With the disappointment of Aliens: Colonial Marines, and the mixed reactions to Alien: Isolation, fans of the Alien franchise, or just alien horror in general, have had a rough time getting a decent game. While Colonial Marines was just an absolute disaster, Isolation bored many people with its repetitive mechanics and stretched-out storyline. An alien horror game needs tension and suspense. If the player gets comfortable in the environment, then the game is a failure as a horror title. Space Beast Terror Fright is an example of a suspenseful alien game done right. While playing, I’ve never once felt safe, and I’ve always been on-edge. This is why I feel that Space Beast Terror Fright is the alien game that we have all been waiting for.
Space Beast Terror Fright puts you in control of a space marine who is tasked with collecting data from an alien-infested spacecraft. This journey leads you through dark corridors, claustrophobic hallways, and large, empty rooms. Wandering your way around the ship in search for the objectives is terrifying. Explaining the reasoning for the tension is difficult unless you experience it yourself, but one of my recent experiences may give you some insight on what to expect from the game. In search of the datacore, I was led through narrow hallways lit only by the small flashlight attached to my weapon. I felt eyes on me everywhere, but I saw no people or creatures anywhere. As I approached the datacore to begin my extraction, I saw the pop-up message. Movement detected: 5 meters. I quickly spun around to look for the source of movement, and realized I had spun the wrong direction. Frantically rotating around the environment, I searched for the creature causing the disturbance, but saw no sign of it. The movement indicator disappeared from my interface. I was clear to go back to extracting the data I came here for. All of a sudden, the movement indicator was back: 2 meters. I looked to my right, only to be face-to-face with a terrifying xenomorph crawling on the ceiling. Before I could raise my weapon, it had launched itself at me, tearing me apart and draining the life from my body. It’s experiences like these that make Space Beast Terror Fright one of the most tense games I’ve ever experienced.
On top of being an extremely tense game, Space Beast Terror Fright is also an extremely challenging arcade/roguelike FPS. It focuses on a simple concept: a procedurally generated spacecraft that is different each time you play, meaning that you will never know exactly where you need to go at any given time. Initially, your marine is only equipped with a simple weapon and tracking device that can locate the data cores and report any nearby movement. However, these data cores can contain upgrades that allow you to empower your marine and increase your chances of surviving the mission. There is a key mechanic of managing doors to seal off areas of the ship that you would like to remain safe. There are environmental assistants such as automated sentry bots that you can activate in order to assist you on your mission and keep away the alien menace.
Simple mechanics combine with procedural generation and intense atmosphere to make Space Beast Terror Fright a fantastic game. Playable with up to three others players in co-op, it is a definite purchase for anyone who has an interest in alien horror. While it is not intentionally terrifying, the experiences that I’ve had in the game have left me feeling uneasy and keep me sharp as I venture through the dark corridors of the spaceship. If you’d like to try your hand at gathering the data stashed on the xenomorph-infested ships, you can find Space Beast Terror Fright on Steam for $14.99. It is, however, currently in Early Access, so keep this in mind before you decide to buy.