Werewolf House: Synthincisor is the kind of weird, wonderful werewolf game that could only exist online
by Angela Quinton
Oct. 23, 2018
Werewolf House: Synthincisor cover art (image: Cat Rogers)
But what’s that, you say? The game plunges you into an eerily synth-scored story where you play as a vaping EDM DJ who gets hired to play a gig at Werewolf House, but who has their fresh new beat blasted out of their head by lightning, and who must have “an unforgettable, Webby-deserving interactive adventure in the Werewolf House in an attempt to create a new beat before the moon is full”?
Don’t mind if I do.
This is Werewolf House: Synthincisor, the third and final instalment in writer/musician Andy Kneis‘s trilogy of absurd browser-based werewolf-laden choose your own adventure games. I haven’t played any of them for longer than 10 minutes, having only just learned about them, but they all look deeply funny in a way that blends the chunky GIF-style graphics of the point & click text adventure genre with Kneis’s beautifully slapdash/smartass writing.
The first two games in the trilogy, Werewolf House Rising: Werewolf House of Wolves and Werewolf House Rising: Werewolf House of Wolves – Arbor Day Edition, seem to be single-page HTML documents stacked with wonderful GIFs, music embeds, and links that jump you around in the narrative. Synthincisor is quite a bit more involved, though.
The full moon is out and what started as a choose-your-own adventure site has transformed into a full-on interactive fiction game with a unique mechanic that lets you to add new layers the game’s soundtrack as you progress.
“The art in the game is silly and the writing is really silly,” he told the Los Feliz Ledger in an interview, “so I wanted the music to be as good as possible.”
The music seems quite good indeed. During my brief playthrough, I made it through the ground-level room of Werewolf House, which was just far enough to enhance the pulsing 80’s slasher flick style music with some “modem sounds” I earned by helping a (potentially evil) web site exorcise itself by banishing 2002-era pop-up ads for werewolf pills.
This is the kind of weird, wonderful, fully-committed-to-the-goof stuff that I love. I made myself click the “save” button and come over here to write this post. As soon as I hit “publish” I’m going back over to that other browser tab to resume my game. I need to recover that missing beat, play a killer set for the Werewolf House denizens, and then maybe down some werewolf pills.