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Monday, 01 August 2016 19:18

Sheer Terror and Irresponsible Mothering in Through The Woods

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It’s August, and Halloween is ever so close. We need to take Halloween back to the old days when mothers and fathers would hide their children in the attic to shield them from the demons roaming through the village. Currently, October 31st it’s all about high sugar levels and uninspired costumes. Adults are forced into celebrating Halloween two weeks before the actual day at their office party, or some club dancing instead of scaring kids in the streets. Certain things shouldn’t be frowned upon. Where’s the fear? Still, every year I get excited about All Hollow’s Eve, and this year I want to sprinkle some Norwegian fear into your lives.

Since early childhood, I’ve had this fascination with the woods. It’s the primal human fear of the unknown that drove my uneasiness. Before being leveled and created into a lot for mobile homes, our neighborhood sat right next to some very horrific woods. From the kid that was swallowed by a tree to the muscular, vicious, man-eating jackrabbits that inhabited that area, our neighborhood had folklore regarding those woods. It worked; I never went into those trees. As an adult, I do regret not having the courage to wander past that treeline. Now it’s too late; double-wides have taken that opportunity away. Fortunately, I can experience what it would have been like to venture out into that labyrinth of evil with Through The Woods.

Another psychological horror experience, Through The Woods provides you with something different -- you get to be an irresponsible mother who has lost her son.

Now, I don’t know how many of you gamers are mothers, but if you are, go make sure your child isn’t missing. In Through The Woods, you play through the re-telling of the antagonist’s story as she searches for her lost son with a flashlight and what appears to be The North Face apparel. Let’s be honest here, while she was swiping left on tinder, her son was probably playing Pokemon Go and got lost. The game is set in a forest located on the western shores of Norway with an environment that is influenced by Norse mythology and Norwegian folk tales. Trolls are a big part of Norse and Scandinavian folklore, so, don’t be surprised when you run into some of these creature while you're maneuvering through the forest.

I believe that while Through The Woods is going to be fantastic horror experience, but I tell myself that it’s real intent is to show the selflessness of a mother’s love for her offspring. I don’t know the rules in Norway, but this mother could have just adopted a kid that won’t wander off.

Then again, maybe he was taken. Cue the dramatic music.

Everything you see in Through The Woods was inspired by the real-life feelings that Antagonist, the developers, felt as children wandering through the forests of Norway. I’ve got some stories about the times I snuck into the fields of El Salvador during my summer vacations but they are nothing like that of Through The Woods. What’s really going on in Norway? The game touts that its sound design will be the core mechanic as you find yourself alone in an unending forest filled with symbols and creatures you can’t mentally prepare yourself for.

If you can’t wait until October to experience ghoulish Norway, you can do ahead and download the free demo here. After you play the demo, you should wipe away your sweat and send Antagonist a thank you This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.with words of encouragement. Through The Woods is set for a perfect October 2016 release through Steam. It will be released in the month of All Saints’ Eve to give us an opportunity to get rid of this sugar-coated Halloween and inject some needed horror to our lives. Plus, we can add some Norwegian folklore to our campfire ghost stories.

Murray Coons

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