Indietail – Spooky’s Jump Scare Mansion

With Halloween around the corner, I thought I’d review my favourite Horror Game to play every year. It’s a free-to-play title that is truly horrifying and gets me every damn time. It may not be the scariest or the most refined game – but it does its job well at luring you into a sense of security before striking with a nice little scare! Welcome to my review on Spooky’s House of Jump Scares Spooky’s Jump Scare Mansion!

As a quick note before we head into the review, the game does contain violence and flashing lights, so be warned if you have issues with that!

Developer: Lag Studios, Akuma Kira, AMGSheena
Publisher: Lag Studios
Genre: Horror, Cute, Atmospheric, First-Person
Release Date: July 28th, 2015
Reviewed on: PC
Available on: PC
Copy is available for free.

So, Spooky’s Jump Scare Mansion is, as the title suggests, about Spooky’s Mansion that is filled with an abundance of Jump Scares. You have to make your way through 1000 rooms in order to get out of there, diving deeper and deeper into the depths of the Mansion, finding bits and pieces of the lore of previous survivors or survival attempts, and in the end, you’re trying to survive.

Oh , gosh darnit, this is so cute but scared the living hell out of me!

As previously noted, the game lures you into a sense of security before striking with a nice little scare. The game does that by setting a certain atmosphere with creepy sounds, some memorable music as well as passages that are plain silent. Personally, I adore the use of silence in Horror Games as it allows the player to relax every once in a while before adding more suspense to the experience. It also lets them take a breather before striking even harder, something that usually works well. And well, the game does that often and exceptionally well, working with chase sequences, cardboard cutouts and different enemies to scare the shit out of you.

And that’s lovely. Usually, I don’t like cheap tricks like Jump Scares but, in this case, it’s the overall premise of the game, so I don’t really mind, especially with how cute the jump scares are at the beginning.

This guy leaving notes and comparing himself to a story’s sidecharacter… SMH

The simplicity of the UI combined with the easy-to-understand premise of the game allows for a great and memorable experience that I enjoyed. The gameplay consists of you walking through one door after another while the counter at the top-right corner of the screen counts up until it reaches 1000. You’re able to sprint, making use of your stamina, as well as take a few hits (as indicated by the health bar) and, well, that’s it. It’s simple but as time goes on the game features vast corridors, grand rooms and even forests filled with its enemy times.

As time goes on, the game also adds completely separate areas to the game, counting as one room but factually offering way more than just that. There you have to hide from enemies or find a key or solve another puzzle to get to the next “room”. The way that Lag Studios set up their game and the way that they execute the scares and the changes in the atmosphere is rather superb. They got me good quite often and were able to surprise me several times with new mechanics and areas.

The simple-looking graphics are effective at conveying a certain feeling with you, which is something that I really need in Horror titles. Meanwhile, the room-count that is steadily getting closer and closer to the big 1000 is giving you that feeling of progress that you need to go on. Personally, I had a blast, trying to complete it in one sitting, and as time went one, I ended up really enjoying this race to the thousand and my attempt of staying perseverant.

A MANSION IN THE MANSION?! WOAH!

Furthermore, the soundtrack of the game is just superb. From time to time, you’re greeted by each of the specimens’ themes indicating who’s following you. There are a few different encounters but whenever you hear a certain tune, you know that it’s that specific encounter and not some other monster or ghost or puppet. That’s something that I enjoyed about the game. The sounds, the voice acting, and the times of quiet were well-placed and added a lot to the game!

But that’s not all there is to this game: There’s also the great and self-ironic writing, the cameos and easter eggs found in the Mansion, and the countless other jokes and references that really made me chuckle. Seeing Kyubey from Puella Magi Madoka Magica on a poster in the elevator was great, seeing a “Doom 1”-styled poster in another was even better, realising that there’s a Hatsune Miku doodle in one of the rooms, reading these self-aware notes as well as seeing images inspired by the SCP Foundation, and experiencing some areas themed around other horror games, really made my day. Rooms that look similar to some of the Silent Hill Games or other areas that were designed like a part in Amnesia: The Dark Descent freshen up the game and bring more variety into the pot of goodness that is cooking over this metaphorical fire of uh… jump scares… or something.

Is it gone? Can I leave my hiding place? Am I safe?

Aaaanyways,… the game is great – but here and there you can still find some issues with it.

An issue that I had, for instance, was that the screenshot-function in Steam as well as the in-built Screenshot-Function doesn’t seem to work properly. At times, you would get bad and weirdly cropped screenshots that are heavily delayed. At other times, it doesn’t take the screenshot at all, which is something that I as a reviewer didn’t like, mainly since I enjoy taking screenshots and posting them in my reviews – taken from the original game by me for you. Regardless of that, I still managed to get some good ones here and there, as you can see in this post.

Another thing that I disliked about the game was the use of graphical glitches to represent “hallucinations”. Now and then the room turns into a mess and the textures get switched out, making the game rather hard to play. This happens only for a short while or only one room but it makes it hard to see where the doors are, which is its intension… but it can also get quite frustrating, especially when you’re being chased by something. I don’t know how colour blindness would work with these features, so in theory, this could ruin someone’s experience a hefty amount… and overall, it doesn’t add much to the experience, so I would have left that out.

Heh, this brings back memories…

In the end, Spooky’s Jump Scare Mansion manages to scare the heck out of you while also amusing you with some great dialogues, interesting mechanics, cool easter eggs, and the cutest ghost in the world! I can highly recommend this game to anyone who’s in search of a short but scary experience! It’s available for free on Steam. I think you can also grab it on PlayStation VR but as I don’t have any consoles, I wasn’t able to check that out.

The main game can be played through in about three to four hours – but you also have some replayability with the Endless Mode that features an all-new mansion and a leaderboard. There is also a DLC for the game called Karamari Hospital, featuring less of a perserverance-challenge and more of a puzzle-area where exploration is rewarded and where try to progress through this bizarre and scary hospital!

I wish you an early Happy Halloween! If you end up playing this on October 31st, Spooky (the ghost from above) actually is shown in a different get-up, so I can highly recommend trying it out then!

Cheers!

How to not-promote your channel on Twitch

So you created an account as well now, eh? Welcome to Twitch! It’s a lovely platform with a bunch of issues but you haven’t heard about those yet since you’ve only been viewing people from afar or you’ve heard about all those big Twitch streamers before, so you’re trying to be like that! Maybe you’re also just new to all of this and thinking about trying it out yourself… and alas, you end up setting up OBS, hitting that “Go Live” button and playing a game… by yourself… while nobody is there. 

And alas, you’re wondering: Why is nobody watching you? 

Clearly, it can’t be you as you’re awesome! Clearly, it can’t be the category as Fortnite is popular with a ton of streamers playing it and a market that seems to be as deep as the players’ parents’ bank deposits… and clearly, it can’t be your settings since you watched plenty of tutorials before even creating a brand or anything like that!

Pet picture provided by the lovely MuddChi! Check her stream out 🙂

So you decide to watch other streamers and ask them what you’re doing wrong… and you got banned! Uh… what? Rude! Screw you! Guess we’ll go somewhere else and ask about the best obs settings for your stream and… oh, weird… you can’t chat anymore for another…. 8 HOURS?! WHAT?! It must be a bug! Let’s try somewhere else… you say Hello and have a nice convo going and before you get to ask about your initial question, you see that it’s time to go live again. You drop a follow to that streamer and say your farewells. “Going to stream now myself! See you another time!” – and BAM! The banhammer has spoken, for you’ve done the verboten! (forbidden… in German… I tried!)

So, this post is about Twitch Etiquette and promotion/networking. The Do’s and Don’t’s! The way to go and the way to not go! That kinda thing! 

First of all, that person up there… could’ve been anyone! I once mentioned my stream somewhere by accident as I was super excited and while I didn’t get banned, I received a warning that people consider that as “self-promotion” which people don’t like to see. I wasn’t aware of that at all at the time and while it wasn’t my intention to self-advertise myself, I can see how it could have very much come across like that! Alas, I’d say that people should never mention their streams in other streams unless specifically asked about it. 

Streamer: “Do you stream?” – You: “Ah, yes, actually, I do!” – […]

You don’t want to be the person to bring it up… in another person’s stream. Just like you don’t bring a sub from SubWays to BurgerKing! You just don’t do that kind of thing. It’s considered rude and you’re most likely going to get kicked out for so blatantly promoting a different store. 

“But, Magi,…”, you may interrupt, “what if I actually want to ask a streamer about something?”

Well, then, new Twitch-Person, I’d recommend DMs to you! Chat with the streamer in their chat, get to know them. Ask them questions about their stream (also quite helpful) without bringing up your stream (again, nogo!) and then you later message them on Twitter or Discord. If it’s a smaller streamer, with less than three digits of viewers, they will reply to you and probably quite fast as well! Off-stream they won’t bite off your head or whatever. I’m sure they’ll provide you with links, guides, screenshots, etc. 

Sunflower – picture provided by Threadandbearit! Check them out!

A while ago someone came to my stream and asked something about his streams and while I initially thought of banning that person for self-promoting, I thought it’s an easy topic to talk about and that it may be quite interesting for others. The person ended up not only donating money to me (which I didn’t ask for but he did it anyways while I was away) but also joining our community and they even raided me once with their community, which is lovely. In the end, helping them helped me but usually, they’d get banned for that kinda stuff. That was also the first advice I gave to him: Don’t ask about your stream on other people’s channel. People consider it rude and quite often get rather pissed off about it. Quite often they ban people for that even if it’s not meant in a harmful way.

Now, so far I’ve only talked about the less rude people that have good intentions and don’t want to promote their stream… but some people just suck. Sometimes people come into your chat and ask for followers and whatever. 

Person: “Hey, I followed you. Please check me out as well now.” – Yup, banned. 

“Follow for Follow” aka “F4F” is not only incredibly useless but also highly bannable as it violates Twitch’s Terms of Service (also known as TOS). Followers are a good indicator of how big the community is, nothing more… nothing less… People that follow you will get notified when you go live and they’ll be able to see you being live on the left side of the screen. When people follow, they become community members enabling them to get community-gift subs that are not directed at anyone in particular, which can be quite neat now and then… 

But followers don’t decide how successful you are on Twitch and it doesn’t matter in terms of view count or quality of the stream. If that was the case then you could just buy followers or set up a bunch of fake/bot accounts that follow you and suddenly you get a ton of viewers or fans or money or whatever you’re after. While you need to have 50 followers to become an Affiliate, that is your smallest problem considering the other goals. 

When I see F4F-people, I instantly ban them. I don’t want them in my community as they violate TOS openly and as they probably will start to bother my viewers as well. 

Sophie – also another lovely cat picture provided to me by TabiHastings! Check them out on Twitter/Twitch! 🙂

And then there are people that backseat your stream or that are only there to start a fight. Don’t just come to a channel and correct people on the way they’re playing. Don’t spoil their games. Don’t tell them off. Don’t make them do things for you. It’s their stream, not yours. 

Last Saturday, I did a 25-hour-charity stream for the Trevor Project. We were able to raise a total of 140.20$ with the help of some very generous viewers of mine, which I’m grateful for, and in the end, we got to unlock all the milestones in one single donation, resulting in a bunch of giveaways for the community. I was going to give away a bunch of different games from Moonlighter to Hart’s Island to Felix the Reaper to other titles. I was excited to see all of these different people get their games after we reached certain milestones and hence I put “Giveaways” into the title… but that naturally also attracts people that only are there for the giveaways…

And there he was… some guy called “madafaka” with some number at the end of his name whose literal first message in the chat was “!giveaway”. 

….

Yeah,… no. Obviously, I was already tired and sleep-deprived at that point so maybe I’ve overreacted a tad… but at the same I paused everything while telling him off as I thought that it’s a prove that has to be made clear.

I told him that it’s bullshit to go to small streams only for the giveaway and to be so bold about it that you don’t care at all about them but only care about that giveaway. One of my viewers (a lovely regular at this point) agreed with me while that guy was actually trying to defend themselves, talking about us “going to the zoo to visit the monkey” and not to “buy the monkey” or something like that. I don’t know what he was on about or if he was on drugs or whatever… but it was hilarious for anyone who saw it and “!giveaway” has become a meme on my channel now, which is lovely. 

When he then told me to “stop bitching about it”, I told him that he can tell me that again at a later time. The stream would have continued for eight and a half more hours so I timed him out for exactly eight hours. It would have been funny if he had returned… but he didn’t… which is for the better.

Jynx again, MuddChi‘s lovely cat

So, let summarize the Don’t’s of promotion:

  • Don’t promote yourself openly. 
  • Don’t mention your stream in other people’s streams unless asked about it or unless you know the streamer/unless you’re a regular.
  • Don’t bring your stream up on your own.
  • Don’t do F4F.
  • Don’t be a dick by backseat-gaming, spoiling, or by telling the streamer/moderators off.
  • Respect others and treat them like you want to be treated.

And lastly, you’ll want to ask how you promote yourself properly, right?

Well, honestly, there are a lot of ways. So, that’s going to essentially be a whole different post on its own, but to be frank I guess I could say that there are more Do Nots that are essential for that…

Just be careful and:

  • don’t beg for hosts or raids.
  • don’t expect others to do the same for you. They are not obligated to!
  • don’t make friends for the sole purpose of getting “twitch famous”. There may be a whole post dedicated to just this one topic, so look forward to that.
  • check the streamer you’re raiding out BEFORE you raid them. Best case, they’re cool and your community loves them! Worst case, it’s some bigot that offends and insults you and your community while traumatizing everyone so badly that they won’t watch you ever again!

Overall, I think that this might be a nice little series of posts that I could do. I just don’t know yet in what category to put it or if I should create a whole new category for Twitch stuff (Edit: Done! New Sub-category in the Gaming Journal!)… If you’re completely new to this kind of stuff and want to learn more about streaming or ask any questions about that kind of thing, then I highly recommend CastorDie, which is a wonderful little Twitch Community full of streamers and uh… people… of sorts… and among them is also MrGoodHand who’s running a blog as well, so check him out over here. 🙂 

I hope you enjoyed this little “guide” of sorts. It’s a bit rambly and chaotic, but overall, I’m sure that I can create some useful informational posts like this as well in the future that might be quite nice to read through. I’m sure I could also feature/recommend streamers in this Twitch-Category or whatever… I feel like that might be quite cool. ^-^)

If you have any questions, let me know and I’ll write something about it or put something together out of a lot of different opinions and stuff! 

Either way, have a nice day and see you another time!

Cheers!

Edit: Changed the title of the post from “New to Twitch, what now? #1 – Promotion” to “How to not-promote your channel on Twitch” as the earlier title was misleadin and as I don’t feel like a “series” of posts would be the way to go for this. Instead I’d rather enjoy having posts here and there on the topic of channel growth, activity on your channel and my journey on Twitch without having them correlate to any sort of over-arching category, like it’s the case with The Stray Sheep.

The Stray Sheep #51 – Kinda Cute Words

Welcome in to today’s Stray Sheep (technically #52 but it’s called #51 for now)! Today we are continuing something that we started last year… Enjoy!

Note: For whatever reason #52 came out before #51. I apologize for that but I’m not planning on changing it any time soon! I need to challenge the headache that this is causing in hope that it fixes my OCD! I hope you enjoy it, too!

During last year’s Blaugust event, I wrote up a post talking about cute words that really aren’t cute. Ever since that post, I was able to find a few other cute not-so-cute words.. Alas, it’s time for that kind of post again.

Last year we were talking about how Puke and Kinky. While we don’t kink-shame stuff kinky on its own is not something cute. “Cute” is a way of expressiving something “nice” or “pretty” in an innocent way, I guess, while something that is “kinky” really isn’t innocent, right? I mean, kinks are mostly mature raunchy kind of things or concepts that you wouldn’t really be able to explain to your kids.

And as for Puke… well… vomitting isn’t really too cute. But Puke sounds like that. And speaking of puking and vomitting our new addition to the cute not-so-cute words is:

BARF

It means the same thing as puking or vomitting does but it sounds a bit more informal and has a nice ring to it.

Next up is a really uninnocent word called….

NUKE

and as everyone knows…. nukes aren’t cute. But it sounds cute. It has a nice touch to it and is a word I could make use of more often to describe something cute. “It’s so cute, I could use it as a kawaii-nuke”… I guess that wouldn’t work.

Next up is a word called

Weeping

and while it is rather negative… it overall sounds rather classy and innocent. It’s not as informal or bland as “sobbing” or “crying” or even “wetting one’s eyes”. Instead it’s “weeping” which has more of a posh sound to it that really works with a lot of cute words.

Alas, that’s it for today’s second post. I’m in a bit of a hurry to get this one shipped out and still need to find a size that is big but not too big for these words. Therefore this one is a bit shorter than usual…. but it had to be done.

Do you like certain words that aren’t really “appealing” or “likeable” at all? If so, let me know! 🙂

Until next time, stay healthy and safe! Cheers!

This post is part of a challenge called BLAPRIL. The goal is to post as much as possible during the 30 days of April. There are different themes during some of the weeks and a lot of mentors, newbies and participants participating. Feel free to check this hub-post out and check out the other participants!