“Expect to die. A lot.” It was difficult not to be enveloped, or at the least entertained, by the childlike giddiness radiating from Strength in Numbers CEO, Scott Reschke, as he watched attendees jump and scream preceding every death in the first level of Kaet Must Die! In this first-person survival adventure, players are dropped into a series of winding mazes as the powerful psionicist Kaet, who has now lost all of her powers. They must navigate the tricks and traps set out by the blood witch Annalinnia, whose cat and mouse game will break down your sanity and leave you open for the final kill. Not challenging enough? Well, every living and undead creature wants a shot at you too, and they will not rest until you are dead. A Different Kind of Hero The team wanted to play with the idea of a character who is a badass in their own way while taking away the sense of being a superhero. Through a feature inspired by titles like Alien: Isolation and Outlast, Kaet gradually gains abilities that won’t allow her to kill, but will allow her to stay alive long enough for you to get to the end of the level. Stunning, knockback, and a light that will temporarily guide your way are just some of the tools you will need to make it to the next level. While this is no easy task, Scott offered that this a metaphor for life itself, “as you advance, you are gaining the tools to stay alive just a little longer.“ Don’t Get Too Comfortable If you wanted to kick back and play a relaxing game with cute woodland creatures, then you have come to the wrong place. While the controls themselves are simple, finding clues to solve puzzles while racing against the clock is definitely not. Scott and his team did not want to completely piss players off, but they also wanted to make the game as difficult as they possibly could. And they have done just that. Along with messing with the character’s functions, they manipulated the environment. Players may notice that every time they restart a level, the order in which the lights fade changes every time as well. This is especially dangerous for Kaet, because the longer you stay in the dark, the more your sanity decreases, eventually leaving you open to Annalinnia’s final attack. Something Old, Something New Both the protagonist and antagonist might seem familiar to fans of Strength in Numbers’ previous title Tuebor: I Will Defend. Like many of the team-based shooters in 2016, including Gigantic and Battleborn, Tuebor strived to keep up with the overwhelming popularity of Blizzard’s Overwatch. While they could have abandoned the project and scrapped their characters entirely, they turned this not-so-ideal situation into an opportunity to create a uniquely new horror title that has been particularly popular with Twitch streamers. Just like in their previous iterations, Annalinia brings terror through mind control and Kaet, or Kaetheran, is still a “psionic control specialist” with a cyberpunk flair. Just Who Is This Game For? Strength in Numbers was joined by Twitch streamer and cosplayer NyxSaga, cosplaying as her own version of Kaet. She is known for playing online RPGs like World of Warcraft and competitive shooters like Overwatch. So, what got her involved with a horror game? She explained that a member of the Strength in Numbers team had been a subscriber of hers on Twitch, and they asked her to be involved in the beta testing. She had never really played horror games and didn’t think she ever would ever be interested, but Kaet put her mind to work. She offered that anyone can play this game if they don’t mind dying a few hundred times in the beginning and that the jump scares will eventually break the toughest of players. Will You Brave the Dark? Kaet Must Die! is a heart-pounding experience from the moment you are dropped into the death dungeons. In an environment that is eerily beautiful, it is difficult to not be distracted by the creepy ambiance during an experience that is only truly complete once you put on your headphones. In almost complete darkness, players will face the true fear of never being one hundred percent sure what lies around the next corner. While there is a bit of a learning curve, the frustration that accompanies getting taken out in one shot drives the fire to come back only to die over and over again until you beat the level, or the game itself. You can download the first level or purchase the full game for $14.99 on Steam, with Nintendo Switch and Xbox One editions to follow. There also is the possibility of Oculus Rift and HTC Vive versions in the future. Strength in Numbers first opened on April 1st 2015 in Lansing, Michigan.