REVIEW: Avatar Fear

You have to admire persistence. Rendercode Games has been on a mission to create a Slender-like worth playing for more than a year now. First there was the dreadful The Monastery, followed up by a an FPS / Collection hybrid that just didn’t work, Hellhounds. Whether this game is the product of that constant iteration, listening to criticism and adapting, or something else entirely, that dogged persistence to Slender-ize has now paid off. Somewhat. Avatar Fear ($1.00) is still just plain boring as a solo act, but in teaming up with four friends (or randoms, even) online, it’s a bit of alright.

Avatar Fear - Screen

Switching the traditional perspective to a third-person view, Avatar Fear drops you on a large map containing a number of Mayan temples and buildings, some you can enter, some not. You’re asked to collect a certain amount of coins— ranging from 10 to 24 depending on the difficulty chosen— with the knowledge that an ancient monster (er… a giant lizard with wings and tiny human skulls for a belt) will be stalking you and / or your crew the entire time. Bet you regret that decision to visit ancient ruins1 now, don’t you?

Conveniently, your avatar walks very slowly (to dial up that tension, natch), but you do have a limited ability to run, essential in escaping the monster. In multiplayer, your endurance is wisely tied to that of your teammates. If you don’t stick close to the group, you won’t be able to run as far when the creature picks up your scent. This also means you shouldn’t cast too wide a net in your search, as lone-wolfing it is a surefire way to get yourself killed off early.

There’s no real way of dealing with the lizard when it appears, or defending yourself if you’re caught out. You simply have to run, hopefully finding a corner or building to duck into, breaking the line of sight. Even then, you’ll have to mumble a prayer and hope it gets bored with the chase. You can also, in effect, throw your partners under the bus and walk away, leaving them to ditch the monster or suffer a cruel fate. Upon death, you turn into a ‘ghost’ camera of sorts, and can watch the survivors search for the remaining cash.

Avatar Fear - Screen2

Similar to White Noise Online, playing what should be a scary game with others doesn’t dilute the fear as much as it makes things more fun and genuine. Having others conduct their own search while you do yours cuts out a lot of slow busywork, and it’s certainly a little unnerving to look up and see the distant glow of your friends’ torches, and realize you wandered a bit too far. Then the music starts, and its too late. The reverse is also true, as being the last alive means your name is next on the list.

Still, was I able to find the final two coins, play the hero, and bring down the lizard king’s evil grip on… fictional ancient currency? You bet I was. Shame the global leaderboard only tallies scores made during the duller solo runs, but I digress. It still pales next to the likes of White Noise Online and, you know, the actual Slender, but Avatar Fear is quick entertainment for a group of people that aren’t afraid of the dark. Or giant, stalking lizards with skull belts2.

 


  1. Partially-related (as least the part about Mayan ruins), The Ruins is an under-appreciated horror flick. Killer weeds, man. 
  2. Seriously, how did it get the belt? Its fingers are way too long to be of any help with precision work. Not to mention cleaning the skulls and putting the belt on. Something don’t add up. 
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17 thoughts on “REVIEW: Avatar Fear”

    1. Multiplayer is good, from what I saw (5 games with two different parties, all four slots filled). That’s hardly going to be indicative of everyone’s experience with that small of a sampling, but I didn’t have any issues at all.

      And thanks for asking, actually, as this gives me the idea to include a footnote with ‘games played / time played / online experience’ on all future multiplayer game reviews. Other sites do it, and that should give you guys a clearer picture of what to expect. 🙂

  1. Oh, PLEASE, no self respecting lizard monster would be seen without his devilishly handsome accoutrements! It’s just good class! That’s why in the new Godzilla movie, he’s toting around a clutch purse the whole time.

    1. Accoutrements? Somebody found a five-dollar word, or is that common parlance up there with you Canadians? 😛

      Godzilla with a purse is boring news! I want to know the label! Was it Gucci? Fendi? What about the outfit? Something elaborate and ‘summer-y’, or just the plain old scales? Such a trendsetter, that Godzilla. He’s not all wanton destruction! He accessorizes!

    2. Yeeeeeeah, haven’t seen it yet! It’s that gypsy curse, see, if I ever see a GOOD movie, I’ll usher in a thousand years of darkness and awkward erections.

    3. Turok was the only reason I bought an N64. I mean look at how much ahead of its time it was. It would be nice to come back again. That one made for the 360 I didn’t care for at all.

    4. Turok was great, but Turok II was even better. The maps in the latter one were huge, and it had some cool weapons (this thing which drilled into a monster’s head and then exploded). And you could ride dinosaurs, yeeha. The only negative thing was the frame rate, which was a bit shitty at times (especially when you played in high-res).

      Man, I miss those old school FPS’s, when you were able to actually explore a map, unlike most of today’s heavily scripted First Person / military shooters, you know, the ones who force you to follow a certain path and punish you if you leave the combat area. Stupid.

    5. @Dream Poet: Man, that video brings me back! Almost got into a car accident on the way out to buy the game, that’s how damn excited I was to play it! 🙂 I remember being really impressed with the water1, showing off the game to everybody and thinking ‘This is the best-looking game ever!’ Haha. Love that N64 fog, though! I’m nostalgic for a lot of things, but N64 fog is near the top of the list!

      @Soosh: That RAM Pak was the best, eh? It certainly made the games better-looking (Perfect Dark required it, I think), but yeah, framerate was given lower priority for sure. Back then I forgave stuff like that. It was probably another instance where I was showing off games like ‘Wait til you bastards see this!’


      1. Also loved that water in Wave Race 64
    6. Yay, that Expansion Pak was cool, got mine when I bought Donkey Kong 64, but only had a handful of games which supported it, like Star Wars: Rogue Squadron and Shadow Man for instance.

      Speaking of Shadow Man, that was another cool game from Acclaim. Absolutely loved the atmosphere in that one. Man, Acclaim was on fire in the 90’s.

    7. Rogue Squadron I had, too. I stress had as that’s another game that magically disappeared (read: theft, no doubt) from my collection. Never made it all the way through Shadow Man (probably not even half), but I agree, that was nicely done in the aesthetics department. Switching between worlds was a neat trick.

    1. Apologies on your comment not showing up. Got caught in moderation.

      The featured image sure makes it look like one (a sidescroller). I went with that so people would see what kind of game it was at a quick glance. All the rest of the screenshots were avatar dudes staring at other avatar dudes carrying torches. Didn’t give a good idea of the representative gameplay. Not that the featured image did either, I guess. 😀

    2. With what happened at the venus review and I an the one to get moderation? 😀
      Its really funny.

      But yeah, I was a wee bit confused.
      But if Rendercode just did a lizard monster, theres hope they will do a (Fast paced as in your guy has the speed of a ferrari when moving compared to their previous protaginasts) DINOSAUR WAVE SHOOTER.
      Please can someone do it?

    3. Unless the developers of The Stomping Land decide to bring their game to consoles (they should), or someone reboots Turok again (I’m not sure who even owns the license now), you are screwed, man.

      …You could always find an old Jurassic Park arcade cabinet. Was kinda shocked to still see that game and the lightguns in working condition the last time I was at Gameworks.

  2. Any chance to dethrone Avatar Warfare or Avatar Survival Games (current best selling avatar games) ?

    1. Given it’s not ‘competitive’ multiplayer, no weapons or things like that, I’d say no. There’s no long-lasting appeal to it. But it does have ‘Avatar’ in the title, and people do enjoy a good Slender scare every now and then. Should do better than Rendercode’s previous stuff, at least, but I see that White Noise Online is still selling well. People might be happy with that one over this.

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