Hibernaculum looks like a cross between Scorn and a DOS dungeon crawler in H. R. Giger’s nightmare.
Enter the Hibernaculum, first reported by Gaming on Linux, seems to combine the inherent claustrophobia and challenging navigation of old first-person dungeon crawlers like Eye of the Beholder with an industrial sci-fi atmosphere and eerie biological horror.
The result is absolutely captivating. Hibernaculum has a mondo-chunky ancient UI that takes up half the screen. There are no abstract white lines or tasteful transparency. The display feels like something tactile, metallic technology. The various Pip Boys in the Fallout series are similar. Or, like the menus of Baldur’s Gate back in the day, they all look like they were carved from stone. The game screen is squeezed into the top left corner. All this adds to the claustrophobia of the rusty corridors of Hibernaculum and other more esoteric-looking environments.
Hibernaculum’s Kickstarter trailer shows off the old-fashioned, more rigid, seemingly grid-like gameplay, but the real highlight for me is the sheer amount of pixel art horror on display.
These things are ugly and remind me of the work of Zdzisław Beksiński and H. R. Giger, masters of surreal horror art. The latter is responsible for the visuals in Alien. And Beksiński is one of the most influential creators of last year’s underrated gem, Scorn.
Many people who are otherwise not into jumpscare fell in love with Scorn last year. If you love the genre and desire to be trapped in an unpleasant, surreal dreamscape, Hibernaculum is definitely for you. The game is fast approaching its initial Kickstarter funding goal of $48,000, with 25 days to go before launch. Initial stretch goals include a robotic companion, a commitment to a simultaneous Nintendo Switch release, and a “mystery goal” that I hope is suitably nasty!