When I was a child I had an inexplicable fear of opening games on my family computer. They were often my brother’s games, and I was terrified of him finding out. But also, in the brief moment of blackness before a pre-rendered video or pixelated graphic filled the screen, it wasn’t just that I feared being caught—I was afraid I would discover something I wasn’t meant to see. Forgotten, a Twine game from Sophia Park, recreates those feelings.

Forgotten is a horror game about a corrupted hard drive. Far from being a cheap creepy pasta, it gives an artful glimpse into a lost world that’s about to die. You boot up a computer that’s running what appears to be an old version of Windows and load up a program called “frgtn.exe.” And then it kinda all goes to shit.

The program you’ve loaded, a game apparently called Forgotten Realms, has been badly corrupted. In the very few remaining areas that you can explore, the characters you talk to seem extremely aware of that fact. They’re also aware that your presence in the game means they, too, will soon also be corrupted and lost forever.

While the game is pretty short and the plot and dialogue doesn’t deviate in a meaningful way depending on your choices, Forgotten still took me back to those irrational moments of fear I had playing games in my parents’ house. When I was a child, games felt so alive, and I was so ignorant of how they worked that I would feel almost guilty if I left those worlds alone for too long. In Forgotten, these characters speak as I’d have expected them to when I was younger—they hint at rich inner lives, disrupted by my actions.

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Forgotten is packed with a lot of atmosphere and emotionality for something so short, and it’s a creepy little experience worth having. You can check it out for free on itch.io.