Game review: A man outside

Necrophagy, corpse eating.


Summary: A horror game disguised as a study tool, with layers built-in to assure the player practices words that get increasingly more sinister, but also learns you what paranoia feels like. If you feel like playing a short game with amazing ambient audio, and experience what it is to be home alone while someone is watching you through your window, this is your chance.

Introduction to the game

A short atmospheric horror game in the vein of creepypasta and r/nosleep. The creator heavily suggests audio be turned on, for the best experience use a headphone/earphones. As of 2021, the UI has been tweaked and the ending has been expanded. The game relies on a vocabulary minigame in which the protagonist studies for an upcoming test (I assume). Besides the difficult words (which can be altered to easier ones as an option at the start per game), the player also regularly checks on the outside world via a window, for something rather unusual filling the still-life in the background. The game would even suffice as a creepy vocabulary game, but layers a deeper root within itself through the use of the needed audio and paranoia formed by forcing players to look outside. Another great short game by the same creator can be found here in this review! Also an amazing disclaimer, “it does not contain gore, violence, women screaming, demonization of mental health, et cetera, and the game has three endings.” (Personally I love it when horror games don’t rely on jumpscares)

My opinion

I always tend to press all buttons except the start button before the game begins, and I was finally treated with something disturbing, something eerie, something… outside. I was met with our presumable antagonist of the game, whilst listening to some funky creepy techno music. It sets the tone of the game right from the start and gives a unique vibe to the vocab horror game.

Our antagonist, the notorious ‘man outside’.

Alright, let’s jump right in and play the newest study tool, ‘vocabaroo’, which seems like something I could use for my own university lessons! We are met with a vocabulary minigame as said in the introduction, allowing the player to play on three difficulties. Total words to finish are 30 in three subsets of ten questions. What could possibly go wrong, besides a shadow moving outside of our window…? What makes it even more realistic is the interaction between you and your friend, who you keep up-to-date about the situation with the ‘man’ on the street. Further down the minigame the audio suddenly cuts off, and I heard myself breathing and I heard my heartbeat in my ears. This sudden silence followed by a question which disappeared seconds later did indeed widen my eyes, questioning if I really saw it, or it was a figment of my own imagination. What’s even more creepy is the whistle, I personally find long high-pitched whistles during any horror-ish setting eerie enough, but to hear the whistle while trying to get a high score in my new favorite app is really something else. These figments start to appear more frequent the deeper we delve into our learning aid.

Moving on to the first choice we are met with asking our friend to come, or calling our mom, I simply chose the “ask my friend to come over”, not only do I adore sleepovers but I also think our mother doesn’t seem to be the ‘show-up’ type, but rather the type to bail on the last minute. The further down we get in this lovely app, the more glitches seem to appear and the more sinister words bubble up. The wrong answers also tend to get darker and the words seem to tell us something. After advancing closer to the last three questions the man outside suddenly disappeared, our protagonist already implied the man is hiding behind trees, but either the man is really skinny, or he is somewhere, else… besides the lurking man the app also reset itself… Luckily our friend came to the rescue and the game kindly notified us that we got a safe ending. To make sure the fun isn’t ruined for if you want to play this game, I shall leave the other two endings out of the review, but all I can say, I am happy I didn’t call mom! Also, please try out the other difficulties, they have different glitches and different quirks to them (such a falling leaves) making it 100% worth it to try and beat the game with a 30/30 score in another setting, I dare you! And watch out for ‘Necrophagy’, not only is it an unhealthy diet, but it’s also, something you should mentally prepare for. (It is my favorite glitched question)