Pamali is a horror game based on Indonesian folklore

Check out the chilling demo for this upcoming horror game.


Horror and Asian folklore go hand in hand – horror culture aficionados will be familiar with Japanese and Korean ghosts and ghouls, and there are some well-known horror games from many countries in East Asia and also South-East Asia. Pamali will be in the latter category, drawing inspiration from its creators’ home country of Indonesia.

Although Indonesian folklore has appeared in video games before, developers StoryTale Studios plan to take a slightly different approach to that of most horror games – one which incorporates what they see as the difference between Indonesian horror and the horror cultures in other parts of the world.

North American horror, for instance, often features tropes such as the zombie apocalypse (perhaps inspired by the Cold War and its apocalyptic warnings). European horror often draws influence from the horrors of the wars of the 20th century and the capacity of humans to be cruel to each other. Japanese and Korean horror are often preoccupied with technology. But Indonesian horror, as StoryTale studios see it, is rooted more in domestic and interpersonal interactions, and especially in the cultural taboos, or ways of avoiding them, that are evident on a daily basis in Indonesian domestic life.

The game will be divided into four chapters, each with a different folkloric creature as its focus. Pamali will feature a chilling original soundtrack, and also a dynamic engine where the player chooses how the game progresses through seemingly unimportant interactions with the objects around them. For example the trailer features a man called Jaka clearing out his family house to get it ready to be sold. But Jaka quickly realises he is not alone, but is being haunted by a terrifying ghost called a kuntilanak.

Pamali is sure to send a shiver down your spine, and to players outside South-East Asia, it should be a great way to experience rich new culture. If you want to help ensure that Pamali becomes a reality, then get yourself over to their Kickstarter page, as their campaign finishes at the end of July and at time of writing is only 20% of the way towards its goal. If all goes well then Pamali will release at the end of this year. But if you can’t wait until then, the team have already released a demo, which you can download on Steam here.