In 1959 a group of hikers in Russia’s Ural Mountains were mysteriously killed by what authorities could only describe as an “unknown compelling force.” That real world incident is the basis for Kholat, and knowing that only makes things worse.

I wish I hadn’t looked up the Dyatlov Pass incident before playing IMGN.PRO’s Kholat. If this were just some horror adventure set in the snow I wouldn’t be so tense as I played through the first five minutes. But knowing this interactive fiction is merely a means of trying to explain something truly un-explainable—there are theories, but nothing concrete—well that’s more terrifying than simple fiction could ever be.

Oh yes, and it’s narrated by Sean Bean, as the Steam page says.

Narrated by one of the most popular British actors, Sean Bean, Kholat is an exploration adventure game with elements of horror, inspired by a true event known as the Dyatlov Pass incident – a mysterious death of nine Russian hikers, which led to countless, unconfirmed hypotheses. The player will plunge directly into the boundless scenery of the inhospitable Ural Mountains with the task to find out what really happened. In the course of events, you may come across more speculations than expected...

Will you find the answer? Will you get any closer to the truth? Will you survive?

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For those of you who prefer Sean Bean to me, fine. Here.

The First Five is the first five minutes of a game with light commentary. Once the five minutes are up, so are we.

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