A novel concept for a horror escape game
Plenty of games have gimmicks. But I think Refund Me If You Can might be the first time I’ve seen a game use a storefront’s refund policy as a gameplay mechanic.
Freshly arrived on Steam today, I noticed Refund Me If You Can pop up on the TodayOnSteam automated bot account. It’s a handy account for noticing strange and eccentric new releases, and this horror game in particular started to catch folks’ eyes as it spread around.
The premise of Sungame Studio’s experience is that you are locked in a maze, with a monster tracking you down. Your equipment is sparse: just a flashlight and a couple of neon flares, to leave as markers for your future self. You need to find an exit, and find one fast. Not just because of the monster, mind you, but also because you’ve got a time limit.
According to its Steam page, Refund Me If You Can has “more than 100” paths, but only one leads out. And the entire time, in the upper-left corner, the clock is ticking down.
“After two hours the sucess [sic] will be locked forever.” Essentially, it seems like victory is sealed off alongside the refund window.
Little storefront of horrors
Valve’s Steam storefront started offering refunds quite a while ago. They were pretty lenient, with only two qualifiers: you must have bought something in the last two weeks, and played less than two hours of it.
And while independent developers and makers of short games have reported issues with the system, Refund Me If You Can turns it on its head. Can you beat it in two hours? Can you essentially play a game for free, just by beating it?
It’s a pretty novel way of sticking out, especially in the flooded market of scary horror games. Refund Me If You Can is available for $3.99 on Steam.