursed PS1 vibe as well as actually working on the feeling of the movement and attack mechanics. Perhaps the game that most of all lets you develop a bit of skill in it (knowing when to backstep, for me, specifically, was a great feeling when I figured it out.)

9 - Swell - I liked the concept as a horror game concept, eating or being eaten, but even once I knew what I was doing I couldn't do it. 

10 - Organ Even (I think? Hard to read) - Of course the best thing about all Alien videogames is playing the facehugger, right? Right. This combines that with a literally collapsing level geometry for an unsettling pleasure. A little hard to see where or how you're progressing though.

(+4)

11 - Day 11 - Excellent, but perhaps unsurprisingly given the predecessor, it doesn't seem to be part of the narrative. However, everything in it feels like it could have happened in a PS1 game.

12 - Avert Your Eyes - The presentation of this really hurts the concept. What, flamethrowering floating, murmuring eyes in a cave isn't scary enough without a smartphone and pixellation? It is. 

13 - (weird collection of symbols) - The second arcade style action game in the collection, this one a runner. The graphical style at first seems grating but as it proceeds you start to feel like you're playing a game that was found in raw code rather than designed. Really cool.

14 - (some kind of eyeball thing?) - I just got done watching a 3 hour video on Pac-Man, so it's great to see a horror/creepy version. Sticks around just long enough to be fun.

15 - 15 - Similar to the previous game (interestingly enough), the map is small enough that even finding "that darn last book" isn't too hard. Fun game with just enough pop-in to feel creepy.

(+3)

16 - 16 - A nice little atmospheric point and click, a breather after a few "run run run" games. However, the giant eyeball ending...cmon. The digitizing candles are a really low key build, you can think of something better.

17 - Vale - Great lightning effects, good atmosphere. Again, this feels like the nightmare of playing a video game. I also like that you can move around inside the credits. 

18 - Spooky Library - Again, this seems to not be connected to the previous game. i appreciate the new aesthetic, however, I have to say that the fixed camera angle makes death come...often without you really being able to see what kills you. Would love to see more of this one.

19 - Abraxas - Really solid....stealth (?) mini game. The ending's a good horror hook as well.

20 - 999,999 - A nice little showcase to close it out. Not a bad ending at all.

Overall thoughts:

* being a little stricter about endings and difficulty levels could have achieved the goal of the collection a little better

* the menu system, with the documents, faux disks, etc., is an absolute masterpiece!

* these games lack brightness and contrast features. i understand you want horror games to control these elements but this is an accessibility question for many users.

Best wishes, looking forward to the next thing from these creators.

(+1)

thank you so much for the thorough write-up! it might not seem like much, but it really is super appreciated you took the time to address each game! <3 thanks for playing

You're very welcome and best wishes to all the contributors!

(+1)

Hi I made 15! Finding the last book isn't too hard but it can be pain haha, but thank you for your view on it!

(+1)

In my opinion the difficulty was just right. Definitely something to be proud of since it would have to be tailored to fit the limitations in draw distance and the movement speed/pattern of the monsters. Nice job and good luck with what comes next for you!

(+3)

So after playing all the games I would say that as an experience, this compilation of games was pretty good. Though I would personally stop playing at specimen #08. The story and games after specimen #06 start to take a turn for the worst and really become individual experiences and not the chronological interconnected single narrative that I believed it to be.

It kinda felt like a drop in quality at a certain point because different people make different games and tell different stories. So even if they had something to work with, it still may not be coherent or fun to play. And you can’t like tell people “What are you doing? Making a game about collecting books again? People have already done that.” Because they did the work and you have to take what you can get. Like at least they finished it and contributed to this work and that’s cool. Making a game is already hard enough.

I wanted to say how amazing the ui is for this game is though. I’m talking about the main menu for this compilation. It’s so smooth and easy to navigate through. The sounds do sound a lot like they came from metal gear and I’m not sure but they sound great! And they way the disk looks and the sound that it makes when it’s spinning is so cool. I think I’ll always remember how cool that is. Oh and I love the whole secret files and stuff when you look at the log notes. Yeah you know what, the sound design for this particular main menu is amazing. Like the log note section has these nice paper sounds and these hands appear as you look down the paper. It’s so cool!

Even though I didn’t like most of the games, I still think that chain is worth a play and one of the best things to have come out in 2020. For anyone who likes low poly, ps1 looking games, and a unique story from games 1-6 and 8, I’d say give it a try!

Had a really good time with the collection! Ran into some technical issues here and there but overall it did a great job of having a cohesive narrative over a span of 20 different games! Love the project and would love to see more like it in the future.


(+1)

the final video, this game(s?) was extremely confusing and one trip after the other but also extremely enjoyable to the very end, even if there were some complications. I cant wait to see more like this!

pls anwser

it's not a virus haha

oh ok thanks for anwser me !

is that game a virus ?

no i installed it too late?

(+8)

Nice to meet you.

My name is -Sare-. I'm Japanese,so I can't write English well.
I make video to Gameplay for youtube.
Would you do me a favor?
I want to make video.
Would you mind if I make video to I played"C.H.A.I.N" for youtube.
(I will release video last Decenber.)
This game looks like a lot of fun!
I'm rooting for you.;) 

(+5)(-1)

of course you can! you don't have to ask :)

(+5)

Thanks very much!
I'm glad to hear that!:D

(+1)

I'm happy to see international players for our project! Greetings for England! :D

(+1)

from*

(+1)

Nice to meet you!
This game is epoch-making and very interesting!
I will translate it into Japanese as much as possible and make it into the video.
I hope that the number of Japanese players will increase!

(+1)

a new part filled with fun and eyeballs... lots. of. eyeballs. this game (series?) just keeps on adding to the mystery of its story to the point where I'm lots whats going on 50,000% of the time, but its still fun!
(+1)

I can make more eyeball based games if you like ;)

(+1)

Any more eyes and they'll turn into a Zelda boss lol

(+2)

You guys have made a super cool and unique product, hope you're proud of yourselves!

(+1)

Thank you!

(+1)

Thank you so much!!

(+1)

Played the first five so far, looking forward to playing through the rest! Gotta say I LOVE the ui for flipping through the CD binder, nostalgic as heck.

(+1)

Papercookies did brilliant work on our binder!

For some reason, I can't walk in 'Torch'. Only if I walk diagonally, I move very slowly.

Hmm, I'll bring this up.

(+2)

GOTY

(+1)

:D

This game only gets more interesting as I play, although I found a few glitches in this video. One where I fall though to the end, one where I can't escape, and one where the game fake loads? best way to explain that last one, but other than that its fun
(+1)

Walked into the river and fell through the world on the day 11 disc

(+3)

Best cadavre exquis in video game history!

(+1)

This game(s)? Is so cool and interesting I cant stop playing I need to know what it's about but, man do I wish some of the titles weren't as difficult as they are

Dam how much did thit cost you

It was completely free for us all to make.

haha well tbf, we did spend a bit on the VO for the trailer

(+3)

I just have to say this: This is an game that did worth it spend some time to play. The proposal of tell a story in 20 games is very interesting. The only problem that I had is in the 10th game. It's very bugged in my opinion. Despite that, it's a good game. I took the chance to play and record the games for my channel in an episodic format. Kudos to the creators of the games and to the person responsable for the concept. 

(+2)

Really engaging and interesting experiment. The interconnected "telephone" elements really held my interest and I blew through all 20 games in one sitting. Avert Your Eyes was the standout for me, the audio and visual techniques mimicking vertical cellphone videos were impressively fitting and effective.

(+1)

This is insanely intriguing. I played through the first 5 games in this video, gonna make a series on this! I'm very excited to learn the true nature of the interconnected story! What an awesome concept! 

(+1)

Please make a claim option, so it will stay in the Itch app.

Part 2 of a long series, this game is not short. And thats a good thing, I'm still very confused by whats going on but I am very much enjoying the experience.
(1 edit)

The first half is great! Super high quality. However, the second half is hard to follow.

!!!!!!!!!ALSO ELIPSY WARNING!!!!!!!!!

They really should have disclosed this.

(+1)

Is there a episode 2 in the works?

...nnnno?

(+1)

It has been discussed! No concrete plans yet.

How did you like the game? Be sure to rate it and check out all the devs other games!

(+1)

I have rated it, lower down is my game play video :)

(+1)

Is there any chance to "Claim" the bundle? I'd love to contribute and have it in my library ;)

WOW, um so I went into this thinking there were only 10 games, not sure where I got that number but I did. So when I found out there are in fact 20 it blew my mind, not only that, the story is very compelling, I need to know whats going on. Even though I suspect this is a game you'll have to play two or three times to fully understand. I will put out a full series on this because this is so interesting and I need a conclusion.

Absolutely enjoying this!! 10 more games to play and I can't wait :)

(1 edit) (+1)

An awesome concept. I like how each developer has their own distinguishable style, meaning that you get a fresh outlook on the plot every couple of minutes. That's also a plus, the game has a storyline to follow. Each game starts where the last game ended, with notes and credit for each game. It is a creative aspect that the games are stored on haunted PS1 discs. I do not think this game would be as good without the suspense, the confusion, and the fresh outlook on the plot every so often. Definitely worth the download, even more so because it is free.



Here is my playthrough if you would like to watch my notes on the game:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLXJgjFRG5RNDWDxUUcCThKw0C6adLBSg2

(+1)(-1)

What an awesome concept for collaboration and brilliantly executed! Hats off to all the devs!

(-1)

I ended up playing a good few more of these and they started off quite tame but game 12 (avert your eyes) is probably one of the creepiest and most disturbing games I've ever played! 

Finally, I was able to test the remaining 10 minigames. Rare is to say little but interesting are all.


THIS IS GREAT.   First time I have got a chance to play one of these. I've been spending the passed couple days on this video alone. Please check below and video description for full credit. I would really appreciate it.

Disc 1 - TORCH by Jazz Mickle : 1:50
- "despite everything, we kept searching". TORCH was a great way to start this whole experience. The name and the disc art held my focus on the torch through it all. The music with its mysterious vibes mixed with that squishing sound built a lot of tension as I walked forward. And then that light; this title left me with so many more questions.

Disc 2 - Ms. Blanch, by Adam Pype, Viktor Kraus : 5:51
- "I don't think you're going to need that torch, I assure you." Exposition dump, but done in a way that still leaves me with a lot of question. I really like this games art and overall feel; seeing the an actual hand in distress sat a little different. And what's with this torch.

Disc 3 - the participants by z_bill, DuendeenF : 12:42
- "I killed... a participant". This was my favorite of the bunch. It provided the most direct story explanation as well as unique movement controls and enemy encounters. I started out running into walls but soon enough I was chugging along like a champ. Oh, and our friend the torch makes an special appearance.

Disc 4 - Emerge by Davidrodmad : 25:31
-"PASS THE TEST". Ok so this one is a little different. Full of polygons and bodies. This feels like a dream sequence through and through. Then when you wake up at the end it felt like you were playing a whole different game. Purple body Green Eyes.

Disc 5 - DRiP by Colter Wehmeier, Bill Derrah : 30:54
-"Not when you're so seduced by sleep." Right off the bat you know I went to collect the shiny yellow floaty things. The game mocked me for it lol. I still kept trying just a little bit but honestly the mood changed after the "You're too cute. Really." line. Deeper we go...

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