Deluded Mind (First-Person Asylum Drug Romp)

 

My first thought on anything trying to frighten me using an asylum setting is one big looooooool I don't feel like writing. Whoops. Deluded Mind came up rather randomly while I was searching for another scray [sic] video game to review and I have to tell you it was not the theme that drew me to it. These days anything in horror with an asylum, and this one mixes drugs too hot damn, is sure to appear on Amazon KDP publishing in fan-fiction book form with fifth-grade errors. But this one by newcomer Pyxton Studios will make you reevaluate that statement.

  

You play as FBI agent Dean Catrall whose daughter Diana was killed by a criminal organization due to his meddling in their druggery. Pretty standard, really, and you would easily assume it's never really revealed if you are in fact an FBI agent or just insane, as the majority of the game takes place in a whoooooooo ooo oooo (ghost effect) abandoned asylum. The company's site, and gameplay, make it clear you've been captured along with your partner, who is trapped somewhere in the facility, but you've also been drugged with a hallucinogen that affects how you escape because dunnn doooo dannnnnn (thriller tension effect). If that doesn't sound like your little nephew's "scary" story whilst playing campfire, you probably should go commit drug die.

 

 

Deluded Mind had a lot of cliche to extricate itself from, but man does Pyxton Studios do that thing. It's first-person with extremely smooth controls, easily playable on PC or through Steam Link, unlike some indie games of this ilk I've played. And, as expected, your navigation of the asylum leads through the plot and various puzzles, which are just intricate enough to take some time to solve without a screen punch or keyboard slam. The mixture of reality and unreality is an excellent feature, but, again, expected. What really makes it successful is not the story, because in spite of the uncertainty, even by the end, of what is actually real, it follows the usual angle. So there are really two things that change that.First, it looks absolutely beautiful, as you can tell by watching some of the game above or scoping my sick screenshots. The programmer has an excellent sense of detail, and glitches there are none. So that's good, but more importantly is how well the game actually scares you.

  

Deluded Mind utilizes what should be plebeian jump scares in an unorthodox way. They're more distant and sudden, with absolutely no indication they're coming. No stupid music, no "well where is it now?" expectations, nothing. As Catrall goes in and out of reality your vision becomes blurred, or you're staring into a dark space, or complete darkness, in one section of the game with only a camera flash to use for momentary light. But the jumps don't come as expected, leaving the player in nearly a constant state of anticipation. There's a sense of something lurking, but yet only mere glimpses are provided. It might be a cloth-like figure quickly moving around a corner, a doll-like being far down a hall (see above), or a sudden shift in perception. They've taken what is one of the most overdone themes in horror and found a way to make it legitimately frightening, leaving enough mystery that the player remains unsettled. Nothing is truly resolved, in the end, and that's exactly what makes this kind of game succeed, when and if it's done right. If this is only the first game Pyxton has done, I'm ready to shart my pants for them in supplication.

 

Deluded Mind Official Facebook

Written Stanley Devourer of Souls

Deluded Mind
Pyxton Studios (developer and publisher)
4.3 / 5