Strange slasher cum bachelor party simulator Anglerfish dropped on Steam earlier this month, and good gods, is it one hell of a ride. In the indie game horror game, you play a guest at a bachelor party that is inexplicably drawn into a world of strange horrors.
At the beginning of Anglerfish, you’ll be prompted to make a very serious decision. You’ll select a doughnut out of three. Then, you’re informed that the game will change as you die, before distant cackling echoes.
You’ll play a school girl-suited bearded person in what looks like a bear kitsune-style mask and then pick from a range of Tik Tok-esque voices. Then, you’re off into the big bad world of the bachelor party, where bizarrely, you’re all competing to be the best man at the wedding. Thus all of your friends too, are dressed in schoolgirl outfits and masks. Apparently, it’s all based on a “true story”.
You enter the Anglerfish club, which, as you’d imagine, has an entrance shaped like the toothy, luminescent maw of its namesake. After hanging to some cool musical vibes, you are inexplicably torn apart by a long-limbed shadow creature.
Later on, you’ll blast it to bits while the barman casually wipes down glasses. In between the weird bar and easy chit-chat with your acquaintances, you’ll also be in between odd nightmare worlds, surreal mini-games, and what appear to be your very own memories.
A video game protagonist wakes up in an on-fire science lab with nothing but an AI and a high-tech gun to…
While also retreating into a safe space with your very own The Shining-style personal barman. “You’ve been a very naughty boy,” croons your faceless server. “If you don’t mind me saying so, sir.”
So follows a weird death odyssey, jammed full of trash and eeriness and oh-so-many movie references. You die, a lot, with the world regenerating again each time a little differently.
The rogue-lite aspect keeps things fresh, with new scares and secrets generated after each death. The surreal masks and pumping beats have hints of indie game smash hit Hotline Miami, which is more lurid and frenetic but equally hyperviolent and surreal.