Because I probably won’t be getting to do any gaming this coming week due to having to help teach Vacation Bible School, I thought I would try a new type of post giving tips on games that seem to give others trouble. For my first Gamer Tip segment, I picked an Indie game that, despite being less than a month old, has already seen a tremendous surge in popularity. Slender is a first-person horror game that goes easy on the controls & heavy on the atmosphere. Because it’s so short & simplistic a game, I’m not going to give a full review. Suffice to say it manages to be horrifying while having a very simple premise:
You play as a woman in the woods at night being stalked by Slenderman. You’re goal is to collect eight pages that are scattered randomly at the various landmarks in the forest. But if you look at Slenderman, you’re finished.
It sounds kind of boring, but trust me. When the music starts playing & you walk through a doorway when static starts appearing on your screen, & you turn & catch a glimpse of Slenderman to the side, I guarantee you will scream like a little girl. If you’re a fan of horror or enjoy the Slenderman mythos, check it out.
Anyway, the point of this post isn’t to review the game but to help people beat it. It’s actually surprisingly difficult. Especially after you get the seventh page, when Slenderman can turn you around if he gets too close. But there does seem to be a specific strategy to at least help you win. So here are my tips based on my own calculations as well as the input from other players.
Addendum 7/25/12: Slender is constantly being modified & upgraded by its creators. As of this date, version 0.9.4 is the most current, with 0.9.5 being in beta. Certain mechanics may change as a result. For example, in the current stable version your flashlight drains. That being said, I believe the tips listed here are general enough to remain effective across all versions.
- Continually sprint. If you waste time or only walk, he will eventually catch up to you. However, your character can only sprint for very short periods of time before becoming fatigued, as indicated by the heavy breathing. You can avoid this by sprinting in short burst. Sprint for a few seconds, then walk for a few, then sprint, then walk. And so on. This should keep you from getting fatigued as well as keeping you ahead of Slenderman.
- Never look behind you & avoid blind corners. This goes without saying if you’re familiar with the Slenderman stories. It may be tempting, but never, never, never look behind you. The second part of this tip is a little more difficult because sometimes it can’t be avoiding. Several of the landmarks you have to search for the pages are essentially designed to be one big blind corner. The house with the hallways is a good example. However, if you follow the first rule, you should stay far enough ahead of Slenderman to avoiding running into him.
- Watch for static. Static is the game’s way of telling you when Slenderman is close. The stronger the static, the more danger you’re in. I don’t know how far away he has to be before you can safely look at him. I’ve seen him a few yards away & still lost. Also, there seems to be a brief window when you first see him that you can run away. It’s short, but it should be enough for your reflexes to kick in & make you run away.
- Stay on the path. The dirt path connects to all of the landmarks, making them easier to find. Also, it appears that Slenderman is more likely to teleport ahead of you in the trees. I personally have never seen him appear ahead of someone in an open area.
Addendum 8/13/12: At the request of others, I’ve done some more research & found a few more tips that should help players with versions 0.9.4 & above.
- Try to get the page in the house as soon as possible. As of 0.9.4 Slenderman starts following you from the very beginning of the game, but still becomes faster & more aggressive with each page you collect. You have a better chance of not being ambushed in the house earlier on. I’ve seen others say that entering the house after collecting six pages is a guaranteed death trap.
- Let your flashlight recharge. Recent versions will drain your flashlight if you keep it on, but it will recharge when it’s off. Also, contrary to popular belief, keeping it off doesn’t help you. Slenderman will find you regardless. I’ve also seen others say that if the static starts when you see Slenderman, turning the flashlight off will interrupt the static for a brief second & give you time to look away.
- Slenderman won’t move when he’s in your field of vision. This applies even if an object is blocking him from your view. Use this to your advantage. If you’re far enough away that it’s not an instant game over, back away while keeping him in sight until you have a good distance between you. If you’re getting static, putting an obstacle between you, like a tree, can diminish the static. Assuming he’s not right on top of you, obstacles should make the static slowly fade.
- Some landmarks seem guaranteed to have pages. The house seems to be one of them. There are ten landmarks & eight pages, so two landmarks won’t have anything. If you visit two places & they don’t have anything, then you know the rest will.
- I’ve read from others that Slenderman can’t enter the tunnel. I haven’t tested this but if it’s true, given that the tunnel seems like a guaranteed page (from my experience), save it for one of the later pages or as a safe zone.
- Find a good map. There are lots of useful maps helpful people have uploaded to make things a bit easier.
With recent versions making the game more challenging, I hope these tips will help you survive your encounter with Slenderman. Have fun. And feel free to post your own results with these tips as well as other tips you’ve noticed to help your fellow gamers.