Indie Spotlight – Paranormal (PC Game)


Inspired by the Paranormal Activity film franchise, Paranormal (PC Game) is a “fully dynamic haunting-simulator” played in the first person perspective. Like Slender, White Noise, and other indie horror titles before it, Paranormal scares the pants off players by slowly introducing creepy hauntings; chairs moving by themselves, unsettling sights and sounds, and even creepy mannequins creeping up behind you for those oh-so-mortifying boo scares. Gradually, these scares intensify to a point where you realize your life is in danger and you’ll have to brave horrors in order to unravel the mystery behind your haunted house. (And perhaps put a stop to it in the process.)

Learn more about Matt Cohen’s Paranormal after the break.


The familiar – yet creepy – security cam views up the creep factor. There’s no safe place away from the horror.

As soon as you load up Paranormal, you’ll notice that the game has a unique look and feel. Set entirely from a first-person video camera perspective, the experience is very personal and every scare feels a lot closer than most people will be comfortable with. It’s even got a battery-life bar on the top right hand corner that also works as the game’s timer. You’ll have to rest and recharge the camera at the end of each day or run the risk of finding out how to stop the evil in your house.  Even when you though you’ve reached respite through sleep, the game will switch to your static security cameras set up around your house, keeping you in constant fear.

What makes Paranormal an effective indie horror title is that it’s built around randomized scares and events that ensure that each of your playthroughs are different, but still allows you to progress the story and even unlock one of the game’s multiple endings (depending on what you’ve done or uncovered so far). I’ve played the game multiple times; each of my playthroughs had me handling my mouse in a vice-like death grip due to Paranormal’s increasingly pervasive, suffocating, and paralyzingly creepy atmosphere. Just when you thought you’ve seen every scare there is to see, the game blindsides you with an even scarier haunting.


This is just one of the hundreds of hauntings you’ll experience in Paranormal. Be prepared.

As I mentioned earlier, the video camera perspective allows for unique camera effects like camera shake, pixelation, video distortion, audio distortion, and motion blur that resemble experiences they’ve seen in found footage films like The Last Exorcism, Paranormal Activity, and the Japanese film NOROI. Seriously, if you’re one of those movie-goers that couldn’t handle the aforementioned films, then you’ll probably be scared half-to-death when playing Paranormal.

Now, if you’re willing to brave this unique horror experience for the PC, you’ll be happy to know that the developers have announced that they’re bringing a free expansion to the title in the near future. Titled Paranormal: The Town, this expansion introduces a full town for you to explore, with a new storyline and characters, as well as new game mechanics. The developer, Matt Cohen has said that “The Town” was inspired by games like Silent Hill, just so you have a basic idea of the game’s atmosphere.


You never know what you’ll find through the lens of your video camera.

Paranormal is available now on Desura for $9.83. You can also help out by voting for the game to be released on Steam through Steam Greenlight.

Paranormal is one of those unique horror titles that brings something new and exciting to the genre. Let’s support it and encourage more developers to take chances and bring creativity to the horror genre.

Check out the Paranormal trailer below:

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About janhutchings

Canadian Game Industry Blogger / Contributor for @Sonyrumors & @ShogunGamer / Communications and PR Professional. Voice of Canadian and Indie Gaming.

Posted on January 14, 2013, in Indie Spotlight and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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