The Fridge is Red (Cancer and Alcohol is Psychological Horror)


Highly hyped, and wrongly maligned by some, The Fridge is Red has received valid mixed criticism. There’s really only one thing to complain about, in my opinion, but the story and mechanics, blah nah! That I was surprised at. Here I go again, listen. Psychological horror succeeds primarily if it has a strong storytelling focus, gameplay is really second. Survival horror is the other way, generally. Here we find both successfully story and play combined, better than most, though with some issues. With its PS1 horror aesthetic (dig that awesome grainy quality), The Fridge is Red puts you in control of an unnamed “daddy” as you navigate six short horror stories that are all inter-related through the aforementioned fridge. You open it at the beginning, selecting items of food to begin unveiling the plot. There are only two options at first, but locating other food in the stories unlocks the rest. As you work through it, it all comes together in horrific beauty.


Without revealing too much, cancer and alcoholism’s effects on family life are really the fright, but it’s told through a bizarre melding of reality and alcohol-induced dream states, leaving the player questioning which one is present at any given moment. The horror aspects rely much on uncertain and dark spaces, tossing in inhumanity and creatures for extra abuse. Facts are somewhat sparse until roughly the fourth or fifth tale, when the concept comes together. So what’s the issue? The only issue you need to know about in The Fridge is Red is the shocking number of bugs. Like holy shit level. Indie teams have it rough with playtesting, but the glitches I encountered here were simply unacceptable. Within only a few minutes of the first story, for example, I was backtracking into one section, saved, and then reloading the next day led to a pipe manifesting right in the middle of a pathway, making it literally impossible to move any further. Thankfully it was a shallow depth into the game, but regardless a shocking manifestation. Text covering over text, and other niceties, will be glaringly obvious even to the unconscious. But, aside from this, the story is well-told, horrifies through its usage of dream and reality, and is rather easy to play (though occasionally you’re left to figure out a path on your own) with some fresh puzzle elements mixed with the plot. Undoubtedly the bugs will disappear in time, and there’s no need to wait until they do.


The Fridge is Red Official Steam

Written by Stanley, Devourer of Souls

The Fridge is Red
5WORD Team (developer), tinyBuild (publisher)
4.1 / 5