Every human has their fears, whether those fears are irrational or not. For some, they share the phobia known as ‘Cleithrophobia’, or the fear of being trapped. In this game, the player will experience the fear of being trapped in darkness.

Cleithrophobia is a free 2014 indie horror game created by Jonathan Wright using an RPG Maker. Just as with other RPG Maker games, Cleithrophobia is a pixelated game yet still manages to look brilliant even with its limited supply of graphics. The game is a short one, only being an hour to an hour and a half in length, depending on how quickly the player can solve the puzzles located within the game.

Cleithrophobia places the player in the shoes of an unnamed female protagonist. The game begins with the player being trapped in a single bedroom – their first task being figuring out how to escape the bedroom. Upon escaping, however, the player will soon discover that they are not as alone in the dark as they would probably like to be. Throughout the game, the player will be faced with a series of challenges to figure out just how to escape the house that holds them prisoner.

Even though it is tempting to play horror games in the dark, Cleithrophobia is one game that would be best to play in a lit room. A feature of Cleithrophobia that makes it more frightening is the fact that it is a very dark game. Within the game, your only source of light is a small lantern that lights barely a few squares around you. Other than the lantern and a few select candles around the house, the player is left in total darkness to navigate through – and protect themselves through.

While the game excels in atmosphere, scares, and graphics there is still an aspect where Cleithrophobia falls a bit short. Despite going through the entire game, the game lacks a cohesive story. We may, overall, learn more about what lurks in the darkness throughout the game but as for the playable character, the player never does learn too much about her origins. The game contains a few flashbacks answering a question or two but by the end of the game, the player is still left with one very large question… Why was our character in this house in the first place? Even with minimal flashbacks, such is never answered within the games and detracts from Cleithrophobia’s story.

Overall, Cleithrophobia is a worthwhile indie horror to play. It can be hard to make a pixelated horror genuinely scary but Cleithrophobia does excel with this by having more than just a few jump scare moments within the game. It is a worthwhile game that any RPG horror fan will probably like.

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