Dread X Collection 2

released on Aug 21, 2020

A collection of short horror games by 12 different creators, all made in 10 days. Includes:

Another Late Night (Secret Cow Level)
Arcadletra (Vidas Games)
Charlotte's Exile (John Szymanski)
The Diving Bell (Bathysfear Games)
Solipsis (Daniel Mullins Games)
Squirrel Stapler (David Szymanski)
Sucker for Love (Akabaka)
The Thing in the Lake (Panstasz)
To the End of Days (Scythe Dev Team)
The Toy Shop (Mahelyk)
Touched by an Outer God (Wither Studios)
Undiscovered (Torple Dook)

Reviews View More

The Diving Bell - 4.5 stars
Sucker for Love - 4 stars
Squirrel Stapler - 4 stars
The Toy Shop - 4 stars
Touched by an Outer God - 4 stars
The Thing in The Lake - 3.5 stars
Undiscovered - 3.5 stars
Puzzle Room (Hub) - 3 stars
Charlotte's Exile - 3 stars
Solipsis - 3 stars
To The End of Days - 3 stars
Arcadletra - 2.5 stars
Another Late Night - 1.0 stars

its been a hot minute since i played these but i made a ranking when i originally played them so (if i remember anything specific about them i will add it in parenthesis) here they are best to worse:
- Charlotte's Exile (puzzle room. iykyk)
- Arcadletra (sorta rudimentary, but i very much enjoyed the looping)
- Sucker for Love
- Another Late Night (would probably bump this down a couple retrospectively, its just digging around a desktop LOL)
- To the End of Days
- Solipsis (unique horror and mechanics)
- Squirrel Stapler (GOD IS HERE)
- Undiscovered (sorta jank but i thought it was good fun)
- The Diving Bell
- Touched by an Outer God
-The Toy Keeper (honestly not sure if i even finished this one lel)
- The Thing at the Lake (screams in annoyance)

Games order from worst to best.
Another Late Night
The most pretentious piece of garbage I have ever seen.
The Thing in the Lake
I couldn't bother to finish it, game's extremely annoying and I'm not a fan of the unreadable artstyle. Not the mention the earrape audio you can't lower by any means.
The Toy Shop
It had a good base idea but the execution is just plain terrible. It plays very bad: enemies make no sound so you always get caught off guard, dark areas are pitch black so you can't see an inch from your nose, shooting feels unresponsive and most of all the game tries a bunch of genres but fails miserably in all of them. This is not a game you want to make in 10 days.
This game tries to go psychological but never really nails it. The jumpscares feel unearned and most of the time laughable, gameplay is down to the bone and the story is so badly told that you never really get a grasp of it.
To The End of Days
Plays ok, story feels like your average B-movie. It's really nothing special.
Interesting use of a 2nd person point of view, gameplay is extremely basic but gets the job done. The dialogue writing was waaaay to cheesy but overall a not so bad experience.
Charlotte's Exile
Nice puzzle game, it doesn't do much but it's well constructed and it has a clear direction.
Touched by an Outer God
One of the most "games" of the bunch. It has a clear structure and direction, story is nice even though nothing special, enemies can be pretty damn annoying as they track your movement and shoot where you're going and not where you are. The only thing I wasn't a fan of was having to redo everything from the beginning if I died. It also has a pacifist route which is very nice addition.
Sucker for Love
Funny little visual novel, the voice actress nailed it. The ritual mechanic was nice and the few scares we're very good.
Squirrel Stapler
This seems to be everyone's favorite and I can see why. David Szymanski is really good at what it does. However the games gets very repetitive very soon, at least for me. Also, if you play this after Iron Lung it's basically the same core idea, but the latter is much more well executed.
Really short game but it absolutely nails the tension, narrative and sound design. One of the best of the bunch.
The Diving Bell
Probably the game I liked the most. The atmosphere is masterfully built through small gameplay actions and voice acting, the story nailed the lovecraftian vibes and the overall experience was fantastic.
About the house experience: it was fine. The puzzles were entertaining but I couldn't care less about the "story", the writing was very annoying.

As with the first Dread X Collection, there are really cool games in here and then there are some games that are utter garbage. I played the whole game together with a good friend of mine and so we were able to "enjoy" the bad games as well.
The game in which you need to unlock the individual games is very well made as well and is a big step up in comparison to the mirror in the first Collection.

tl;dr: overall, the collection was great and 100% worth experiencing for yourself. some of the games aren't too good, but others make up for it.
let's start this review off with the hub world (made by lovely hellplace) as i cannot rank it with the others, even if i'd consider it a 13th game. it has a bunch of great puzzles for you to solve and is very atmospheric. the puzzle and story writing is solid and the scares the place has to offer work really well! i have no complaints about the hub at all, it's great. but with that out of the way, let's get to the short horror games(listed from my least fav to most fav)
number 12 - the thing in the lake by panstasz
oh boy, do i have a lot to say about the thing in the lake, what should i even begin with? it has an extremely frustrating difficulty. there's a random chance that an enemy will appear every time you try to leave a room, it does nothing but make you have to hurry back to another screen transition, not to mention it can happen in some rooms where you have no chance of escape, great! i'm also not too fond of the game's story(feels a bit weird and disconnected) and any seriousness it tries to have it taken away in its secret ending.
number 11 = the toy shop by mahelyk
this one really didn't work for me. what it's trying to do is neat, but it ends up janky and not the most interesting to me
number 10 = another late night by secret cow level
it's more funny than scary, and the execution of what's going for ain't the best, it feels like it doesn't fully realise what it wanted and doesn't leave any lasting impression with its story.
number 9 - arcadletra by vidas games
so many jumpscares! the game also feels really disconnected and like it's trying to go for two or three different storylines at once(?), it's really weird but i don't hate it
number 8 - to the end of days by scythe dev team
i have no idea if i like this more or less than arcadletra. the health regeneration is really annoying and takes a while, which takes away from the intensity and urgency this game is going for. there is also an extremely loud screamer enemy and the voice acting isn't good, but i feel like it's what the game was going for(it kinda sounds like it's parodying max payne). other than that, this was a really atmospheric game, with a pretty neat finale and vibe throughout
number 7 - touched by an outer god by wither studios
the gameplay gets really repetitive after a while, though the concept is quite interesting, liked it a bunch
number 6 - sucker for love by akabaka
i don't like dating sims, the characters aren't my favs, it's less horror than most of the other games but the one scare it did have was really good
number 5 - undiscovered by torple dook
it has a really unique camera angle, the game is pretty solid throughout, it nails the "discovering a previously unknown tomb" vibe it's going for and my only complaint would be that it's a bit janky at times. very solid game!
number 4 - solipsis by daniel mullins games
only negative thing i could say about this game is it's lacking gameplay-wise, the story, atmosphere, scares and setting are all great!
number 3 - squirrel stapler by david szymanski
i struggle to say anything negative about this game, it's unique, has engaging gameplay, great ideas and great utilisation of said ideas. it also has the best ending of all these games. i cannot tell you anything negative about this game other than the story being not the best, not bad either though. uhh maybe it's a bit hard at times? not hard enough to get me frustrated though so it's not an issue.
number 2 - charlotte's exile by john szymanski
a really unique concept for gameplay and the story that i love, not the best scares, though they weren't that bad either
number 1 - the diving bell by bathysfear games
all the compliments that i gave to squirrel stapler apply here too, however i like this game's atmosphere and story much more. it also has an actually well developed protagonist. the diving bell is absolutely wonderful and my favourite game from the second dread x collection!