I won’t lie to you, horror games are not my thing. I’m a bit of a yellow-bellied scaredy cat, and so I always approach any horror game with a lot of trepidation. Despite this, for Hallowe’en this year, I thought I’d treat myself to a game called Bonbon. Something with such a sweet name could hardly be scary, right?
You start out in this game as an infant, pottering around in the back garden after being asked to collect up your new toys. This is easy enough, grabbing balls and throwing them inside isn’t overly challenging. The thing that got me though, was the horrendous malaise I felt throughout the entire ordeal. It didn’t really feel like there was anything to be scared of, but it just had the atmosphere of… What the hell is going on? Indeed, at first, the most unsettling aspect was actually just talking, although who would’ve thought that just saying “Hello Green Ball” would be as creepy as it was? The screen dims, the character mumbles a fuzzy phrase, then it shoots back to reality. Should be fine, but it gave me the heebie-jeebies.
This is all, of course, before the main event. I was feeling the abnormal vibes Bonbon was throwing at me, and then the titular character shows up and I shat a brick. It isn’t a scary creature, it isn’t trying to kill you, it’s just enormous. A giant, white rat with a piercing stare. He does seem to be quite helpful, nudging things your way so you can put them away, but his presence was terrifying.
Normally, I’d say this game is short. You can complete it in half an hour, but for a horror game, I actually think it’s spot on. Due to the short nature of the game, you’re never comfortable playing it and you’re always on tenterhooks awaiting the next event. With longer games, you can learn what is likely to occur, and mentally prepare yourself, but with Bonbon, you can’t. You’re only there for a short period, and it is an experience that sticks with you thereafter because you won’t have had the time to properly process it all while playing. Or at least, that’s how a coward like me views it anyway.
The Final Word
Bonbon scared me. It’s short and very sweet, it hits all the marks a horror game should hit and the premise of the game lingers afterwards. It’s both terrifying and enjoyable, so much so that even someone like me can actually get into the game without getting too petrified.