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While the Summer Game Fest showcase showed off a ton of awesome new games, there were a couple of standouts that really stuck in my head. For me, one of these was Blumhouse Games. It shocked me that Blumhouse Productions, one of the most prolific horror movie producer companies that made movies like M3GAN and Five Night's At Freddy's, created a gaming division, and the games they showed off looked incredible!

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At the event, I was able to check out the first of their upcoming games, and I was similarly blown away by it. Fear the Spotlight is a PS1-era-inspired horror game that captivated me within the first 15 minutes, making me desperately want to know what happens next and why any of it is happening at all. After playing through the demo, I am convinced that Blumhouse Games will be one of the premiere horror game publishers to follow.

My demo for Fear the Spotlight started off with us taking control of Vivian and trying to find the library to perform a seance. To get in, we had to walk through the library and complete some small puzzles to unlock the right doors and get all the equipment we needed for the event. Then, the seance begins, and things go horribly wrong. Randomly, the candle lights will go out, and when we light them again, Amy is gone. When we follow her voice, we find her semi-possessed, and with her body flying away, the library then lights on fire. My time with the game ended right after we escaped the library, but that was enough time to convince me of how great the game is going to be.

The game feels like it came out of the PS1 era, which I adored. The low poly visuals mixed with the TV filter and over-the-shoulder camera angle all blended wonderfully with the great voice acting and the creepy ambiance that the soundtrack created. It made the atmosphere especially creepy and tense, prompting me to take my headphones off a little every now and then due to how scary it started to feel.

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While moving around feels more modernized, it was the way you interact with puzzles that really swept me off my feet. I am a sucker for physics in games. It is awesome seeing how objects will interact with each other in different ways. Fear the Spotlight employs some of this in puzzle sequences, specifically when you are interacting with objects. Whenever you do, the camera zooms in, so you only see the object, and you control a cursor to pick up or move parts of whatever you are looking at. When you move some of these parts, they will have physics attached to it. Whether it is moving a sliding door of a cabinet or picking up a card, it will flop around appropriately as if it were a real object.

This attention to detail helped me feel more invested in the world and actively made me want to see more. It also made everything feel more interactive, like when I had to re-light all the candles one by one when they randomly went out. It's little touches here and there like this that made it all feel more interesting and actively made me want to play more.

I also want to take a moment to praise the sound and horror design of the game. The ambient noises mixed with the great voice acting really added a sense of creepiness to the world, while the horror elements relied more on the atmosphere versus any gimmicks or jump scares. It made the game feel like it cared more about being an enjoyable, tension-filled experience than just trying to scare me, and as someone who gets scared easily, I really appreciate it.

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I was blown away by Fear the Spotlight, and I can't wait to see it when it fully releases. Even moreso, I am way too pumped to see what Blumhouse Games is going to be bringing to the table. Each of the games they showed during the showcase looked fantastic in its own right, so it's going to be quite exciting to see each of them when they release. But from what I played of Fear the Spotlight, it seems like they are starting off very strong.

Fear the Spotlight will be released fall of this year, and you can check out the Steam Store page while you wait! The game was actually already released previously, so there are reviews (and it says it is Steam Deck Verified), but the new version will have over an hour of new story content, as well as additional language support and more!

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Noah Kupetsky
A lover of gaming since 4, Noah has grown up with a love and passion for the industry. From there, he started to travel a lot and develop a joy for handheld and PC gaming. When the Steam Deck released, it just all clicked.
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