If you've never gotten a glimpse of the indie RPG horror scene before you'd be surprised to know just how big it is. While most of the actual game development happens in Japan, its fanbase covers the entire globe, and would-be game developers have cropped up like bad zombie movies, hoping to recreate the success of the biggest breadwinners.
Most indie RPG horror games are created using some sort of RPG Maker software, from RPG Maker 2000, to RPG Maker VX Ace, to WOLF RPG Editor, but just because they're developed using a pre-made game engine doesn't mean you should underestimate them—these games pack a horrifying punch! In particular, the "big three": Ib, The Witch's House, and Mad Father.
Why am I going on and on about indie RPG horror games? Well, as it turns out, the game Mad Father has received a remastered content update and was recently released on Steam... just in time to scare you silly for the Halloween season!
For more indie horror games to check out this Halloween:
- 5 Totally Free Horror Games Sure To Freak Out Your Friends
- When Horror Novels Level Up: The BEST Horror Visual Novels to Get You Ready for Halloween
- 'Nightfall Escape,' A New Indie Horror Game From the Philippines
- Indie Horror Game 'Hello Neighbor' Will Learn Your Hiding Tactics, Evolve Based On Your Playstyle
Mad Father: The Game You Should Be Playing This Halloween Season Just Got a Remastered Released on Steam
Mad Father was originally released in December of 2012. Created by Japanese indie developer Sen of Miscreant's Room using WOLF RPG Editor, it would later go on to be translated into English by "vgperson," who has done a number of translations for other indie Japanese games.
Aya Drevis is a young girl living in an isolated mansion in northern Germany. Since her mother's passing, she's felt lonely living with just her father and his assistant Maria. What's more, she knows her father's secret...
As the summary states, Mad Father puts you in the control of young protagonist Aya Drevis in her family's big, old mansion in northern Germany. Her father constantly holes himself up in his lab in the basement with his assistant Maria, but no one knows for sure exactly what he's up to... only that strange chainsaw noises can be heard through the door.
One night, strange, disgusting sewn-together corpses attack Aya in her bedroom, which is where our story begins. Aya must navigate her way through the house and its many rooms, dodging "zombies," uncovering secrets and puzzles, and searching for her father in hopes of saving herself and finally, finally getting some answers.
Thrills, Chills, and Pixelated Gore
Mad Father may not have the high-definition 3D-rendered graphics of today's blockbuster games, but that doesn't mean it can't have you jumping out of your chair like a cat on a hot tin roof. Though it lacks the constant jump scares of its sister from a different mister, The Witch's House, Mad Father is filled with deeply creepy moments, adrenaline-kicking chase scenes, and the occasional heart-stopping shocker.
If you thought you couldn't be scared by 2D pixels, you were wrong.
And that doesn't even touch on the story's twisted regression into madness! Relive Aya's memories as you piece together the game's story—a story that delves deeper and deeper into twisted disturbia the further it progresses before culminating in a twist that will leave you staring at your computer screen in shock. Despite its adorable protagonist and innocent exterior, Mad Father's story can easily rival (and best) stories from some of the biggest blockbuster horror games on the market.
Hack away with your mini-chainsaw, collect gems, run away from corpses, solve puzzles, and get one of three different endings! Which one, however, is the true ending? Can Aya save her father? Should Aya save her father...?
Remastered for a New Audience: Commercial Release on Steam
Since its release in 2012, Mad Father has been completely free to play—simply download either the Japanese version from the developer's site or the English version from vgperson's site! Just last month, however, developer Sen released a remastered version of the game on Steam, making it the first indie RPG horror game to get a commercial release.
Sen itemized all the changes and updates made to the game for the new "paid" version on the game's Steam page:
- Improved map tiles
- Redrawn artwork
- Changes to some of the unique elements
- Improved playability
- New events (scenes and dialogue)
- Gem relocation
- Change from rapid input to command input during active time events
- Some changes to the game’s music
Considering most people would already have been willing to pay for the free version of the game given its quality, the Steam version seems like a steal at only a mere $4.99! In fact, many fans are buying this new version simply to show their support for the game itself.
It Doesn't Have to End With the Game...
Thanks to Mad Father's popularity amongst fans, the story doesn't have to end once you've completed the game (for the first, second, or third time(s), if you want to get all the endings!). Collections of beautiful fanart of the game's characters abound all over the Internet, and (sometimes lyricized) remixes of the game's music allow you to continue listening to its haunting themes in all variety of forms.
Some zealous fans have even recreated the game's story in 3D using MikuMikuDance and Sony Vegas, giving us a glimpse of what Mad Father could look like if it had been developed on a next gen system.
Another fan has animated bits of Mad Father, The Witch's House, and Ib to create a short, fake trailer (released on April Fool's Day), advertising what most fans wish could be reality—a full-length anime of the three games.
And it's not just fans, either! An official novel adaption of Mad Father, written by Murahara Akifumi and including all-new illustrations, was released in Japan in 2014. It's available in soft cover or Kindle format on the Amazon Japan website, though you'll need to know Japanese to read it—an English translation has yet to be released (and probably never will be, unfortunately). You can find out more about the novel at its official website here.
Where Can I Download the Game?!?
The new, remastered version of Mad Father can be downloaded on Steam via its Steam page here. It costs $4.99 and is worth every penny! The game's details are as follows:
- Genre: Adventure, Indie
- Developer: sen
- Publisher: AGM PLAYISM
- Release Date: 23 Sep, 2016
Also, it's available in both Japanese and English. You can watch the full trailer below: