Wounded is an interesting new horror game that’s found its way to the dark recesses of crowdfunding. The Macedonian team at Workbench Entertainment have crafted an interesting tale that has shades of Silent Hill and Outlast (the latter not being surprising since their sound designer, Jonathan Wachoru, worked on that game). There’s even a demo out which has been played by a few notable YouTube personalities but that’s where this whole campaign gets weird.

Has the name ‘Motel Hell’ been taken already?

A bit on the story first: you play as a father who’s driving (while drunk) back home from a family gathering. Your daughter Lisa is with him and you make the smart decision to pull into a motel so you can resume your trip in the morning. But did you actually stop at the motel? Lisa is now missing, something is watching you and you’re not sure where you are. Are you behind the wheel of a smashed up car? Why is there no one else in this run-down ‘haven’ for weary travelers? And most importantly, where is your own flesh and blood?

While not that original, the backstory behind Wounded has a lot of potential and piqued my interest. Some of the campaign page is also written in an almost poetical verse to add to the atmosphere:

The game sets you in a wonderful autumn evening. While a lukewarm, lazy wind softly tickles the half naked trees with some leaves and the full moon shines on the sky…

Artistic sketches to match the atmospheric words.

But like the Kickstarter page itself, there’s just something off about the writing. There are some of the usual grammar hiccups from a team where English isn’t their first language but there’s something more than just that. The last names aren’t listed for the developers so I had to do a bit of digging to find out the ‘Jonathan’ that worked on Outlast. There’s very little discussion of the actual gameplay and more time spent on the game’s soundscape (which is quite effective). And then there’s the demo.

So it seems like Workbench Entertainment has been really successful in getting people to play the early stages of Wounded. We were actually contacted by them to do a review of the demo; I attempted to boot it up but it kept crashing. There were no system requirements that I could find and I spent way too much time playing around with settings and my graphics card to try and get it to work. I asked the team about it through Kickstarter and they said that older graphic cards on laptops can’t render the environments and that’s why it crashes. A little transparency here would’ve been nice or at least a listing what’s required to play the demo. One of our writers and reviewers here at oprainfall, Crystal Colwell, did get it to work on her computer and it terrified her (in a good way). Here are some of her thoughts from her impression piece:

I was terrified every single time I opened a door or rounded a corner. I wanted more! Nothing that drastic had happened to me yet but I knew from the situation I was in, and how on edge the game had me, that anything could happen. At one point all I could hear was the sound of the main character breathing and every hair on the back of my neck stood up. At another point something ran down the hall in front of me (which is where the reference to about peeing my pants came from in the intro to this impressions article) and I thought if the game keeps scaring me like this, I could be a little bit in love.

The demo was also let’s played to completion by the famous YouTuber Markiplier. Even if you find his exaggerated reactions annoying, it’s impressive to see that almost 2 million people have watched him play Wounded. What’s really strange about this is that the campaign still has under a 100 backers and is struggling to reach their goal. I’m honestly not sure if this highlights an extreme disconnect between support for youtube channels and support for the products on those channels (this is a question for another article) or whether a ton of people were turned off of the project due to the Kickstarter page. Either way it is kind of a shame because a lot about Wounded looks good, especially the screenshots.

Definitely a friendly face.

So as I always say, do a bit of research before backing and if your system can handle the demo, give it a try. With a little under 11 days left the project has only raised about 11% of it’s €10,000 (about $11,400 USD) goal. Pledges will get you a copy of the Steam version at €10 (about $11 USD), a physical copy of the game at €75 (about $85 USD), and a chance to get an inside look at the development process for €300 (about $340 USD). Although it’s highly doubtful that any of the stretch goals will be met, the console ports at €25,000 (about $28,500 USD) and VR port at €35,000 (about $40,000 USD) sound interesting. If you want to turn this Kickstarter around, you have until 

Leif Conti-Groome
Leif Conti-Groome is a writer/playwright/video game journalist whose work has appeared on websites such as NextGen Player, Video Game Geek and DriveinTales. His poem Ritual won the 2015 Broadside Contest organized by the Bear Review. While he grew up playing titles such as Final Fantasy VI and Super Double Dragon, he doesn’t really have a preference for genre these days except for Country; that’s a game genre right? Leif’s attention has been more focused on the burgeoning communities of niche Japanese titles, eSports and speedruns. He currently resides in Toronto, Canada and makes a living as a copywriter.