Earlier this week Retro/Grade creator Matt Gilgenbach revealed a Kickstarter campaign for his new game, Neverending Nightmares. Partially based on Gilgenbach's own struggles with OCD and depression, this horror puzzle game challenges you to decipher what is real and what is a manifestation of the main character's subconscious. The game is on display at the PAX Prime Indie Megabooth, so I jumped at the chance to explore this eerie, stylish game that looks like it was pulled out of an Edward Gorey illustration.

Blood slowly gushes from a woman's mouth, then the camera pans down to the stab wound in her belly – the knife still piercing the skin. That's the last thing I see of the man's nightmare. 

After the protagonist awakens, I start exploring the massive mansion. In the bedroom bathroom, I encounter a blood soaked sink, the red clashing violently with the otherwise black and white, Gorey inspired art style. The nightmare isn't over, it's just beginning. I head into the hallway, which is decorated with candles and strange paintings. A suffocating sound echoes through the house as shadows dance off the ground and walls. The oppressive atmosphere leads my eyes to quickly seek any aberration – as I move through the mansion I notice an outline of a fiendish figure speed past one of the window shadows on the ground. Working my way deeper into the house, I stumble upon a darkened room. I can't make out much, but I can tell there is some red writing on the wall. I find a candle in the next room over, which I grab and return to the room to pierce the blackness. The light reveals another version of the protagonist laying dead on the ground, having scribbled, "My god, why have you forsaken me" in blood on the wall before he expired.

When I return to the hallway, every candle but the one in my hand has extinguished. As I move back down the darkened halls, the specter of the dead woman pops up behind me intermittently, disappearing just as quickly as she arrives. In the basement, I find an ax.

Suddenly, the game cuts to the protagonist back in his bed, the blood-soaked ax leaning against the wall. I instinctively grab the ax and head back down the hallway. The atmosphere is approaching unbearable levels, with a knocking noise that keeps getting louder clashing with the sound of someone dragging chains somewhere in the house. I stumble upon a boarded up door, chop away the obstruction, and head into the attic. Here, I encounter the woman again, but this time she's dangling from a rope attached to the support beams above. 

This is where the demo concludes, but not the nightmares. Developer Ifinitap Games says the narrative branches depending on your actions, and the game has several different endings. Since each playthrough only takes a few hours, this encourages you to approach each attempt different to see the alternative outcomes.

Many more horrors await the man in pajamas, and if you want to see a few more of them for yourself download the PC demo from the Kickstarter page. The studio is still seeking funding, so if you like what you see, a pledge may be in order. 

Neverending Nightmares is slated to come to the Ouya, PC, Mac, and Linux.