The premise of Lure is simple. It has to be. This free horror fishing game on Steam takes about four minutes to finish, so there’s not a lot of room to cram in characters, plot, story, or anything else. There’s barely even time for horror. Or fishing, for that matter.
When Lure begins I’m on a lonely road because someone told me I could get paid for catching fish. I meet a faceless old man by a van on the side of the road, and he tells me if I catch a fish from the lake behind an abandoned shrine, he’ll pay me. I agree.
That’s the first 35 seconds of the game and pretty much all I can really give away. I went fishing, and what happened next is what happened next. And despite such a short run time, I did get a really good scare. I also got a good laugh. Lure is only a few minutes long but it’s still a good horror game: spooky, unsettling, jarring, and not without a sense of humor. It’s a short story in game form, and I dig it.
The extreme low-fi aesthetic helps, with grainy visuals that make you feel like you’re viewing the experience through an old security camera even though it’s a first-person perspective game. The sound is excellent, too, a slowly growing mood of apprehension and dread, along with some nice ambient sound effects in different areas of the game’s tiny little map.
Lure was made in 10 days for Scream Jam in October 2021, and it’s a perfect bite-sized horror experience to take you into the weekend. I feel like I should write more, but such a short article feels appropriate for such a short game. Try it! Go fishing. Get scared. Have a laugh.