Creepypastas and the games they beget tend to catch a bad rap for being lackluster and uninspired, usually coasting by on novelty alone. This is what I expected when I downloaded PUTT-PUTT.EXE, but the experience I had playing this game ultimately shook me to my core. I ended up in tears from the horrifying experience—not from the game itself, mind you, but from the WannaCry virus attached to it.
Normally, I would be concerned with a virus deleting all of my tax returns and wedding photos, but the game explained that this was all part of the lore. An entity called Phantomonom, a demon generated by the evil force Zalgo, is the supposed culprit behind the attack. This explanation confused me, as my McAfee antivirus software instead told me that the name of this entity was “Trojan,” which sounds like a Greek god or something.
On the whole, I was pretty disappointed with the gameplay, which was the same fare seen in most every other cheap Unity horror game. Flipped assets, textures with oddly realistic eyes, and DementedWomanScream.ogg: all elements that have been used time and time again. It’s as if the developer didn’t even try to make a good game, instead putting all of their focus into infecting the player’s PC.
The ARG elements deserve some praise, however. The game utilized my own email address to send me creepy attachments to open. It was even able to figure out my parent’s address! Instead of going through some fetch quest to find seven pages in the woods, the game wanted me to find seven Target gift card codes to input before progressing, and that was a welcome change.
PUTT-PUTT.EXE does leave a lot to be desired, but I can’t think of another experience that gave me such a profound feeling of dread. I’m not sure if this is a game I would recommend, but apparently, everyone in my contacts list has already received a hyperlink to download it.