When you grow up in a small town, as Ben Rivers did, you get to learn a thing or two about horror tropes. The small high school rich with lore, and the townies who've been there forever, and seen everything. That's the inspiration behind Rivers' new game, 'Worse Than Death', which goes up for pre-order exclusively on the App Store today for $3.99. It will be released in late June.
I sat down with Rivers recently to talk about the game, which he developed over the past couple of years with his wife, Nancy. 'Worse Than Death' is an action-adventure game with native touch controls and a minimal cartoony aesthetic that makes the things that hide in the shadows even scarier. Coupled with a headphone-optimized soundtrack, the game is a horror game in the truest sense of the word. Rivers said that he designed and drew all of the characters himself, including lead Holly, in Procreate on an iPad Pro. The game sees Holly returning to her home town for her high school reunion only to discover that things aren't quite what they seem. Chaos, scares, and puzzles ensue.
I played a few minutes of the game on Rivers' iPhone XS Max and though I didn't get to listen to the sound effects with headphones as he recommends, the game instantly drew me in with its mysterious plot and quick jumps to action. Rivers says there's around four to five hours of gameplay for the first playthrough, but fans will want to play through it again to find all the clues and puzzles they may have missed the first time.
Definitely looking forward to this one — especially since it was developed in Toronto, where I'm from.
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Daniel Bader is a Senior Editor at iMore, offering his Canadian analysis on Apple and its awesome products. In addition to writing and producing, Daniel regularly appears on Canadian networks CBC and CTV as a technology analyst.