Just Ignore Them is a “point and click” indie horror game featuring 8-bit graphics developed by Stranga Games. The game was originally released to Steam in April of 2017 by GrabTheGames Publishing. Just Ignore Them was later ported to console in October of 2019 by Ratalaika Games (who are quickly becoming one of my favorite publishers). It is currently available for download on Steam, Xbox One, Playstation 4, PS Vita, and the Nintendo Switch.
In Just Ignore Them, players assume the role of “Mark”. The game begins in the past, when Mark was only 8-years old. While lying in bed one evening, Mark is awoken by his TV turning on by itself. Next, his closet door opens of its own accord. Depending on the choices you make, Mark will either leave his bedroom to look for his mother or he will be pulled into his closet by a monster (resembling the ones featured in the game’s promotional and title screen images) and promptly slaughtered!
Upon leaving his room, Mark finds that the door to his mother’s bedroom is locked. You begin a search of the house, hoping to locate the spare key that will grant you access. Along the way, you’ll learn that there have been previous odd occurrences in young Mark’s life, such as the recent disappearance of his father. You’ll also find more monsters hidden in various locations throughout the house, all waiting to kill you! Let’s just say that Mark won’t want to make that late night snack.
You’ll eventually find your way into Mom’s room, only to find her dead in a pool of her own blood. This begins Mark’s lifelong connection with these mysterious creatures, as well as the trail of innocent victims left behind as Mark constantly tries to run from them.
After a stop at a small, middle-of-nowhere motel, as well as a memorable run-in with the owner, Mark befriends another loner: a young woman named Brea, who finds herself abandoned at the motel with no real place to go. After an encounter of her own, she joins Mark on his flight from the ever-resurfacing monsters.
Just when the game’s narrative really starts gaining steam, the focus abruptly shifts to another character. Mark soon disappears from an airplane mid-flight, as do the rest of the passengers. The only one seemingly left behind is Brea (and possibly Kirk Cameron), who must figure out what happened. The discovery of a few mutilated passengers makes it quite clear that she is far from alone on the plane.
Eventually, Mark is found, but claims to have blacked out just before everyone else disappeared. Things get more than a little far-fetched shortly afterwards, which is saying quite a lot with a story such as this. In time, you meet someone who provides some insight into just what Mark’s father was working on before his disappearance, as well as what the monsters actually are. It might be more fitting to say “what these monsters once were”. Either way, it takes the story a little more into science fiction territory than “pure” horror.
All is revealed in the game’s final act… and quite frankly, it’s rather convoluted and more than a little confusing. Even then, it’s still a grim, twisted tale. The game features two possible endings, depending on your choices. There is a “good” ending, which is really more of the happier ending, although it features quite a bit of 8-bit bloodshed. This ending also leaves things open for a sequel, which has reportedly been in development since shortly after the first game’s release. The “bad” ending is, of course, the darker ending. This ending is significantly more finite, but also is a less satisfying conclusion to the overall tale.
Just Ignore Them is a very short game. It can be completed in less time than it takes to watch most TV miniseries. For whatever reason, there appears to be significantly more dialog in the PC version of the game, which generally makes scenes feel bigger is scope and dramatic effect. This is especially the case with the game’s final act, as the PC version seems to provide vast amounts of more backstory, making the overall plot more cohesive and understandable. It may also make certain plot details a little more hard to swallow.
Even at a low price point of $5 ($4 on Steam), Just Ignore Them may be a hard sell for many as it provides only basic gameplay, is shorter than many NES games, has an antiquated graphics style, and offers somewhat limited replay value, although the option to make different choices does encourage players to run through a second time. What it does offer is a very unique story that doesn’t start spiraling out of control until the final moments. For those looking for an alternative to watching another horror flick or wanting to play something a little different, Just Ignore Them is definitely worth looking into, especially if it’s available on sale.