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suteF: A Creepy-Ass Puzzler

Recently I was laid up at home with the flu. To help pass the time I tried out a few new games, but there was one which insinuated itself into my mind as I came in and out of sleep, blending with my fever-inspired nightmares to create visions of squat blue men scrabbling over their own corpses while searching for a way out of sadistic puzzle-mazes.

Take a look at this video for a little sampler:

Even without the additional aid of a virus, suteF is a fever nightmare of a game. By form it is a puzzle platformer, belonging to a school of games such as Time Fcuk by Edmund McMillen, which revel in atmospheric graphics and a cryptic storyline.

As a narrative, the game revels in its ambiguous nature. While many creators try to fuel a sense of dread by throwing an onslaught of images at the audience, Ted Lauterbach understands that the secret of horror is the spaces in between. SuteF leaves the basic horror of the situation to speak for itself, and allows players to fill in the gaps of the story with their own fevered imaginations.

As a game the puzzles are clever and well-balanced; suteF hits nicely on the needed balance between new challenges For gamers who like more of a challenge, the hidden “ice rim” levels can easily take as long as the rest of the game to complete.

The game was surprisingly demanding, playing at 2/3rds speed on the little netbook I use for casual games. This had the effect of intensifying the dream-like vibe, and I didn't realize it was unintentional until I had played through most of the game. The fact that I was still sucked in is a tribute to the level of engagement it provides.

Lauterbach has created a dark gem, that's well worth playing. Get it here.