It’s the end of the year and with it comes the season of “best of” articles that every gaming news site and their dog has been taking notes for since the start of 2023. Us included (Psst, hey, check our best games of 2023 by category here.) Here’s the thing though, if you start releasing them too early, you miss a lot of awesome late releases. One of them is Exit 8.
Exit 8 was released on November 29, 2023, and quickly became an unexpected horror hit in some corners of the gaming community. If it hasn’t reached your algorithm yet, we have you covered.
What is Exit 8?
Exit 8 is a horror game that follows in the footsteps of P.T., the legendary interactive teaser for a Silent Hill game that never came. While there’s been a lot of P.T.-inspired games that came in the wake of the demo’s unprecedented success, Exit 8 takes it a step further by incorporating a game mechanic that you’d never think of as scary: Spot the difference.
Exit 8’s gameplay is straightforward. You’re an unnamed person who’s trying to get to Exit 8 in what appears to be a Tokyo Metro station. Your only problem is that the path to Exit 8 is filled with strange anomalies that you need to spot before you get to the end of a hallway. If you don’t spot what’s wrong with the hallway, you’ll be sent back to Exit 8.
It’s simple. It’s so simple that a bad execution would be an absolute snorefest. And yet, Exit 8 manages to appeal to every indie horror game fan because it mixes everything that indie horror game fans love while keeping things fresh with the spot-the-difference mechanic.
Walking simulator-style games that mimic P.T. aren’t new. We’ve been seeing games like this for over a decade and a lot of them don’t stand out in a sea of other P.T.-alikes. Exit 8 puts itself in a different league by being a mix of:
- The SCP Foundation: Exit 8 talks about spotting anomalies in strange spaces and has simple rules for engaging with the space. This is around when we start seeing more SCP Foundation entity entries involving anomalous spaces.
- Rules Creepypastas: ‘I worked as ____ and this place has strange rules’ stories have been gaining steady popularity for a few years now, a trend that The Left/Right Game kicked off.
- Liminal spaces: We started with photos of unsettling, abandoned locations which progressed to the Backrooms. Exit 8 is a scion of this atmospheric horror tradition.
Does Exit 8 have jumpscares?
Unlike a lot of P.T.-inspired games, Exit 8 has no jumpscares. It relies purely on unsettling the player, so if you’ve been on the hunt for a horror game that is scary but has no jumpscares (because let’s be real, they are so cheap), this is the game for you.
Where to play Exit 8?
You can play Exit 8 by downloading the game on Steam.