You are an office drone, just trying to get your work done without causing any trouble or getting on the bad side of the co-worker who is always reprimanding you for doing something to embarrass everyone else. You are at your desk, not bothering anyone, when suddenly you feel it running down your face. It’s blood. Your nose is bleeding. And no matter how much you try, you cannot get it to stop. Even though there’s an event that you simply cannot get out of attending, you cannot get your nose to stop bleeding.
Nose Bleed is a text-adventure game that is primarily about dealing with a bloody nose but it’s also a game about social anxiety, office politics, and the horror of knowing that there is nothing you can do to prevent further embarrassment. There’s only so long that you can hide a nose bleed and when the people you work with discover what’s happening, their reaction leaves much to be desired. Not only is the text well-written but the visuals also put you right in the story. As the nose bleed continues, just moving the curser from one option to another causes a trail of blood to appear on the screen. Towards the end of the game, my screen was almost totally red. Just like the character in the game, I couldn’t stop the bleeding. It sounds grotesque but this game is about more than just a nose bleed. It’s about the experience of dealing with people who, when they see someone else in distress, can’t do anything but worry about how it’s going to effect them. It’s about the guilt that comes with being told that everything is always your fault. The horror is both visual and psychological and it’s not always easy to deal with the emotions that the game captures. But the ending is very satisfying, making this one of the best recent horror games that I’ve played.