Spooky season is almost upon us. Grab your ghouls, pat your pumpkins. Looking for tricks that give you treats? Try Fictiorama Studios’ The Fabulous Fear Machine. Harness mystical powers, spread mischief, and leave the continent shaking in fear, bent on obeying your every whim. Will you outwit your rivals and become the best evil villain on the planet?
The Fabulous Fear Machine doesn’t sell itself well, but I’m here to tell you, fearless reader, that The Fabulous Fear Machine is really good. Like, scary good. And this opinion is only from playing the first little bit of the storyline so far. The Fabulous Fear Machine is fundamentally a resource management area control game where you are juggling resources and time to upgrade powers, spread fear, and take down enemies that try to best you. I’m a few hours into The Fabulous Fear Machine, so here are my thoughts so far.
At points you may feel drawn to a certain strategy, where you must get certain resources to get more resources and other domino effects. Other times you’re just waiting out time so the fear spreads naturally. These lulls may have been from me selecting the easy mode at the start, but it doesn’t detract from the main gameplay much. Honestly, the gameplay feels wishy-washy, like the mechanics and their effects aren’t clearly nailed down.
There are different kinds of “fear” cards that cause terror to the population in various ways. Enhancing the cards and improving their effects don’t seem to have much purpose at the moment, but that’s because the objective to take over the region is based on the resource oleum. Oleum is basically “fear juice” that seeps slowly throughout the territory, and is what’s used to buy various things and do actions in The Fabulous Fear Machine. I’ll dive deeper into mechanics in my full review.
Let’s talk about what really makes The Fabulous Fear Machine tick: the story. Details and storylines leak from every possible aspect of the game. From the main villain you play as to the minions that do your bidding, everyone has a story to tell. Your rivals beg and plead with you, and dialog choices affect the outcome of the game. Every fear card is a mini comic sequence that develops into a larger picture. Upgrading these cards uses a small mini game where you try to match the correct associative word to get bonus effects. I’m not sure why, but this is one of my favorite parts so far. It’s almost crossword-puzzle-like, and changes the thought process from resource management to word association. Filling in the words involves you with the mini story that is unfolding, and after each fear upgrade you get reactions from the public. The styling of the horror comic is the perfect touch to exemplify the way stories are revealed to you. Can’t wait to dive in deeper and create more havoc and mayhem!
Jordan played The Fabulous Fear Machine on PC with a code provided by the developer.