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Slender: The Eight Pages (PC) artwork

Slender: The Eight Pages (PC) review

"Slim on features, but cuts right to the chase."

Collect 8 Pages

Slender: The Eight Pages didn't utilize a stunning narrative with overlong cutscenes to orient me. All I received upon entry was a simple, mysterious objective as I was thrust into the blackness of midnight, surrounded by trees and who knew what else. There were no NPCs to engage in conversations, enemies to avoid or waypoints to guide me through the thick fog. I saw nothing, save for phantasmal hands that seemed to reach out from the dense mist (or maybe that was my imagination...), so I commenced wandering.

I wandered.

...and wandered.

...and wandered.

...and wandered.

...and, "Oh, hey! A chain-link fence! It... seems to serve no purpose."

So I continued to wander.

...and wander.

...and wander.

I happened upon a handful of landmarks, most of which weren't useful. A pair of old bathroom-like facilities sat open and empty, and visiting a creepy old tree accomplished nothing. Eventually, I happened upon a note pinned to the side of a building. Excited, I snagged the scrawling and read its two-word message: NO EYES. At the time, I knew nothing about this game, and thought it was just some vague message meant to spook me. It didn't work, and I was getting annoyed. I figured at least it was a freeware title, so I didn't waste any money.

Around that time, a steady thrum began to issue from my speakers. I rolled my eyes at this overused attempt to build tension and continued to walk, scanning the area for something that might help me in my quest to locate the pages. And oh, I found something alright: a dapper dude standing in the middle of the woods. He didn't move or flinch, but stood there, staring at me. Something about him was amiss, but I couldn't tell what.

NO EYES. I nearly peed when I noticed.

"Oh, dear. It think I'll just-"

He approached slowly, never breaking his eyeless stare.

"I think I'll be-"

White noise began to pervade the screen and crackle from my speakers, and the game twitched out as if it were glitching. Concurrently, the figure's body began to exude shadowy gnarls that grew longer and curled around toward me. I didn't have a gun or a knife to defend myself. Hell, I didn't have a spine, for that matter. I pulled a one-eighty and hit Left Shift practically hard enough to jam the key, then W'ed my butt out of there.

Only I didn't run like hell. I jogged at a meager pace; the kind of weak plod you do in a nightmare whilst being chased by a faceless boogeyman, like you're padding through knee-deep marshmallows. I panicked and thought for sure Slenderman would catch me in a split second, wrap his tentacles around me and spirit me away. But he didn't. I somehow escaped and lived long enough to collect two more pages.

Then he got me...

Slender derives a fair portion of its fear factor from uncertainty. You don't know what happens to you when Slenderman gets his tendrils on you. Maybe you die, or maybe he devours your soul and you cease to exist. Or perhaps you exist eternally, trapped forever in some torturous phase of existence. Or maybe you become a part of the demon, and are doomed to watch as it adds more victims to its collection. Slender's lack of storytelling leaves room for you to fill in the gaps with your own panic-driven thoughts and conclusions.

Uncertainty plagues newcomers and the uninitiated the most. The entire game consists of bumping around in the dark until you happen upon all of eight notes, with horrifying interludes between pages in which you attempt to evade the antagonist. It's a very basic game that sacrifices depth and variety for atmosphere and quick chills. It's so minimalist that I would ordinarily slate it, yet I find myself holding back. This thrill ride makes the most of its minimal content, ensuring that you'll at least have a few sessions of taut gameplay without the bother of cinematics or tutorials.

Slender isn't your average horror offering, attempting to shoehorn a cliched story into a basic first-person adventure experience. It's also not the kind of title you spend hours playing or turn into a major project, but one you fire up when you're craving a good scare and need a quick fix. It cuts through all the introductory nonsense that comes with starting most games anew, and further trims the fat by disallowing saves, eliminating the obligation to keep coming back and playing even when you're not in the mood for a scare. In a way, Slender is like a novelty item or a toy, meant to be enjoyed once in a while. However, like those objects, it also loses its charm in large doses.

I like to think of this game as a fantastic piece of holiday decoration. It's a great game to unleash during Halloween like a Christmas tree in December. Just replace joy and presents with screaming and tears.

Project Horror 2019

Bonus Content


JoeTheDestroyer's avatar
Staff review by Joseph Shaffer (October 31, 2019)

Rumor has it that Joe is not actually a man, but a machine that likes video games, horror movies, and long walks on the beach. His/Its first contribution to HonestGamers was a review of Breath of Fire III.

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