Author – Marn S. (@corpserevivers)
Where to Buy – https://marns.itch.io/alone-with-the-killer
A hack of Alone Among the Stars, Alone With the Killer takes you out of the dark loneliness of space and plops you at the tail end of a slasher film. After all, who the hell wants to play through the start of a horror movie? That stuff is boring. Your story starts after everyone else has died gruesomely and you, the final girl (or guy or person) is left to face the killer alone. Will you survive? Escape? Find a way to defeat your would-be killer and avenge your friends and family? Almost certainly not the last one but you might as well try.
The game’s rules fit easily on two pages (well…1 and ¾ pages if you want to be specific) but it doesn’t feel like anything’s been left out. Sure, the author could have fluffed it out a bit with art or with a few tables for generating killers/locations/etc. but they didn’t and that’s fine. If you’re the kind of person this game appeals to, you probably don’t need that stuff to get a lot of value out of it.
But enough about what this game doesn’t include!
On your desperate struggle for survival, you’ll need a d6 and a deck of cards to help generate your story. The suit and number of each card describe what you find as you work to overcome or escape your killer. Seven of Clubs? That might be some sort of trapped door or hidden room. 10 of Diamonds? Well that’s obviously some sort of photograph or recording that gives you a clue to the killer’s identity. How these things fit into your tale is up to you, and I found the really incongruous combinations lead to the most satisfying twists in the story.
After encountering each obstacle, you’ll roll a d6 and mark either Hunted, Trapped, or Hunter depending on the result. A result of Hunted or Trapped leads to something negative whereas a result of Hunter means you’ve got the advantage on your would-be killer. The game ends when you get five marks in one category. The length of each game can vary significantly, depending on how balanced your d6 is. Rolling five Hunted results in a row would be an extremely brief, brutal game when compared to a session where each category had 3-4 marks before triggering the end game.
There’s a lot of replay value possible with this game since players won’t encounter most of the cards in one playthrough. Even if they did, the prompts are so ambiguous and open to interpretation that getting the exact results in back-to-back games could still yield wildly different results. If you want an example of a pretty average playthrough (humble brag), I’ve written mine up here.
Alone With the Killer is a great game for when you want to get spooky but don’t have anyone to get spooky with. And it’s only $1, so maybe ditch the popcorn balls and hand this out to trick or treaters this Halloween!
DISCLAIMER: I do not know anyone involved with this game, nor did I receive anything for free in exchange for this review. Also, like, I have friends. I don’t need to play solo games, okay? It’s just…sometimes I don’t feel like people-ing.