Like any other Tuesday bachelor party, it devolves into bizarre carnage. Based on a true story
The Danish Professional Villains invite us to come with them, if we want to die and so this is. In fact, the most important thing you have to know in Anglerfish is that you’ll die. Always. It’s almost impossible to avoid enemies or dangers, that immediately kill you, without let you think a thing.
After that, we can get into more specifics.
IT ALL BEGINS WITH A TRUE STORY
We’re part of a group of colleagues who want to celebrate one of them’s bachelor (which makes me think he’s Groom, or he’s just the “head” of the group. We don’t know yet).
The celebrations take place in a bar, the Anglerfish, and we’re all dressed as schoolgirls, complete with disturbing masks and too-tight dresses. Jerik, one of them, even has a flashy duck-shaped life jacket. However, the sign outside the club clearly states, “Look-a-like Thursday,” so no one should be surprised.
There is a dog at the entrance to the bar (spoiler: it will change every now and then when you restart), that appears you can pet it, but not immediately.
Before we enter, Groom reminds us of the evening’s rules: whoever collects the most phone numbers will be the winning “lady.”
So we think this is the purpose: to enter the Anglerfish, approach the women present, and obtain their phone numbers. Yes, it all seems a bit weird, but what could possibly happen?
At the moment, it does not appear to be such an impossible task; there is even a girl who is glued to us with each step we take. Of course, if it weren’t for the fact that we are rather disturbing individuals who instantly elicit anger, embarrassment, and general annoyance.
But we don’t give up because we must do something! If we try to leave the bar and continue past the game screen, a well-placed retractable punch will force us to retreat. As a result, we insist.
However, soon after receiving the first issue, something strange occurs: one of the girls (possibly the one dressed as Beatrix Kiddo from Kill Bill in the bathroom or the one on the balcony) transforms into a monster with a high-pitched moan and long limbs. Obviously, it’ll kill us right away. Even our grotesque appearance cannot shield us.
And I believe this is where the story begins. Or, more precisely, the nightmare.
From now on, we’ll have to try to survive the night and its strange turn.
DIE, DIE AND STILL DIE
I’m serious: this game is set to force you to die many times.
“The game only saves when you die. Every time you die, something changes. Every change is based on where and how you died.” As Professional Villains said.
Sometimes, dying it’s not a bad thing at all. I suppose you’ll receive benefits or disclosure of secrets in the next run.
After dying for the first time, we will find ourselves in a room with a parrot, who warns us with a wise air that we can only return home if we manage to escape the Anglerfish.
Subsequently, we’ll be at the bar’s entrance, with the dog (which is still growling) and a pair of shears on the ground. These shears will be our consolation prize for dying in this manner, without recourse. Thanks to the shears, we’ll be able to enter a room where there’s a rifle.
Holy God, now we’re good to go! This rifle appears to have infinite ammo, and all we have to do is press the “spacebar” to take out these cursed monsters who decapitate us mercilessly.
However, these bastards burst out of nowhere, giving you no time to decide which way to turn. You must be quick, intuitive, and able to analyze details such as sounds and movements. The latter is only if you have the time.
The real issue arises when a trap door in the back of the room opens, granting us access to desolate dungeons dotted with sporadic flames and glowing skeletons that mark the path. We’ll see almost nothing, and it’ll be useless to remind us of the type of attack or the number of enemies because it’ll change every time we die.
For now, it seems like a few commands are needed: A, D, to move, E to interact, and the spacebar to shoot. That’s all. Sounds easy, huh? I invite you to try.
IS RETRÒ STYLE BECOMING A NEW TYPE?
Many indie studios are adopting the pixel graphic style, which, aside from being a clear homage to the history of videogames, is also partly a ploy to make a game even if you have limited resources.
The Professional Villains, in my opinion, have made a clear aesthetic choice. Anglerfish reminds me of a trashy / comic version of Splatterhouse from 1988.
High definition graphics are not required in this case to get into the right mood of this game. Anglerfish does not need to demonstrate gore realism. It is perfectly functional as is. It’s an odd, one-of-a-kind, and, above all, entertaining product. Perhaps not suitable for those with little patience, such as myself, but it is worth a shot.
About seven months ago, the Professional Villains hinted that the game will be released after the second half of 2022, so let’s hope you won’t be missing out on much. In the meantime, you can try the free demos available from Steam to get a feel for the game.
Let the best schoolgirl wins!