Survival horror games, like much of horror fiction, tend to imply what the true source of their horror is through their monster and level design. She Who Fights Monsters, a donationware game, isn’t quite as subtle as it’s explicitly about being the child of an alcoholic father.
The idea is to survive seven days as Jennifer, a little girl who is living with her alcoholic father, and all of the frights that it brings. But it’s not completely embedded within the reality of its theme as you do, indeed, have to travel to other dimensions to unlock memories.
“It uses some JRPG conventions, but isn’t a JRPG; its main inspirations are Yume Nikki and the Silent Hill games, though this game is rather short and not quite like either,” writes the game’s creator Gaming Pixie.
Ultimately, what the game is about is determining what happens to Jennifer having had to go through this traumatic childhood. Who does she become? There are three endings to discover in total each of which paint a different picture for this unfortunate young girl.
You can download She Who Fights Monsters for free on itch.io. However, you can also purchase it for $5 to receive a special edition instruction booklet.