Stray Souls launches the week before Halloween

A small town, a sinister curse.

3 mins read
The key art for Stray Souls. A creepy, naked old woman peers out from behind a wall. Her fingers are claw-like, her eyes are white, and her silver hair is stringy.

Last month, I wrote about a Stray Souls trailer that (I thought) stated it would be available Halloween 2023. I mistakenly believed this meant it would launch on Halloween, but that’s not the case as it was announced today that the game would actually launch a week prior to that. Stray Souls is a psychological horror game set in a world of nightmares, and will be great to scratch that spooky itch that people tend to get at this time of year. (Something to help with that: the soundtrack is by Silent Hill composer Akira Yamaoka.)

Aspen Falls is a small town plagued by a sinister curse that devours everything in its path. On his 18th birthday, Daniel inherits his estranged grandmother’s home in this town. He thinks he has won the lottery – but luck has nothing to do with it. He finds himself at the centre of a dark ritual that threatens his life, so he must start on a terrifying journey to uncover the secrets of his past to save himself. Choices at key moments help shape Daniel’s tone and personality.

The gameplay is inspired by classic horror games, but with soulslike precision. Fight terrifying creatures, solve mind-bending puzzles, and unravel a horrible family secret. Daniel is not a trainer soldier, so while he has the option to grab a weapon he can also choose to hide to save health and ammo.

Here’s something I find super interesting, as a watcher of paranormal “ghost hunting” shows. There is a YouTube channel – Watcher – that produces some of these types of shows, and it will released a Stray Souls-inspired episode of Ghost Files on October 20. Hosts Ryan Bergara and Shane Madej will conduct their first private home investigation, using some of the same tactics shown in the game. I can’t speak for the quality of Watcher’s content (I’m more of a Project Fear / Travel the Dead woman these days) but I’ll definitely be interested to see the collaboration.

PC players have the choice of two editions of the game, the standard edition and the Cult Classic Edition. This special edition adds on the official soundtrack with over 60 tracks and a Sacred Tome digital art book that includes gothic watercolour illustrations plus a complete digital lore library that includes every single discoverable note, letter, and documentation found in the game.

Developed by Jukai Studio and published by Versus Evil, Stray Souls will be released on October 25 for PC via Steam, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series, and Xbox One.

Lindsay picked up an NES controller for the first time at the age of 6 and instantly fell in love. She began reviewing GBA games 20 years ago and quickly branched out from her Nintendo comfort zone. She has has developed a great love of life sims and FMV titles. For her, accessibility is one of the most important parts of any game (but she also really appreciates good UI).

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