We've all heard of "escape room" adventures, but how about one where you're forced to stay in your room if you hope to survive? That's precisely the unusual scenario in indie developer Black Corporation's surreal point-and-click adventure, The Peephole's Chronicles: Weird John.
Something strange happened to Weird John recently, and he now suffers from intense paranoia. In his anxiety, he's "barricaded himself in his living room, terrified of the whole world." It's December 22 and he's been here all month, locked safely inside – or his he? His goal is merely to "survive in his room until Christmas," but will he remain completely shut in, all alone, or will you choose to have him "interact with the world outside" in the search for answers to his horrible condition?
Described as a "paranoid guy life simulator" but played out like a slideshow-style "inverted escape room," The Peephole's Chronicles is meant to be a disturbing experience. The camera quivers to reflect John's emotional instability, flies buzz around the bucket of urine that has become your bathroom, and the music is discordant and unnerving. With nowhere to go and only a few things in your room to interact with, your only other option is to open the door to a series of "grotesque characters" who regularly come knocking from the "mysterious town" outside. Some will supply you with new items or information, and what you choose to do in response can lead to "unexpected results" and multiple possible endings.
The complete game is due to be released by the end of 2020, but for a first taste of the very bizarre The Peephole's Chronicles: Weird John, you can already download a demo from itch.io for Windows and Mac.