Rating: Not Available
Available for: PC, OS X
Before I start this review, I’d first like to draw attention to Girls Make Games. The Girls Make Games program is an international workshop series aimed at inspiring young girls to create video games. During these programs, they teach their students about the fundamentals of video game design and create fully functional game prototypes. Top student teams will pitch their games to industry expert judges and the winning team will launch a Kickstarter in order to publish their game. If you would like to learn more about the program, you can check out the Girls Make Games website.
First of all, I know this is a few years late, but congratulations to “The Team That Must Not Be Named” for winning the Grand Prize and creating this game! Interfectorem (2016) is a horror/mystery point-and-click game that truly utilizes the definition of its title: “killed, destroyed” throughout its narrative.
Interfectorem focuses on Alis, a teenage sheriff-in-training who lives alone with her sister after their parents went missing in the forest. After talking a walk in the woods one morning, Alis encounters a Nymph who offers her some water to drink. Alis then finds herself back at her house and that her sister has been violently murdered. Determined to find the murderer, Alis begins to search the town for clues all while hearing more about the mysteries of the forest.
One of my favorite things about this game was the authenticity in its voice. Given that the game was written by teenagers, the characters sound very unsurprisingly…like teenagers. Everything about how the characters would speak to each other and how they interacted with the world, it was all a very refreshing perspective to witness. The beginning of the game also has quite a few fourth-wall breaking jokes that were really funny and self-aware. It tells me that the team had a lot of fun creating this game, and it was a great callback to the games that might have influenced them in the first place!
Interfectorem’s story was well thought out: it utilized the concept of “teenagers go on their own to find the culprit” but Interfectorem found a way to make their story feel different and unique by coming up with their own lore. The setting is a small town but by the time Alis encounters the Nymph, you start to realize that there are a lot more supernatural elements to be found. Witches and monsters make their presence known and many of the NPCs will mention some of the weird rumors that have followed the town for over a century. However, the game doesn’t go too far into the fantastical to explain some of its narrative decisions, and it was good to see all of the characters having an established set of motivations outside of the main plot line. Establishing the world’s lore separate to the main story as well as creating these multi-dimensional characters really helped to breathe life into this game.
With a name like Interfectorem, it is unsurprising to find a lot of death (and blood) in this game. The title is utilized well, because Alis’ sister is not just murdered, the scene of the crime is utterly destroyed. Several events that occur throughout the story take up the same tone: horror is established by the severity of the crime scene and being unable to find the cause of the destruction. Without going too much into spoilers, the definition of “interfectorem” can also be found again in the final resolution of the game: “killed, destroyed” is used in a positive way to remove the traces of horror.
Interfectorem was a very enjoyable point-and-click horror/mystery game that a built a world and characters well-suited for its genre. The authenticity in voice made the characters endearing, and the self-aware humor was well-timed and quite funny. I hope all of the participants of the Girls Make Games program continue to pursue their hobbies and goals and I look forward to the games they will make in the future!