Beyond the Thaw is a tense and atmospheric cinematic horror adventure where a snowmobile crash leaves you stranded in a snowy wilderness filled with dark nightmarish creatures.
Previously featured on Alpha Beta Gamer when it was a game jam prototype, Beyond the Thaw is now benign expanded into a full game with more nightmarish monsters to hunt you through the snow. In the game you take on the role of a former military doctor called Max Gilbert, who was on a snowmobile journey with a friend to a remote cabin when a landslide causes them to crash. Max now has to go in search of his friend and safety in a treacherous icy wilderness where it’s not just the cold that may kill him.
The Beyond the Thaw demo build takes around 25 minutes to play through and sees you embarking on the first day of Max’s dangerous journey. The cold is perhaps the least of your worries as there are plenty of other ways to die and there are at least four different kinds of monsters lurking in the darkness. There are also surreal moments that make you think that some of it is happening in Max’s mind, or at least there’s some powerful sentient entity that enjoys screwing with him.
It’s a nice change for a horror game to be set in an open snowy wilderness rather than claustrophobic dungeons and it gives the game a very unique vibe. The Unreal Engine powered visuals are also beautiful and it makes for a very cinematic experience as you trek through the snowy landscape. The voice acting is also a lot of fun and adds a lot of personality to your character as he comments on most things rather than silently walking through the snow. A frostbitten horror adventure with charm, creativity and beautiful cinematography. Highly recommended.