When people die in games, usually they’re transported to their last checkpoint or lose lives and have to start over again. It can be frustrating, especially when you’re very close to your target. But what if you couldn’t play the game anymore once you died? That’s what happens in The Flock.
Developed by Vogelsap (which translates to “bird juice”), the competitive horror game is set in a dark world. Players start out as one of The Flock, which are all competing to collect The Artifact. Whoever gets it becomes The Carrier, and must hang onto it for as long as they can. The bright light that The Artifact shines can be used to fend off The Flock to keep them from taking it. Every time a player dies, they’re reset to the outskirts of the arena. The Flock can move swiftly, climb around the different arenas, and must stay still when the light is shone on them. The Carrier moves slowly, and everyone knows where they are because they’re basically a walking beacon (if they stop moving, the light dies out). There are statues that resemble part of The Flock to trick you, very little light making it hard to see, and offers a fresh face to horror games without cheap gimmicks. There are no jump scares, no masked men with chainsaws, or any overused tropes. Essentially, it’s a game of hide and seek.
Here’s the interesting part about it: each death drops the population by one, and when the counter runs to zero, the game goes offline.
There are two rounds. When the first one ends, no new players can join the game. The remaining players will take part in the “climatic ending”. When that second round is finished, no one will be able to play anymore.
The Flock is Vogelsap’s first game. It started out as a student project in 2013. Students Jeroen van Hasselt and Bo Zonneveld enrolled in the Games and Interaction program at HKU University of the Arts Utrecht in the Netherlands and were working on the game for school. It wasn’t until a trailer was released and popular media outlets picked up on it that The Flock gained some interest. A closed alpha version of the game was released with 10,000 sign-ups and 4,500 players On October 31, 2014.
The game has already won some awards, including Indie MEGABOOTH Selection, GDC 2015, and Virgin Media Game Space Showcase, London.
Of course, there are going to be people who are only going to play the game to try to get it to shut down quicker. This could be the only major flaw at this point. In that case, it does make the game look a little risky. Other than that, the game has been getting positive remarks from different people and media outlets. The graphics, gameplay, and overall idea itself is exciting and different. If there weren’t any chance of trolls joining in the game, I would probably give it a go.
There isn’t a specific release date chosen yet, but it’s scheduled to be launched sometime this year on PC.
Are you going to play The Flock? Comment below and let me know what you think.