Norwegian game developer Rock Pocket Games is sending gamers to Mars where Lovecraftian horrors await in ‘Moons of Madness’. The game is a first-person psychological horror story where players take on the role of astronaut Shane Newhart who encounters supernatural events at the first research station on the red planet. The game takes a twist on the insanity element of the game where developers came up with a “Zone-Out” mechanic where players see through Shane’s eyes a mix of Shane’s past, events that have not happened yet or things Shane should not know but now does. These Zone-Out events are to add to the anxiety of the game for players making them question what information they are getting from these unique hallucinations are real or not. Keeping with true Lovecraft elements, when humanity thinks it understands the universe it throws a horrific curveball, exploring the unknown without really being prepared for it, ‘Moons of Madness’ is set to be released February of 2018 on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4
The one feature in the game which strikes me the most is “Telling a story about Mental Illness without antagonizing the affected characters.” How I’m interoperating this is that the Character(s) suffer from some forms of mental illnesses and that these illnesses are a known fact (as in the characters talked about it, therefore, putting players in the know) but they’re still able to perform their tasks as workers on Mars. To me, I like this idea because, in many video games, movies, TV shows, and books, mental illness is depicted as something bad or wrong but in this story, the “Madness” is caused by external forces and not by the illness the characters suffer from.