Opinion: Why Is Super Sucky Slender-Man Soaring in the App Store?
App Store reviewers are a funny bunch. A game could have nothing but five-star reviews by people, followed by one word reviews like, "Fun!," "Neat," or "Awesome!" But how do you really know if it's good? That's why sites like Arcade Sushi exist. To give gamers an honest review on games in the App Store. Sometimes that doesn't matter, like in the case of Slender-Man, a terrible, crap game that has somehow risen to the #2 spot in the App Store. The questions we have is: "How?"
Let's back up a little bit first. What is Slenderman? Slenderman first appeared in an internet forum thread. He is a mythical creature, who appears as a tall man in a grey suit. He can be anywhere from 6 to 15 feet in length. He apparently stalks his victims for years, appearing out of nowhere and causing delusions and paranoia, eventually capturing his prey and killing them in a forest. There's a whole entire Wiki on the guy, and it's about as dumb a mythical creature as there can be.
Speaking of dumb, I suppose we should talk about the game and why I'm writing this article in the first place. The Slenderman meme made its way around the internet like a cancer, and someone eventually made a free PC game out of it. All you do in the game is walk around looking for eight pages, trying to avoid Slenderman, who pops up out of nowhere at random.
The game was a huge hit, so it was only a matter of time before it would get ported over to iOS. Too bad nobody told "developer" Rory Harvey that his game was total crap before he decided to submit it to Apple. Or maybe he knew the entire time?
Slender-Man, a clone of the PC hit, is as much of a port of the original game as 3D Cartoon Land: Safari is a port of Super Mario World. Rory Harvey, who can apparently type code with his nose while his hands count money, released one of the worst games I've ever come across. What's even sadder? People are giving him money for it.
In this iOS port, you walk around the forest trying to avoid Slender-Man (with a hyphen!). And that's it. There are no goals, no pages to collect. Just you, fumbling around with the dual-joystick controls that make you feel as if you're walking in mud, wasting time as you walk around for no damn good reason.
Not only do the controls suck, but the graphics are terrible. You mean to tell me you couldn't even come close to replicating the simple graphics in the PC version? And Slender-Man pops up about every 30 seconds, making the scare factor non-existent. It's also great when the game freezes after he touches you.
That was quite possibly the best one-minute gaming experience I've ever had. Screw you, Bejeweled Blitz!
Here's what is written in the iTunes description:
Experience the game they're calling "The most scary game of all time".
Slender-Man is a BRAND NEW survival horror game based upon the Slenderman urban legend and "Der Großmann" myth. See how long you can survive before Slender-Man gets you, with only your wits and a flashlight to aid you!
COMING SOON: Objectives, new hiding locations, performance improvements and more!
If you had any wits to begin with you wouldn't give this guy a dollar to play his crap game. Despite the 1,500 one-star reviews (and counting), in iTunes, warning players that the game is junk and there's no point to it, it has risen to #2 in Paid Apps in the App Store. How is this possible? Sure, there are plenty of positive reviews, but they're written by people who are "hoping" the game gets better, rendering the entire point of a ratings system worthless. I'm not going to give a game high marks in the "hope" that it one day decides to get better. That's just asinine.
The best part of the description above is that he is adding Objectives, new hiding locations, performance improvements and more! in a future update. Meaning he released a crap beta of his game, charged people a dollar for it, made a ton of money on it, and is now going to update it and try to make it somewhat playable? Know what? Screw this game and its update. I'm tired of "developers" releasing garbage like this and charging people good money for it. This is the only time I've wanted my dollar back from an iOS game. Rory Harvey's game, and the hundreds like it, should be pulled from the App Store and resubmitted when they're actually finished.
Now look, I'm sure there are some people who enjoy the game's terrible controls and bad graphics. And that's fine. If the game were free. But it's not. And it's sad that people are getting ripped off in the App Store. Not just by this game, but by so many terrible games being released every week. Again, that's why a site like ours exists -- to help you make a good buying decision. Whether you're buying a new car or a $1 game, you should always be informed before making your purchase. If not, then the old saying will always ring true -- There's a sucker born every minute. And they all own iPhones.
- George Roush is the managing editor of Arcade Sushi. His opinions are his own and do not reflect the opinions of the staff at Arcade Sushi or Townsquare Media. He's always right anyway, so there's no point in arguing with him.