I am shocked about how few people seem to be talking about Gravewood High. The Alpha launches at the end of this month (February 27th), and yet I can only find a few other news pieces written about this intriguing new horror game. So, please, allow me to introduce you to the game that’s gotten me the most excited since I’ve been back on the beat, Gravewood High.
As the title says, the premise is simple, per the games website:
“(Gravewood High is) an infinitely replayable stealth horror game with roguelike elements and level destruction. Several students have gone missing at Gravewood High, but none of the adults seem to have noticed. The school is a trap, and your task is to get out of it. But there are two problems. One, the building has turned into a deadly labyrinth that continually shifts and changes. Two, you are being chased by the Teacher – a crazed overlord of this place.
Together with your friend Erin you have to confront the cunning Teacher and figure out what is behind the madness that has permeated the walls of Gravewood High.”
The game looks like an exciting mix of Baldi’s Basics and Hello Neighbor with a little bit of environmental destruction thrown into the mix for good measure. You have the Teacher, your ever-present, multi-powered enemy, who chases you around the halls of the labyrinthine and constantly changing school as you try and take him down, hoping that this will allow you to escape. The school, having already been damaged by a hurricane, torn apart by renovations and corrupted by the same evil influence poisoning the mind of your foe, can be ripped apart by both you and your opponent, making for what sounds like both a hectic and frightening gaming experience.
In addition to the bright, neon-inspired color palette, the game has a unique style that adds to the flavor and the mystery of its world. And there is a mystery to be had here. Already there are supplemental materials available at Gravewoodfiles.com, documenting the investigation of Jack StickerSeeker into the continuous disappearances around the town of Alberley, all centered around the school’s current location. The story and, presumably, your journey will take you through multiple decades and generations of history, from the modern-day to the ’80s, and even all the way back to the start of things, way back in the times surrounding the civil war, as you descend deeper and deeper into the edifice standing atop what has now come to be known as Gravewood High.
The game is being developed in tandem by two Russian indie studios, HeroCraft, who are responsible for a variety of “games with a focus on role-playing, action and strategy titles”. They are best known for King of Dragon Pass, Tempest, and Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf.
The other studio is Evil Corporation Games, “a small team of creative and game-addicted people”, they have put out two games so far, “Star Story: The Horizon Escape – a text turn-based adventure RPG with 24+ alternative endings and ‘TERRORHYTHM’ – a rhythm-based beat ’em up”.
Gravewood High is a major change for both studios. It is a big project with a lot of ambition and some interesting new ideas for the indie horror space. I’m excited to see if they can pull it off. All signs seem promising, but we will get our first real taste on the 27th. If you are interested in signing up for the Alpha, you can do that here. Otherwise, stay tuned. The developers have promised more information to come, and we will be sure to update you the moment we hear anything. Good luck out there. Don’t let the Teacher get ya.