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Lo-fi horror puzzler The Tartarus Key scares up May 31 release date

Trapped in another house

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Vertical Reach and publisher Armor Games Studios have announced that their puzzle-focused retro horror title, The Tartarus Key, is chambered for a May 31, 2023 release.

Putting you in the shoes of the hapless Alex Young, The Tartarus Key takes place in a bizarre mansion where doors are locked with all manner of puzzles. Lifting the aesthetics of the PS1, it promises a horror experience without the use of jump-scares. That’s a fairly common goal for horror games. Hopefully, they can pull off the scares without all the jump.

The Tartarus Key Dialogue
Image via Armor Games Studios

The Tartarus Key reminds me somewhat of the recent Madison, which is itself part of the emerging escape-the-room sub-genre. I don’t mean that as a bad thing. I’m just bringing it up as a matter of classification. In one of my guide-writing gigs, I would sometimes be tapped to tackle puzzle games like this since, apparently, I have a mind for it. That, or the editor just really liked pumping up my ego. And it worked! I feel like a boss!

There are three different endings to find. You have the option to either rescue your fellow captives or leave them to their fate. We’ll see how annoying they are. If we’re talking something like the SNES’ SOS, where everyone else sucks, then maybe they should just be eaten by the house. The only NPCs worth saving are the dudes from Metal Slug.

In any case, I’m looking forward to checking out The Tartarus Key to see if anyone is worth saving.

The Tartarus Key is coming to PC, Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S on May 31, 2023.


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Zoey Handley
Staff Writer - Zoey is a gaming gadabout. She got her start blogging with the community in 2018 and hit the front page soon after. Normally found exploring indie experiments and retro libraries, she does her best to remain chronically uncool.