Night Terrors – The Endless Stairwell (w/ Mini Review!)

Back in 2012, a little game called SCP-087 or The Stairwell was released as a horror game based on a story from the SCP Foundation. An updated version of the game was made in 2013 called SCP-087-B, which has been the subject of several videos and provides a more philosophical “ending” (the game states “It’s not if you’ll die, but when”). In January 2014, the developer of the original 2012 game took another crack at it, releasing an updated version that made use of the Duke Nukem 3D engine to produce what he thought would be the definitive version of this game.

This 2014 version differs from the original in that it adds a short prologue phase to the game, showing an island and an external building, hinting that the character has been there before. The player must figure out how to open the door to the stairwell, and then feels called to proceed downwards. Much like in the original story, this place consists of a seemingly-endless stairway that works its way deep into the ground. As the player progresses, they’ll notice strange things as they go, such as puddles of unknown substances, strange voices, holes into the wall filled with total darkness, the sounds of a baby crying, and, eventually, apparitions. However, this experience is based on one of the stories told in the main article, and thus the game only seems to progress for about 60-63 floors, at which time you will meet SCP-087-1, an entity that lives in this dark place.

Each playthrough is a little different, and at one point I even somehow died before entering the stairwell. Still, the overall scope seems to be the same, and the only ending seems to be an eventual death (so far, I’ve seen no way to escape the entity when you finally meet it). I suppose this builds on the “it’s not if you’ll die, but when” lesson, though I’d have liked to be able to proceed a bit further myself. But me, personally, even though I did find the overall concept a bit creepy and the atmosphere dark and spooky, I wasn’t particularly scared by the entity itself from the few sightings I got before truly meeting it. And even once I MET it, I didn’t find it to be terribly scary either.

Overall, for what it is, it’s a fun little game to play and worth checking out, but I’m not sure I’d call it the definitive version.

Score: C+

Scare Factor: Atmospherically creepy, but not that bad

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