You know when a game that previously wasn't on your radar grabs you by the ears, gives you a shake, and makes you feel a fool for having never heard of it? Yeah, that's what happened to me the other day with Life Gallery.
This surreal, nightmarish puzzler offers just about everything I want in a horror experience: a grisly tale, a near-unrelenting sense of unease, and plenty of hellish imagery.
I mean, just look at some of the icky stuff that Taiwanese studio 751 Games has dreamt up. You've got gross fish, creepy moth-men, skinned cyclops babies, and children eating enlarged human organs. Lovely, right?
Each of these wonderfully twisted illustrations functions as its own puzzle. As you work your way through the game, you'll get bits of info that fill you in on its backstory and the central family's ongoing plight.
Basically, it revolves around twin brothers who made the fatal mistake of being born into a family of "loneliness, inequality, regret, guilt, and fear". Oh dear.
As if that wasn't already bad enough, fate has led them down a path towards a mysterious cult made up of fish-headed weirdos. Nothing good could come of that, I guarantee you.
And I'm not the only one impressed by the warped imagination on display here, with Life Gallery having previously been nominated for several indie game awards at Casual Connect 2019. I do worry that its name might put some off. It certainly doesn't scream "horror", which is more a potential marketing issue than a personal gripe.
If you're in the market for something genuinely different, strange, and frequently unsettling, you'll find Life Gallery available for purchase now over on the App Store and Google Play. It's a premium title priced at $1.99. More info can be found on the developer's official site.Searching for your next puzzle game fix? Well, you're in luck! Here are 25 of the very best for iPhone & iPad