Skeler Boy from Ratalaika Games

Skeler Boy

Inspired by horror classics like, The Shining or The Exorcist, Skeler Boy is a tale of the lengths a teen will go to rescue his love in the latest title from Ratalaika Games!

Originally released on pc/steam by Maniac Studio and as of today, the team at Ratalaika Games have brought it over to consoles for our enjoyment. Skeler Boy is a tale of young love and the lengths our hero Skeler will go in order to save his girlfriend Megan. Currently the developers are working on editions that will be playable on both Gameboy and NES, but also currently working on the sequel. Oddly according to the Kickstarter that ended in 2021, both the Gameboy and NES versions have already been made. Perhaps they mean official release versions that are for others that didn’t participate in the Kickstarter? Time will tell on that one. What is surprising is that from this original release I couldn’t find any reviews. Literally the only mentions from that time simply refer to the status of the crowdfunding. This means I’ll be doing this one old school without knowledge of the things to watch out for and diving right in. The game starts you in a forest looking for Megan with your first real clue being a mysterious audio message.

Visually the game looks like it would fit as a classic SNES title, similar to many of the ports we’ve seen from Ratalaika. The game makes superb use of lighting which is essential for a great horror game. The game is filled with puzzles, many of which require a bit of thought before figuring them out and I expect to find many more along the way. There’s even a lockpicking section that seems like it is a bit on the realistic side and makes me wonder if it can really be this easy with the right tools? Maybe the designer has some real life experience there? The controls are easy to pickup, at least they are on Xbox, I haven’t tried on other systems so I can’t speak to them. Overall gameplay transitions between different views and how you interact with the puzzles making for a more engaging experience. Over the course of the hour I played it felt like I got quite far in the game and I expect that most player will wrap this one up within 5 hours or less. Overall it was a solid experience that uses a great deal of variety and ambiance to it’s advantage. Definitely has me curious about the pending sequel, hopefully this one will release simultaneously on the consoles at the same time.

Late Night With the Devil from IFC

Late Night With the Devil 

Late Night With the Devil is a found footage horror film from the team at IFC.

Sometimes there is a film that the trailers just resonate with you and make you really want to see it. In these instances you can’t help but have high expectations despite knowing nothing about the team behind it. Late Night With the Devil was one of those films for me. The film starts with some of the history of the late show that is the backdrop for nearly the entire story. It’s a difficult road when you want to beat the masters at their own game and that was exactly what Jack Delroy aims to do with his show with Johnny Carson as the standard to beat.

Playing the ratings game he fights for his place on the televisions of viewers every night. Due to personal tragedy he sees some spikes, presumably due to sympathy but it’s not enough. David Dastmalchian plays Jack Delroy and his performance is downright brilliant. I’ve seen many of his roles and he’s usually great but this performance is in a league of it’s own. Written and Directed by Colin and Cameron Cairnes, this film is downright fantastic. Not just as a horror film but a film in general. I was glued to the screen from start to finish, drawn in instantly and even though I expected the twists when they came it did not detract from the experience in any way. As I mentioned, my expectations were high for this film and for lack of a better phrase, this film is simply fan-fucking-tastic and not only worth the watch but worth a second and third just to look for the hidden clues throughout the production. I wanted to thank the folks at IFC for sharing this film with us and look forward to seeing what else this team comes up with.

Outer Terror from Ratalaika Games

Outer Terror

Outer Terror from Ratalaika Games is an isometric horror title that looks and feels like a twin stick shooter without a trigger.

Ratalaika Games has provided us with a code for their latest horror title, Outer Terror. The game looks and behaves like a twin-stick shooter. Only real difference is you don’t control your shots, they never stop shooting. Your focus, as far as controls are concerned, is on moving and triggering different abilities. As you level up you pick among three cards that will either heal you or power you up further. As each stage begins you get an introductory story clip with artwork that is very reminiscent of Charlie Adlard from The Walking Dead. Adlard is one of my favorite comic artists so I am absolutely here for these intros.

When you start the game there are four chapters and based on the achievement list there are others that will unlock later. As you complete chapters you collect money and can use these funds to pay for upgrades. The more you play, the more you’ll earn. The game is full of dodging and as a tip, the more money you pick up, the faster you’ll level up and that means the more upgrades you’ll unlock. By the time I finished episode 1 I had all upgrades finished within the level.

The gameplay art was a bit of a disappointment. As with most RG titles, the graphics look like it was developed for the Super Nintendo and I love them for that. However, with the fantastic intro art I was disappointed that the sprites weren’t rendered in the same style, by the same hands. Gameplay itself is smooth though and once you learn to read the map you can make quick work of some of the episodes. Overall I had a great time and look forward to seeing more of this great art as I play more episodes.

Code supplied on behalf of Ratalaika Games by PR Hound.

The Feeding by Drew Zucker and David Booher

The Feeding

The Feeding, by Drew Zucker and David Booher, is a horror story centered around a painting of the same name in a tale of hunger!

Written by David Booher and line art by Drew Zucker, The Feeding is a tale of a man surrounded by death and misery, some of which is tied to a painting. This painting, with the same name as the book itself, is hungry and needs to feed. It follows the life of Nolan Ward, a Day Trader and total douche, prick, asshole, take your pick, they all fit. No matter how much he tries to distance himself from it, the painting seems to always find it’s way back to Nolan so instead of trying to escape it he instead purchases it from an art gallery it seemed to appear in by anonymous donation and tries to feed it one last time.

The book is currently a one-shot that you can purchase through Zoop but I’m hoping that we see it become an anthology of some sort. Maybe a series about the painting interacting with various people and the ruin it causes, something along the lines of the Silver Coin. Overall the book is well written with even better art and as I said, I very much would like to see the painting return for either the occasional one-shot or even a full series. In the meantime, if you haven’t already I highly recommend Drew’s series Canto- one of the best fantasy series out to date and currently at Dark Horse comics.