An interactive exhibit of horrors
Exhibit of Sorrows is a free-to-play simulation that puts you in the shoes of an unwary audience at a carnival booth exhibit. In this interactive game from indie developer adayofjoy, you play around with various clown-themed displays. However, it’s not all fun and games as a sinister element takes over—forcing you to try and escape with your life.
It employs rather simplistic graphics, bringing images of old-school carnivals to the forefront. Consider yourself warned about the horror game that is Exhibit of Sorrows. Similarly, you might also want to check out Eyes - The Horror Game or The Watson-Scott Test.
Not for the faint of heart
Clowns are often marketed as fun for kids, but there’s a real fear of clowns—something Exhibit of Sorrows exploits to a great degree. It uses a variety of retro fonts to capture the old-school advertisement feel carnivals often use. Additionally, the designs for the clowns themselves immediately create a sense of uneasiness for the player. You can’t help but keep your guard up as you play, although it doesn’t help.
The game uses a flat, 2D game design reminiscent of Flash games of the previous decades. Still, it creates a scary feel, partly because of its wobbly camera that moves together with your cursor. In terms of gameplay, it’s an immersive experience that lets you take in every exhibit. You only need your mouse to interact with on-screen elements. There’s no timing or reflex needed.
Lastly, note that the game contains deeply disturbing elements such as violence, abuse, and trauma. People with triggers and photosensitivity conditions might want to take extra care with this game. The game has a pretty solid playthrough, although its linear story doesn’t offer replayability. Once you reach the ending, there is no more content to explore. There are also no secrets or easter eggs, just a straightforward horrorfest.
A great clown-themed horror
Despite being deeply disconcerting, Exhibit of Sorrows is actually a fun game, provided you have the courage to play it all the way through. Various elements from the designs to the gameplay mechanics all work together to deliver a level of fright uncommon among indie games. If you have no issues with depicting mature themes or clowns in general, you should try this one.