Indie Spotlight: Lone Survivor Preview

Lone Survivor creator, Jasper Byrne spent the last four years in development of this game and it shows.

Dim shifting lights, the static SCREE of unknown horrors, eloquent conversations with the inanimate, a slipping grasp of reality… Lone Survivor has everything a survival horror game fan wants, needs and should have.

You are, as the title implies, the lone survivor of an unknown epidemic who has run out of supplies in their boarded up apartment. To survive, you’ll have to balance your character’s need for food and sleep against the desire to explore more of this haunted complex for survivors, answers, and escape.

The cause of the epidemic is only the first mystery. Unknown individuals leave notes scattered around the complex, some helpful, most creepy. Strange holes in the wall grant passage through dangerous dimensions filled with pulsing, organic walls. Mirrors transfer you from stalker-filled ruins to the safety of home. Reality is questionable. My kind of game.

Gameplay matches the rest of the game, smooth, well put together and very, very retro. Although you’re able to shoot enemies once you find a handgun, Lone Survivor seems to focus more on stealth. Planting rotting meat lures is often an excellent way to avoid detection as you sneak past shambling horrors on your way to scrounge the next apartment.

Any time I run across a game done in this style (Chrono Trigger, To the Moon, etc…) I’m reminded just how beautiful and evocative the simplicity this approach can be. What the developer has done is remove the need for a large screen. Even with the limited illumination your limited flashlight provides, shadows still conceal the majority of each room. Areas are less about sprawling, repetitive graphics and more about finding meaning in the mundane. Find what you can, who knows what might be useful.

Beyond anything, the aspect of Lone Survivor that really surprised me was the music. Instead of the expected MIDI soundtrack, the player is treated to dark ambient tracks that serve, as in all good survival horror games, to increase tension. However, even in the darkness we can hear the faintest notes of hope.

Byrne has stated on his blog that he plans to continue development on Lone Survivor if his indie career allows, so that he can implement a few additional endings to add to the replay value. Try the demo for yourself or pick it up DRM free for Mac & PC at a measly ten bucks. If you’re tempted, early adopters get a little extra.

Find out more at


About Lee Guille

Gamer, writer, marketer, husband, oppressed slave to cats. Follow me on twitter: Writeleewrite

Posted on April 5, 2012, in Indie Spotlight and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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