Why do I love the local hidden dread of anatomy

This article originally appeared in issue 350 of our glossy magazine. You can deliver it to your door directly by grabbing it Subscription, Which will also provide you with special subscriber-only covers.

As a child there was nothing more terrifying than a dark basement. I vividly remember the dread I felt that I would have to go down into the dark to fetch something, those dreadful steps between the edge of the upstairs light and the downstairs light switch that was waving in the dark.

Every time I headed upstairs I would hit that switch and scramble the steps – afraid that whatever lay in the dark would catch me if I was too slow. It was all a funny memory for me as an adult, but then, a few years ago, I played Anatomy by indie game developer Kitty Horrorshow. All of these worries came back, and it took weeks before I felt comfortable being alone in my basement.

(Photo credit: Kitty Horrorshow)

Just like the basement in my childhood home, Anatomy shouldn’t be a game that scares me as much as it scares me. The idea is simple: You can explore a dark and empty suburban home and collect cassette tapes to play on a recorder in the kitchen. Everything is rendered by the lo-fi noise of the VHS tape, giving the oppressively dark hallways and regular home furnishing a sense of movement as it flickers and distorts a little.

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