Their Eyes is a short, pixelated, top-down adventure game taking place in the unsettling town of Lockwood and surrounding countryside. With only so much time before night falls and the bell chimes for the third and final time, you have two choices: hurry up and find a way out of this place or be entranced by the red glow of their eyes.
Developer: Black & Noir Games
Released: 19th July 2021
Platforms: Windows, Mac
Available on: itch.io
Engine: GameMaker 2
Lakewood? Where the heck is that?
Waking up in the middle of the woods with no recollection of how you got there, you begin by exploring the surrounding forests and farmlands. Although dark and eerie, you see nothing unusual. At least until you talk to the warden, who speaks of dangerous creatures that roam the night. From there on out, you must find a weapon and expect the worst!
The gameplay of Their Eyes has a heavy emphasis on lore and exploration, scattering clues, events, items, and people you can talk to in most areas of the game, letting you piece together just what really happened to Lockwood before it got infested by ungodly monsters. Though some of the creatures are quickly dispatched with one rifle shot, others take three shots, and a few can’t be killed with guns at all. Either way, good luck escaping this hellhole and avoiding the allure of Their Eyes.
The game is fairly difficult as you don’t get a lot of time to find and search for everything, whilst also dealing with hordes of monsters who will maul you in seconds flat, so several attempts are expected. To aid with the difficulty, the game has a Casual mode which gives you more health alongside other tweaks letting you last longer.
That’s creepy as all hell.
Their Eyes utilizes a simple dark artstyle with few colors. Although the game doesn’t use any special effects or visual flair, the pixel art alone greatly contributes to the unsettling atmosphere of the game along with the lore, life-or-death encounters, limited weapon ammo, and other background details.
The game thankfully doesn’t employ jump scares, relying solely on the monsters, background, and excellent usage of its simple pixel art to invoke feelings of mystery and dread of what’s coming. That said, you can opt to skip some conversations with characters and race against the night with the knowledge you’ve gained in previous runs, which does break the immersion of Their Eyes as you become more familiar with Lockwood and its secrets.
Though pretty short and meant to be cleared in one sitting, Their Eyes manages to be a dread-inducing experience without being too overbearing, thanks to its mechanics and atmosphere. The game is also a pretty impressive feat for the developer, as it is their first attempt at game development! At its non-existent price tag, you should give it a look to get in the mood for Halloween!