The Fabulous Fear Machine is an upcoming strategy game that is all about fear spreading, and the power it has to control the masses and give you the key to control and deliver your message. Much like in real life, the game beautifully shows how a small legend can develop into a large-scale rumor or myth, with fear setting in among the people. So much so, that it gives the player immense power to deliver their message and get whatever they want.
The indie game is a strategy/simulation game that comes from the Spanish company, Fictiorama Studios, known for Do Not Feed the Monkey series and Dead Synchronicity. At its core, The Fabulous Fear Machine will remind you of games like Plague Inc, where your target is to spread diseases around the globe and end humanity. The only difference here is that you are spreading fear across different regions as it spreads from a single seed and expands to different towns and regions, ultimately, giving you power as the machine’s agent of terror.
What makes the game unique is its extensive game features and elements that you will have to get familiar with to fully experience what the game truly represents. In its current demo state, The Fabulous Fear Machine gives plenty of gameplay to explore its features through tutorials, and to play the game’s main story. You begin the game as an executive of a pharmaceutical company, where her target is to not only be the CEO of the company but also to be a figure of power and influence. This goal can be achieved by spreading myths and rumors to invoke fear and use it against the people.
The gameplay is pretty straightforward, thanks to the game’s tutorial that goes through each of the game’s features and how they work. You start the campaign by sending a message that talks about how your product is the need of the people and the help that they will ever need. In reality, a message like this will unlikely gain any traction, which is where your evil intentions will come into play.
The first step is to weaken the psyche of the people, forcing them to look for a cure for an imaginative disease that doesn’t even exist. This is where one of the main features of the game called Legends comes into play. You have eight categories of terror, from conspiracy to the fear of the unknown, pain, and other legends that can intensify fear. To help you spread fear, you have your agents that do all the dirty work from exploring cities, what fears will likely work, and grow exponentially. With the right cards in play, you can spread genuine fear in the whole region, spreading like wildfire, and bringing the people to their knees until you can get your message across.
The way the Legends work can be a bit tricky to understand at first, but players will eventually get a hang of it relatively quickly. Legends containing their own fear will need resources to spread, which again is something that your agents will come to help you with. Two very important resources in the game are Essences and Oleum, which will help you evolve the Legends, increasing their fear factor and effectiveness. You will also have to choose from words that are likely going to complement your chosen Legends. This is where your own common sense will come to work, where you have to choose words that are likely going to enhance the Legends even more.
Although this covers the basics of how to spread terror from one town to another, you have other things to worry about as well. You are not the only one with evil intentions as you will run into competition as other factions will show up with their own nefarious intentions and Legends of the Fear Machine. And since this is a big setback for your plans and progress, your Agents can infiltrate the opposing faction, investigate, and debunk their myths to completely negate their progress.
As you progress in the game, the opposing factions will also seek to attack your designs, while it will become progressively difficult to increase terror among other regions. With only so many Legends at your disposal, you would want each of them to spread effectively, squeezing out every inch of the spread. As this will become more overwhelming, the game’s time pausing ability lets you strategize and plan out things before it gets chaotic and out of control.
The Fabulous Fear Machine is not really a horror game, but a fun and unique fear spreading strategy game with the simple goal of controlling people with fear and gaining power. The game is planned to release sometime this year, while a playable demo is available on Steam that gives you a pretty good taste of what it is all about. If you are a fan of games like Plague Inc, The Fabulous Fear Machine is a completely new but similar experience that might catch your interest.