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‘The Piano’: An Indie Horror Game Looking at Mental Illness

We’ve talked about mental illness and gaming a few times before, particularly with 2017’s Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. Now, Hamburg-based indie game developer Mistaken Visions is giving us a look at another protagonist who lives with mental illness, in their new post-World War II horror game, The Piano.

The synopsis of the game from the website is as follows:

Accused of his brothers’ murders, failed pianist John Barnerway searches for answers on the streets of post-war Paris. Part traditional survival horror, part noir-influenced murder mystery, The Piano is an unsettling and riveting indie adventure.

A dark and unsettling game, The Piano doesn’t seem to fit the mold of your average horror title. With elements of noir murder mystery mixed in with survival horror, this game looks to focus on the terrors of struggling with pretty severe mental illness before medical and psychological science really understood it.


The game’s creator, Jonathan Stemmildt, recently talked about bringing the title to fruition. “Five years ago I had the idea of making a horror game that wasn’t just about the scares, but which featured a deep and personal story that players could become emotionally invested in. It was my first game and I never really expected much to come of it – but suddenly, something I dreamed about for years is becoming reality, and time is just flying by. It feels great,” he said.

The Piano is said to be a game of true psychological horror, with the player delving deep into the darkest corners of John Barnerway’s affected mind. Players will need to gather clues and solve puzzles in search of John’s brothers’ real killer, all while evading terrifying enemies that stalk the darkened and empty streets of Paris, and piecing together a fragmented story in order to uncover what really happened and exonerate John. Heavily stylized visuals, an immersive soundtrack, and full voice acting all add to the frightening atmosphere of The Piano.


While the game is set for release exclusively on Steam, it will also have full controller support for those who prefer to not play using a keyboard. The minimum system requirements for The Piano aren’t too bad, either:

  • OS: Windows 7
  • Processor: 2.8GHz
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: nVidia GeForce 8600/9600GT or equivalent
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Storage: 7 GB available space

The Piano is set for a Steam-exclusive release on May 24, 2018.

About Doug T. (491 Articles)
A lifelong gamer, disabilities advocate, avowed geek, and serious foodie. Doug was born in South America, currently resides in Northern VA, and spends the majority of his time indulging in his current passions of gaming & food, while making sure not to take life or himself too seriously.

1 Comment on ‘The Piano’: An Indie Horror Game Looking at Mental Illness

  1. just watched the trailer looks great


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