Next week, Frictional Games is releasing Soma, a creepy underwater exploration game that we've been looking forward to for some time. But we're not sure whether Soma will be able to top the outright panic-inducing Amnesia: The Dark Descent, which firmly established the studio's horror credentials back in 2010. If you've never played Amnesia, now's your chance: the game is being given out for free on Steam until 1PM ET on Wednesday.
Amnesia is partly a game about simply not looking. As the protagonist Daniel, a 19th-century archaeologist who has erased his memory to forget about... something, you creep through its decaying hallways with enemies always just out of sight or in the corner of your eye. If you stare too hard at them, they'll notice, and there's no way to defend yourself — you'll have to try to lose them in the maze of the castle. There's a substantial share of body horror and a few jump scares, but the vast majority is about trying to soldier through despite your character's increasingly unreliable mental state.
The rest of Frictional's fairly small catalog is also getting an extreme price cut through September 18th. That includes the (now $3.99) quasi-sequel Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, as well as the (now $1.99) earlier Penumbra series, which starts with a trek to an abandoned Arctic mine before becoming increasingly surreal. The latter is a bit rougher and more puzzle-heavy than Amnesia, while the former is almost purely about exploration — it was designed by The Chinese Room, the studio behind Dear Esther and Everybody's Gone to the Rapture. Make your choices accordingly.
Correction: Fixed typo.