Neverending Nightmares is a 2D survival horror game with an interesting art style and interesting story. It is inspired by the real-life struggles of lead designer Matt Gilgenbach who suffers from OCD and depression. Come read our Neverending Nightmares review to learn more about this unique release!
Neverending Nightmares is based on the lead designer’s struggle with his condition. For those that don’t know, OCD stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. This basically means doing something repeatedly, like an addiction – it could be mad cleaning or being obsessive about something in particular. Contrary to popular belief depression is an actual and very real condition, and without treatment, it can in some cases be fatal.
You play as Thomas, who suffers from horrific nightmares. In particular, he has a nightmare where his sister is being murdered. Once he wakes up he begins to explore the house, but start to see unusual things happening around him, such as pictures falling off walls on their own, blood everywhere, and knives on walls with blood dripping off them. The house changes each time he enters a different room, so his sister’s room that he visited a few minutes ago suddenly becomes the bathroom.
As you play, things will start getting darker, and terrifying, and you will witness pretty graphic things. Thomas will wake up in his bed hyperventilating uncontrollably. It seems he had been sleepwalking, and we were in his subconscious living in his nightmare dream world… or were we?
That will be the depression side of things. With this condition, you can think pretty dark and horrific things. In a way it is small look into how a very severely clinically depressed person can think – they can draw from their past experiences and manifest it into something bigger. A tiny problem can be a huge issue to someone with depression, which is why this condition is very serious and should never be ignored.
Thomas’s house is not the only location you will visit, as there is also some kind of mental institution. This is important as it shows you the depth of Thomas’s downward spiral into madness. it looks as though in Thomas’s mind he has merged the two places into a new location.
The game is pretty difficult to interpret. I suppose from playing it naturally there will be many different interpretations. The game, on the whole, is quite confusing and maybe a bit disturbing at the best of times. I wasn’t able to complete the game unfortunately AS it got to a point where I found it a little too disturbing.
But due to my own experiences, I applaud Matt for going through all of that and coming out of the other side a happier man, since his demons will always be at the back of his mind, controlled by medication. I hope he never experiences such hell again and goes back to his love of game development.
The art style of the game is interesting as it is hand-drawn with what looks like a pencil – it is very cleverly presented, and I liked it very much. As you play the game, there will be some color added to the mix, and those you can interact with. The excellent use of the creepy and eerie sound effects is amazing and it will have you on the edge of your seat, perhaps hiding behind a pillow! The game is best played at night, in complete darkness with the sound on full blast for maximum effect.
It was very interesting for me to play the game for my Neverending Nightmares review since it was definitely very different from all other games I had played before, and it will surely provide you with an experience that you will always remember.
This review is based on a PS4 copy provided by Infinitap Games.