Jam Favorites: Asylum Jam 2017

There are a ton of game jams happening online at any point during the year. Many of these jams follow a theme and a timeframe, giving developers the challenge of creating a game with the restrictions around a specific jam. I am able to record loads of these games for each and almost every game jam. As I record them all, I pick out games that stand out to me, and games that I love from each individual jam. This article contains the games I love from the Asylum Jam 2017.

The Asylum Jam is a game jam focused around creating horror games without mental health stigmas within them. This specific Asylum Jam was the five-year anniversary jam! The optional theme was ‘Zero Sum — One’s Gain is Another’s Loss’.  I’ve played through each of the submitted games in my compilation video series and below are a few of my favorites, in a random order.

Disconnected by Chrstphfr

Asylum Jam Disconnected
Disconnected Gameplay

Disconnected is a terrifying adventure game where you are just trying to visit your friend Anna. Anna has invited you over to tell you something. You’re not sure what it is, but it must be exciting news if she has invited you to her flat. You’ve agreed to meet at 8pm. When you arrive, everything goes normally. You are let into the flat and head up to her floor, but upon ringing her bell, you find that Anna isn’t home. She won’t be home for some time — but you are locked inside the block of flats.

Now you need to follow her instructions to get into her flat and spend the rest of the time waiting there. Your vision in Disconnected is quite interesting; it’s that of a glitching TV screen, huge squares of color lightly flashing and coming into focus. This makes dark areas within the game, especially scary as your brain tries to work out if that coat is a ghost. Your friend Anna is still a text message away, so you do have something else to focus on and follow. Surely whatever she wants to tell you will be worth all of this…

Midnight by Runewake2

Asylum Jam Midnight
Midnight Gameplay

Midnight is a puzzle platformer where you explore a dark laboratory with your ball of light. This game wasn’t very terrifying for me, more of a creepy puzzler where you need to time your throws correctly and explore around in the dark. Your ball of light bounces around, rotating around you as you walk. You can use it to trigger blue circles on the walls around you, which then opens doors and moves platforms.

If you start to explore the entire world around the paths you take, you will find extra rooms and strange areas that might better explain what is going on around you. Or you can continue moving forward, solving each puzzle — either way, don’t forget to call your light orb back to you. It’s rather dark without it.

Feast by SNeeKeeBunny

Asylum Jam Feast
Feast Gameplay

Feast is a short, yet creepy, RPG game where you play a young girl, getting ready for her birthday party. Strange blue orbs ask for various items: mainly food. You must get them whatever they ask for so the party can begin. As you wander around, you find voices talking to you, saying very strange things about your birthday and about you as a person. It became apparent that things aren’t too safe here.

You are just a child, though, and so do as you are told. The items they ask you for have a strange look and sense to them — so do some of the other figures around. You do want to have your birthday party, however, so you must listen to the orbs and do what they ask of you. Hopefully, in the end, you will find out what the feast is that you will be enjoying.

Note: Feast alludes to some horrific actions happening to this clearly young child.

Down Under by Vicimus

Asylum Jam Down Under
Down Under Gameplay

Down Under sees you exploring a pixelated sewer in search of your lost dog. Your dog has run down into the sewer — which is almost like a maze — but as you love him, you’ve gone down to find him. At first, most of the sewer is closed off. You can find a flashlight as well as a map of the sewers to gain a better understanding of the space. Once you’ve done that, some new areas open up and you can begin looking for your dog, Richie.

You and your dog aren’t the only things inside this underground maze. Eggs from a mysterious creature dot around. If you are so unlucky as to crush one, suddenly a giant monster will be after you. Once the monster awakens, it begins to lurk around, causing the lights to flicker and forcing you to run. The sewers have a lot of dead ends within them — it is best to be conscious of where you are heading. There are strange things to collected, like fuses, which you will need if you are to last long enough.

Will you ever be able to get your dog back?

Enclosed by WhaleCrusher

Asylum Jam Enclosed
Enclosed Gameplay

Enclosed is another spooky maze — this time completely filled with strange monsters that lurk in the night. You are unsure why you are here, but now seem to be stuck inside. Some doors have giant demon heads on them — if you go near them, a voice shouts ‘No’ unless you have the correct key.  As you move around the maze, keys can be found here and there, within the fog. Hopefully one of these doors will be the way out.

The monsters in this maze don’t directly chase you or harm you, but these massive and floating creatures are very curious in the way they look. They wait for you in large rooms or by guarded keys. If you do happen to fall into the fog or die, you will need to restart — which can really throw you off. The maze is creepy — floating through the fog and finding the various monsters — and is very worth exploring.

4PARTMENTS by Gunschlinger


4PARTMENTS puts you alone in a strange apartment, trying to figure out how to escape alive. This atmospheric puzzle game has you communicating through telephones to other people who claim to be stuck in very similar situations. Someone is clearly watching you, speaking over various speakers to tell you what is going on. This person tells you that every home these strangers are in are different — with different clues and notes — but you have no way of seeing each other’s clues.

So you are forced to listen to these people and decide what is true and what is false. Notes dotted around your own apartment will even guide you more on who to trust, if you want to trust them. These people all need to trust you as well, to tell you their clues and continue talking to you. You must be careful and make sure you don’t rub anyone up the wrong way. There isn’t much time and you need to make it out of there alive. Everything is all about trust — trust between strangers fearing for their lives.

My Sunshine by Axoona

Asylum Jam My Sunshine
My Sunshine Gameplay

My Sunshine is a seemingly adorable game about being a parent! You have taken your child to the park to play on the slide. You two are the only people there today, but you are very tired. It is hard work being a parent. Your kid wants your attention every single time he goes up the slide — but you’d like to focus on something else for a small amount of time.

Your phone pings — a game ready to be played. Surely your child will just continue up and down the slide. Nothing bad could ever happen in the amount of time it takes to play your game — nothing has ever happened before. You’ll need to spend some time balancing between your game and the attention you need to give your kid — and see what happens.

My Sunshine is a very short game yet meaningful game.

The Asylum Jam happens each and every year. If you are interested in learning more about the Asylum Jam, follow their Twitter @AsylumJam!

If these weren’t enough horror games to keep you frightened, you can check out our other article on 5 Free PC Horror Games You Can Play Right Now!

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1 Comment
  1. Sam Wronski says

    Glad you liked it! Midnight has been a concept I’ve tried playing with a few times. I was really happy with how it turned out despite under estimating the time it took to build. A lot of the spooky elements had to get left out because of that, hopefully I’ll find some time to add them back in soon!

    One correction: Runewage2 -> Runewake2

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