Lakeview Cabin Collection is a group of small games organized around a fictional franchise of horror movies. You start in a theater and you have the option of “seeing” Lakeview Cabin III, IV, V and VI. Each theater takes you to a different puzzle oriented horror game.
The first game is probably the best at explaining how the games work. You start with four camp counselors charged with getting the camp ready for the summer. You are advised not to get drunk or have sex. The camp is a spacious area filled with rakes, beer, axes, hammers, gasoline and other fun items. It doesn’t take long to figure out how to get your characters naked in their full genital glory. It takes even shorter to accidentally hurt one of your characters with the before-mentioned axes, hammers and gasoline. It is a fun sandbox to play around with and get up to summer sex comedy shenanigans.
The shenanigans end when you notice someone nailed a bird to a wall. You also notice find some scribbled notes from the previous camp kids who were afraid of something. And hey, who is that mysterious man with the red mustache you see hiding in the woods?
As you can imagine, something terrible is coming to kill the counselors and you have to figure out how to take the dangerous items that maimed your counselors when you were dicking around and weaponize them.
The rest of the games play out in similar situations. Part Four is inspired by the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Part Five is a mystery set in an 80’s suburb in the style of Halloween or Nightmare on Elm Street. Part Six takes place on a space station and owes big debts to the Thing and Alien.
These games are wonderful tributes to different eras of horror. As a horror fan, I was impressed by how the designer was able to evoke and pay tribute to the movies that inspire him, without turning the games into pastiches. It is a tricky thing to do and I think the games are worth studying just to figure out what that fine line is. A pixel version of Alien’s Ripley as one of your characters works but what would have pushed it over and made it distracting? Hell if I know.
The games are also damn hard and I had to use a walkthrough for each one. It didn’t hurt my enjoyment any. Knowing you have to use a shotgun on a chainsaw wielding maniac doesn’t make shooting a maniac any less exciting.
Why does Lakeview Cabin start with Part III? Because Part I was a free-to-play browser game that you can play here. I suggest you give it a try to see if you like the style of play enough to buy the collection.