Pixel Heart’s new iOS horror game Vanished manages to live up to its title quite literally by featuring gameplay that’s entirely dependent on audio cues and sound effects.
The premise behind Vanished is quite scary in its simplicity: the player wakes up in a world without light with no recollection of how they got there. Using their iOS device’s accelerometer, compass, and touchscreen, the player must work their way through the dark and foreboding atmosphere of Vanished which is conveyed entirely through the game’s audio.
Various actions, such as shaking your device to attack or turning your device in a certain direction to move, combine with the game’s various sound effects to help immerse the player without relying on visual cues of any kind. According to Pixel Heart, the lack of visuals is exactly what makes Vanished so scary: “We think that imagination is the most powerful hardware a game needs. The game itself is only part of the experience. It’s your imagination that creates the world in which you play.”
According to Pixel Heart’s website, Vanished is just the first attempt in a longer experiment they have planned and the game’s success will no doubt lead to even more immersive horror gaming breakthroughs from the studio.
If you want to try Vanished for yourself, you should act fast as Pixel Heart is currently offering it as a free “launch sale” download on the iTunes store but only until October 1st, after which it will be available for $0.99.