(Phobia Game Studio/Devolver; Switch, PC and Xbox One)
Inspired by a 1950s sci-fi horror movie, Carrion turns you into a malign marauding blob, swallowing scientists whole
Carrion borrows the premise of Irvin Yeaworth’s 1958 science fiction horror film The Blob, in which a young Steve McQueen takes on a corrosive, human-gobbling alien biomass, but casts you in the role of the antagonist. The setup is pleasingly brisk: in the game’s opening scene, you crack open the glass tank in the subterranean laboratory where you’ve been held and begin glooping and schlepping through a rock warren in search of human flesh to consume.
Unlike The Blob’s 1950s Americana, Carrion’s universe, while rendered in Super Mario pixels, is aptly monstrous, a sticky-walled underworld of moss and girders that hums with red light and menace. As you slip from crevice to tunnel, you smash any dangling lightbulbs with an ominous tinkle, further darkening a realm already ideally suited to your spineless form. You traverse like a kind of stringy treacle, swelling and shrinking to fit your immediate environment.
Selected by softengoxford