Fear is a primordial emotion, crafted to ensure the survival of the species, and attempts to harness this feeling for amusement have been around for as long as people have been telling stories to one another. There are examples of this in everything from old school Hammer films like Cat People or from modern games like Dead Space, and features an array of success. Horror is perhaps at it’s finest when handled with an air of suspense and subtlety.
Tempus Fugit is an example of subtlety and fear. You navigate a white labyrinth, a series of suspended walkways over a dark abyss. Your goal is to complete a relatively simple challenge, but the task at hand is in the end unimportant. Because there is something else on the walkways, a great and terrible force that will consume you into a field of white. The monster pursues you, and in a stroke of necessity or brilliance, he’s invisible. Some of the best movie monsters are at their strongest when they are unseen — the reveal of the Cloverfield and Super 8 aliens are prime examples of this. The terrible unseen beast of Tempus Fugit only has one telltale sign of his imminent arrival, and that’s that time slows to a crawl around him.
This mechanic is the strength of Tempus Fugit. The world is populated by a variety of moving parts, slow turning wind turbines and dangling wires. You possess a ball that you can throw indefinitely. With these objects moving at a constant speed, to see one suddenly slow down is an exercise in spine tingling fear. You know then that the beasts approaches. But has he simply caught you from behind or is he in the direction you’re heading. You can’t see him, so you can’t know for sure. The world moves to a snails pace, and you can try to run, but inevitably you will always get caught and consumed by the infinite whiteness.