When it comes to survival horror, most people think of Resident Evil or Silent Hill, but people tend to overlook another series that deserves more attention. The Clock Tower series, by Human Entertainment, is a survival horror game series where the main game mechanic is that you are constantly being stalked by a crazed murderer while trying to explore some building. Although the first game released in North America was on the Playstation and called Clock Tower it is actually the second game in the series with the first game being released only in Japan for the Super Famicom.
Clock Tower on the Super Famicom has you playing as Jennifer, and orphan girl who has recently been adopted by a rich family along with her friends from the orphanage. After arriving at the family mansion, Jennifer’s friends disappear and she is left alone in the large and dark mansion to find out where her friends are and what is going on.
The main antagonist, scissorman, is introduced early on in the game but where, when and how he is introduced depends on which parts of the mansion you decide to explore first. After meeting scissorman, your only option is to run and hide using whatever is available in the environment to aid you. Scissorman can appear almost anywhere and when and where he appears are partly random and partly based on your actions. The game is fairly open ended and has multiple endings which was pretty impressive for the time.
Although the game is on the Super Famicom and is limited to 16 bit graphics, the game does an excellent job at creating a creepy and unsettling atmosphere and the graphical limitations actually seem to sometimes further enhance the impact of certain shocking scenes since it leaves more up to the imagination.
Clock Tower on the Super Famicom was never released outside Japan and is officially available only in Japanese, however, there is a complete English fan translation patch available for free on the internet. The game is definitely worth a look especially if you are looking for a particularly scary horror game.