Anxiety: Lost Night is an Indie 2D puzzle horror game running on the Unity game engine, and created by Maxi & The Gang. The goal of the game is to start your car after it breaks down in the middle of the night, but it isn’t exactly as easy as it seems.
Anxiety: Lost Night is the sequel to Maxi & The Gang’s first game Anxiety,. In the original game you played a man named Gregory, as you helped him try to recollect his memory and find out what was the cause of his anxiety. The sequel, Anxiety: Lost night, puts you in the shoes of who I presume to be Lisa Mattison (based on the drivers license), a young woman who’s car broke down in the middle of nowhere.
The goal of the game is to start your car by completing a series of puzzles, but it all actually kind of makes sense how you go about doing it. The car has a lot of problems so it won’t start unless you fulfill a few things to get it to work, such as turning off all the lights on the car and turning off the air conditioner. Before we go any further, yes, the game takes place entirely in the front seat of your car.
The game operates by using a series of slider bars that you have to drag and drop into position, if you mess up and move off the set line you have to follow then you have to restart the drag and drop process all over again. It seems really easy, but the more nervous you become the harder it is to perform that simple task of dragging and dropping the icons. The cool part about this mechanic is that there is no gameplay gimmick in place to make you mess up, it doesn’t force the bar to do anything such as wiggle, vibrate, or slow down, it is all based off your very real fear and anxiety that begins to grow in real life, so as long as you stay calm the game will remain to be fairly simple. The below trailer that I linked is from creator Maxi Trois’ YouTube channel.
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The objects in the car and the scenario that you are placed in slowly start to piece together the story for the events that took place earlier that night, giving you a few ideas for what is going on in the game.
The gameplay is very similar to the horror game Slendor in terms of trying to stay calm, looking away from anything that could increase your anxiety, and the ambient effects the game has. The music and sound effects are perfect and add to the atmosphere of the game and helps with immersion, and while the voice acting (the little that is in the game) could have been better, I quickly got over it since it was such a small part.
The graphics are simple and could have been better, but it looks nice enough to suck you in and give you a good scare when things start to get tense, so that is all up to player preference. The gameplay is limited, as named above you mostly use the drag and drop function to play and you can’t get out of the car since it is nothing more than a simple point and click game, but it all works for what it is. Based on the developer’s official itch.io page, they say that they make games in about 42 hours, if that applies to Anxiety: Lost Night, then for such a short amount of time I found the game to be extremely well done.
The only real complaint I can give about this game is that there is no pointer or any type of indication for where you are currently looking, you just have to move around until the hand icon appears which can be difficult at times because you can be off by a few pixels and not know which way you need to adjust to interact with certain objects. However, at the same time I find it appealing that they didn’t add a mouse pointer because when things get tense it makes the game more difficult to click and grab certain objects as you frantically search around the car, increasing your real life anxiety levels.
I kept telling myself in real life “The game is really easy, just stay calm and take your time and you can beat the game.” and that is true, it is really easy. However, after playing for about 20 to 30 minutes, I ended the playthrough by failing because I became frustrated with the car, panicked and messed up… I don’t want to give away any of the story and other gameplay features because I feel that it helps make the game special, so I’ll leave it at that.
Overall, Anxiety: Lost Night isn’t a very long game, but it is fun to play and achieves what it sets out to do. The game is free to download from Gamejolt.com and is only about 50MB or so, so I really see no reason why you shouldn’t give this game a chance.