Stifled requires you use a microphone to see in the darkness, using the sound of your voice out into the world to make it visible. Through this form of echolocation, you’ll be able to explore the game’s pitch-black areas, but you’ll also be getting the attention of things lurking in the shadows, coaxing them ever nearer.
Stifled follows David Ripley, a man who’s suffering from heartbreak, and is finding it’s turning his perspective a little dark because of it. While it can be hard to see in the shadows, you can use a microphone to make it a bit easier to explore, using the sound of your own voice to help light David’s way, outlining nearby objects with white. Other ambient noises will help guide your way periodically, but for the most part, you’ll be speaking to may the things around you become clear.
The trouble is, all of that talking and shouting isn’t the most helpful thing when a deadly creature is lurking about. This beast can detect sound, following it to its edible source, which will make most players want to stay quiet. As such, Stifled creates a frightening loop, forcing you to make noise in order to move forward while being afraid of the consequences of making a sound. It makes you face a fear very directly (especially in VR), pushing yourself into terrifying territory if you’re to have any hope of escaping it.
Stifled is available for $19.99 on Itch.io, the Humble Store, Steam, and the PlayStation Store. For more information on the game and developer Gattai Games, you can head to the game’s site or follow them on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.