Welcome to this week’s installment of F2P Friday, where we highlight our favorite Free-2-Play games. The video game market is oversaturated, and sometimes hidden gems can fall through the cracks. This is where we do all the digging for you and feature a new F2P game every week that we know you will enjoy. Let’s dive in!

Pocket Mirror
The protagonist stumbling in fear over blood on the floor in Pocket Mirror.

The protagonist stumbling in fear over the blood on the floor in Pocket Mirror.

The Basics

I constantly keep finding myself coming back to horror games. It is just something about the jumpscares. But there is another kind of horror game I love. The psychological ones. Which is what brought me to Pocket Mirror. The horror adventure from Astral Shift released for PC back in 2016 on itch.io. The story follows the mysterious protagonist as she uncovers her true identity. The player awakes in a sealed room and is guided through exploring the world around them. Nearly everything is interactable so players need to make sure the comb-over as much as possible.

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Pocket Mirror is a mix of puzzles, riddles and chase scenarios that help progress the story forward. The very first is uncovering hidden marbles needed to unlock doors within the mansion. Each room brings on a new set of frights. From the dolls that move on their own to chopped off fingers and pools of blood, nothing seems to be okay. The further you progress into the story, the more it starts to look like everything happening might just be a figment of the protagonist’s imagination. But who is the say what is true? Are you crazy or is there something haunting this mansion? Uncover the multiple endings and decide what one you think is true.

Why You Should Play

Pocket Mirror is able to achieve the level of uneasiness I love to find in my horror video games. It doesn’t rely on jump scares to frighten the place. Instead, it relies on the story and unsettling music and atmosphere too. It takes its sweet time building it up too, giving players a false sense of security. Just when you think that you have seen it all, Astral Shift throws something new at you. Whether it is a picture stealing your locket and forcing you to run from a haunting spirit or finding blood all over your room and mysterious bloody footprints, Pocket Mirror is here to scare you.

That isn’t all Pocket Mirror brings to the table though. It features all original artwork, animation, soundtrack and voice acting. Astral Shift did a beautiful job bringing their story to life. I found myself constantly wanting to get into the next room to further explore the mansion. I spent a large portion of my playthrough just wandering around admiring the development team’s attention to detail. My personal favorite touch is the art gallery. Every picture I interacted with came with an in-depth description. I felt the need to reread them every time I entered the room. In the end, Pocket Mirror is worth the hours of uneasiness and fear.

 

 

Julia Roth
Catch Me