THANK YOU FOR PARTICIPATING IN THIS ASSESSMENT. THESE INSTRUCTIONS WILL ONLY BE GIVEN ONCE.

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Aephemera is a short horror game. Wearing headphones is recommended.

If you play in the browser and the cursor / text / audio is lagging, restart your computer and retry. If you're making a video I'd recommend you use the downloadable version since that will be better quality.

Play time: 15-30 minutes (Depends on how challenging you find it. You can reduce the difficulty in Settings. Don't be afraid to do this, it is an intentionally challenging game.)

Controls: Mouse

Accessibility options for:

  • Reducing motion sickness due to certain glitchy effects.
  • Turning off flashing images
    • Please note that even with this turned off, there are some places where the screen does one quick switch from bright to dark. If you are sensitive to that, this may not be a good game for you to play.
  • Reducing difficulty of sections that require mouse dexterity
  • No mistake limit (for if you want to complete it but find it prohibitively difficult)

These can be toggled by going to Settings in the game menu.

Play in browser

Click "Run Game" and wait for it to load. If the cursor / text / audio is lagging, restart your computer and retry (or just download it).

Note that it won't run properly on mobile browsers.

Download on Windows

Download the Windows zip below. Windows will probably block execution of the game in which case you will need to convince Microsoft Defender to run the game via More Info > Run Anyway.

Download on Mac OS

Download the Mac zip below. MacOS will probably block execution of the .app file, which you can bypass in System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General > Open Anyway.

Content warnings:

  • Glitchy visual and audio effects (many!)
  • Brief image of a spider
  • Images that quickly flash by / flashing images. This can be turned off in Settings
  • Sudden loud noises

As always, thank you for playing.

StatusReleased
PlatformsWindows, macOS, HTML5
Rating
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars
(11 total ratings)
Authorribyrnes
Made withGodot
Tags2D, analog-horror, Atmospheric, Horror
Average sessionAbout a half-hour
LanguagesEnglish
InputsMouse

Download

Download
Aephemera.exe 55 MB
Version 14 57 days ago
Download
aephemera-mac.zip 47 MB
Version 12 57 days ago

Development log

Comments

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It was only 2 minutes

Just realised it was you who made the game! It was so fun like your previous ones! Loved your take on the Analogue Horror genre and the gameplay was really well done! The way you made it gripping with the stimulation process as well as tricky and thought of different ways to use the mouse was really, really cool! 

The only thing I would say needs some taking is the 'Eye' that shows up from time to time; while having something that forces the player to move is a good thing to go against the stimulation bar, it made the maze part harder as it forces the player to take a loss. Other than that, I thought it was all really cool!

Really well done on the game, it was fun just like the other ones you've done!

Thank you!

when the eye shows up during the questions i click the emergency termination button and it ends, am i doing something wrong?

Clicking the emergency termination button will end the assessment. Clicking the eye will make it go away (for now)

This game really highlights the circumference of the magnitude of my cranium. This is a well-concocted video game, and I give the developer(s) props. I love you guys. I vote for the game of the year. 


(sorry ingles is not my first language!) xD LOL! :3

decent game, it goes on to increase difficulty per section. The difficulty curve is a bit steep, but I guess if you keep doing it again and again, you can get a hang of it. I'm struggling on the maze section with those toggling blocks, hahaha it's the calibration and the ambience which make me panic and lose.

I cant get past the part where you have to click on the area where the image is different. In the first picture, I click on the right place, and it always gives me an X. Please help!!! Great game though, I love stuff like this and its super well done :)

Hi! where are you clicking? It is possible where you clicked is not quite in the right place because the colors move around? You could try going to Settings and turning off Chromatic Aberration to test this out (since then the picture won't move). If you're still definitely clicking in the right place after that, then I'm not sure

yeah, I tried turning it off, n it still doesnt work :( tried everything I could think of- it IS the clock in the first image, yeah?

(2 edits)

yeah, that is the correct spot. that's really weird, I haven't seen that happen before. :( I'm sorry. are you playing in the browser / on what device? sometimes the browser versions get randomly buggy...

it might also be an issue if you're clicking on a touch screen rather than moving the cursor around, not sure if that's the case

it’s okay! I’m on my laptop browser, so maybe it’s just the browser ima try it on a different one 

this game is so cool it really reminds me of the mandela catalogue / analogue horror thing id love to see more abt the lore of this universe esp about the "purge" thing and why we are taking this test in the first place, well done!!!!!

thank you!

(-2)

I think that this game was really well done, although I will agree with the general consensus that the mouse maze section was just a little too difficult. I was able to complete it with the easy mode but it left me unsatisfied as a player about the accomplishment. Is it possible to change that to the default and have a toggle-able "extra challenge" in the settings. It might have the effect you are looking for in the balance. Otherwise it genuinely impressed me. You took what other indie horror games on the platform are doing and took them to the next level in a way that doesn't feel stressed or forced. Keep doing what you're doing!

Thank you! re: the maze section, is there any particular part of it that stands out as the problem? e.g. I feel like the fourth (zig-zag) one tends to be the issue, maybe I could just edit that one to be easier but leave the rest...?

(-1)

I certainly think you could, but changing the mouse hitbox like you did really got me to the difficulty level I wanted it to be at and the levels themselves were really enjoyable. I'm just worried that certain players requiring what effectively is advertised as a baby mode to complete the game might not have the effect you are looking for. If you changed the mindset and instead changed the reduced hitbox to the default mouse hitbox and used the current default difficulty as an extra challenge mode with maybe a different ending it would improve the overall experience. Obviously do whatever you want its your game these are just some thoughts from a player.

(+3)(-3)

If you're gonna have a game be brutally difficult for no good reason, make the player not have to wait 30 seconds for some startup sequence between every restart.

Having the game explicitly tell you "hit the emergency stop when you see the entity" and then punishing you for listening to it is honestly just not good game design.

(+1)

if only there was an option highlighted in bright colors at the top of the game page explaining that the difficulty can be reduced to the point where you will no longer fail sections. oh well.

(+3)(-1)

Yo, I'd like to apologize for my earlier comment. Was super stressed out due to finals going on and had a lot on my mind, this game just hit the wrong place at the wrong time. I'll definitely give it another try now that all that's behind me, hope your game gets popular.

Ah I understand, no worries. I did take another pass yesterday to reduce the base difficulty of every section, so it should be a little easier now. I'm not willing to remove the startup sequence text entirely since it's relevant to the underlying story but I did shave it down by about 30%. Might do one more update today to further reduce the difficulty.

Great game. I love the idea of creepy tests and being stressed out so much so that I am able to feel as though I'm in the universe of the game taking the test for reals. Would and will, recommend this to my friends. :)

Thank you!

(1 edit)

Gameplay above with BOTH endings! ^^
so i cant stress enough (especially after playing this) how much i like this game and think it has so much potential! like its so unique for the analog genre, having to balance the bar and focus on the test was SO difficult, and although i got through ALOT of it without using the the easy setting, eventually i had to turn it on due to recording for an hour and a half and not finishing it, the only thing i would give back feedback wise is i feel the difficulty really overshadowed the analog side of this abit, i said that at the beginning of my video that i love that you gave the player so many things to do to keep focused on the game as its great for scares but i felt there wasn't as many "uncomfortable" sections maybe that's because it took me so long haha, honestly though i think maybe lower the difficulty a bit and then amp up the analog a bit more, I'm not going to lie though this may be in my top 3 analog horrors because of the unique style of concept, so despite the difficulty this was SO good, and i do appreciate the settings in the menu i think mentioning that is a must as you have put alot of time into helping the player finish the game although how difficult it is, so glad i got the time to play this so thank you for your dedication man you are doing fantastic! 

Gameplay above hope you guys enjoy!

Thank you! Yeah, I have further reduced the difficulty of several of the sections. I do very much want it to feel like a challenging game, but I don't want it to be horrible. It's a tricky thing to balance since how challenging it will feel is so variable based on the player so hitting that sweet spot is pretty difficult. I balanced it based on my playtesters' feedback, but now that it's getting a wider range of players I am tweaking it some more (and might continue to do so). Thanks for playing and for the comment!

well i think you have done a fantastic job honestly yes its abit hard granted, but thats what the settings are for which i appreciated alot i was so close to finishing without, but the picture section was getting me with the blurriness, honestly its great that your so dedicated to your projects itch needs more devs like you 

how do i get past the test part without dying i'm so confused

the stupid eyes keep messing me up D: i click the emergency thing but it just ends it and makes me retry

Hey! So the test framework tells you to terminate the assessment by clicking the button when you see the eye. So if you don't want to end the assessment, maybe don't listen to its advice...

you can also reduce the difficulty in Settings, if needed

oh okay srry and ty

Go into settings and turn on easy mode, i got to the spot the difference section and had to turn it on due to having difficulty, it will give you unlimited lives just dont let the bar go to high or low otherwise you will have to retry

(1 edit)

Good and a very challenging game. GAME COMPLETE!

😊👍
(2 edits) (+1)

This game is, pretty interesting!!! As far as analogue horror goes, it's certainly got a lot more gameplay than I'd expect, and it's... pretty good for making the player stressed. I found certain parts of this to be... REALLY DIFFICULT, though, so I'm super thankful for the easy mode option so I could get through that, pff. And super super thankful for the checkpoints. Was getting... a little frustrated, BUT the rest of the game was quite enjoyable. Favorite part was...... y'know..... that one part in the second-to-last examination segment, pff. Really threw me for a loop. And the ending was powerful too...!! Overall....!! Very nice and polished analogue horror game! Thank you for it!! (I am now circling my cursor passively even after finishing AAAAAA I'M CURSED)

Thank you! I did a lot of tweaking around balancing the difficulty, and I fear there are still some parts that may be a little too hard. I tried to balance that with options to reduce the difficulty, since it is meant to feel challenging at times... I'm glad you were able to get through it and that you enjoyed it!

The game hasn't been played yet, but does it have anything to do with Mandela records? Is it a story game?

(2 edits)

Thanks for asking! It's not related to the Mandela Catalogue. This is its own thing.

This is not a story-focused game, it's mostly focused on the game mechanic. There is a vague story that is hinted at, but it is minimal.

this is a very good game! i really liked it a lot :D

thank you!