Araya is a first person horror game developed by MAD Virtual Reality Studio in 2016.  It runs on the Unity engine and was developed for Microsoft Windows.IMG_20191006_104459.jpg

The story is told from the perspective of three characters:

Marisa – The only friend of the missing Araya

Rama – A security guard with a complicated past who still patrols the hospital

Boon – A young man who doesn’t do well with scary things trying to wipe out his gambling debt

Marisa receives a strange text from Araya, her best friend who had gone missing a year ago, telling her to meet her at the abandoned hospital.  Marisa ignores any and all survival instinct and goes to the hospital alone at night to find Araya.  While there, she is caught by a man named Jit, who knocks her unconscious and leaves her in another part of the hospital.

Araya 1
Switch to Rama, our complicated security guard on patrol in the hospital.  He receives a message from his Boss to meet him at a specific location in the hospital.  On the way, Rama sees a lot of odd things such as haunted dolls and the spirit of a young girl.  Rama is sucked into flashbacks of his young daughter, Ploy, and her struggle with meningitis.  Despite his best efforts, and money from his Boss, Ploy died and Rama was never the same after having watched his daughter die and feeling like a failure for being unable to pay for the operations she needed.  Rama finally meets up with his Boss just in time to see him stabbed by Rama.

Then we have Boon, the lovable idiot who is terrified of his own shadow.  He has wracked up a massive gambling debt and the gang he owes money to has offered him a chance to wipe all that debt away.  All he has to do is go in the haunted hospital and complete several tasks: take pictures of gang signs throughout the building, find a book left in one of the bathrooms, complete a ritual.  What no one counted on was the Praet, a Thai ghost of a child who has sinned against their parents, that roams the halls.  Poor Boon runs headlong into this ghost several times and is chased through the hospital by it.

Araya 2
As the story progresses, it is revealed that Araya was pregnant and her boyfriend, Sorn, was less than pleased.  He asked the security guard for a sleeping pill to give Araya after they had argued and the sleeping pill ended up killing Araya and her baby.  Panicking, Sorn takes her body to the parking garage and strings her up with a noose to make it look like a suicide since it was well-known Araya was bi-polar.  He falls to his death over the edge in his haste and Rama later discovered the bodies.

The vengeful spirit of Araya is finally released and she begins destroying the hospital in her rage, believing that no one cares for her.  Marisa is attacked by the spirit at the entrance to the hospital but she is saved by Jit or Rama (depending on the player’s choices earlier in the game).  Boon, Marisa, Jit (depending on the choices made earlier), and Rama all escape just in the nick of time as the hospital is completely destroyed.

This is one of my favorite horror games despite the grammatical problems in the translations and the sometimes confusing plot line.  I love the concept of vengeful spirits and it has some really great scares in it.  I watched YouTuber Daz Black play Araya and his reactions to the game and the scare are priceless! You can watch his play through here!

~ Jordan


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