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10 Games That Fans of Twin Peaks Will Love

A Cult Classic

With David Lynch’s Twin Peaks returning to our screens, we got to thinking about all the games over the years that have obviously been inspired by the cult series.

Twin Peaks‘ influence on games is far reaching, with a handful of titles offering direct references to the series and many others trying to imitate its mysterious atmosphere and kookiness with varying levels of success. So, whether they feature equally quaint rural towns, have a similarly strange cast of characters, or just have the same unsettling dark presence about them, here are 10 games that fans of Twin Peaks will love.

Lone Survivor

Top 10 Games Made by One Person

Thematically the most far removed game from Twin Peaks on this list; Lone Survivor is a 2D survival adventure in which you play as a nameless man whose psychological state is questionable. Left alone in a post-apocalyptic world, you must search for survivors and scavenge for supplies whilst avoiding the zombie-like creatures that now roam, returning to your apartment for some much-needed sleep whenever possible. With the man’s mental state steadily deteriorating though, working out what is real and what’s just a figment of his imagination becomes the biggest challenge.

While a single playthrough of Lone Survivor will only take around five hours, there are two distinct story paths for you to follow and five possible endings, so there’s plenty of reasons to replay it. Whether or not you’ll ever fully understand what is going on, however, is another matter entirely. But Twin Peaks fans should be used to that.

Knee Deep

Knee Deep radiates the same bizarre and unsettling atmosphere that will be instantly familiar to any Twin Peaks fan. Set in the small, backwater town of Cypress Knee, the game centres around the suspicious death of an actor who was working on a film in the town. You assume the role of three protagonists, each investigating the death in their own way: a blogger, looking for the ‘edgy’ angle, a private investigator trying to find out the truth, and a washed up newspaper reporter wanting a scoop to save his job.

With strange happenings from start to finish and a supporting cast of characters ranging from the mildly kooky to the outright crazy, you’re never quite sure what the truth is in Knee Deep.

Kentucky Route Zero

Despite its first part being released way back in 2013, Kentucky Route Zero is a surreal episodic adventure that as yet remains unfinished. Four of its five planned acts are currently available, each one serving to raise as many questions, if not more, than they resolve. But you won’t really care that much as the experience is just simply mesmerising.

It’s got a unique abstract art style that draws you in, and a soundtrack that’s sparse but occasionally puts you on edge. The gameplay, meanwhile, is more text adventure than point and click, devoid of any voice acting or puzzles. What Kentucky Route Zero does have though, is mystery, and an atmosphere so thick you could cut it with a knife. If you’re a patient Twin Peaks fan looking for a passive experience, Kentucky Route Zero is the game for you.

Silent Hill

The Silent Hill games may fall firmly into the horror genre thanks to their grotesque creatures, but there’s still a lot of Twin Peaks to be found within them.

Aside from being set in strange rural town filled with weird characters, they all heavily rely on the concept of duality; that wherever there’s light, there’s also dark. Twin Peaks has the Black Lodge, for instance, whilst Silent Hill has the Otherworld. Twin Peaks also has Maddy, Laura Palmer’s cousin who looks startlingly similar to her yet is almost a mirror image personality wise, whilst Silent Hill, well, the Silent Hill series has many characters that are familiar yet totally different.  Take Maria, for example, whose similarity to Silent Hill 2’s protagonist James Sunderland’s wife is quite unnerving. And the rather unsettling Silent Hill 3 mirror scene. In any case, we’re sure that Twin Peaks fans who aren’t of a nervous disposition will find plenty to like about the Silent Hill games if they give them a try.

Thimbleweed Park

The most recent game on the list, Thimbleweed Park is a throwback point and click adventure from the master of the genre, Ron Gilbert. Just like any self-respecting Twin Peaks-inspired title, it follows FBI agents as they investigate a suspicious murder. Likewise, they’re also supported by a curious cast of characters, including Ransome the Clown and a computer programmer named Delores.

Of course, being from the mind of Ron Gilbert, Thimbleweed Park was bound to be random and kooky anyway, but mix that with an distinct Twin Peaks vibe, and you’ve got a brilliantly bizarre murder mystery that just begs to be explored.

Life is Strange

Life is Strange has no real narrative similarity to Twin Peaks, but it’s clear from the outset that Lynch’s masterpiece has been a big inspiration to DONTNOD Entertainment, the developer of the game. They make no secret of it either, with one scene showing ‘Fire Walk With Me’ graffitied onto a bathroom mirror, and one of the main characters has a license plate that reads ‘TWNPKS’. That’s apparently just the tip of the iceberg, too; the Life is Strange Wikia page lists over a dozen ways that the game references Twin Peaks.

Following the story of teenager Max Caulfield and her best friend Chloe, the most striking similarity between Life is Strange and Twin Peaks though has to be the sleepy yet sinister setting. The small town of Arcadia Bay wears that unmistakable Twin Peaks vibe with pride. Its inhabitants might not be quite as peculiar as Lynch’s cast, but it’s still a town you’d likely feel a little uneasy stepping foot in.

Virginia

Virginia is a short but very strange game. You play as FBI Special Agent Anne Tarver, investigating the disappearance of a young boy in rural Virginia. Partnered up with the more experienced Maria Halperin, who you’ve also been ordered to investigate, your blooming relationship becomes tested when events just get downright weird.

With no dialogue, unusual direction and loads of symbolism, Virginia is the type of game that will have you thinking about it long after its credits have rolled. We’re sure that Twin Peaks fans will agree that’s not so much of a bad thing.

Nelson Tethers: Puzzle Agent

Believe it or not, before Telltale Games released The Walking Dead, they used to make proper adventure games. They had puzzles that required thought and gameplay that didn’t just revolve around making dialogue choices, and they were brilliant. One of those games was Nelson Tethers: Puzzle Agent, made in collaboration with Oscar nominated cartoonist Graham Annable.

Placing you in the shoes of the titular Nelson Tethers, sole member of the FBI’s Puzzle Research Division, it’s a game that tests your wits as you try to discover why the production of erasers has ceased in the rural town of Scoggins. Suffice to say, with its strange characters and mysterious “Hidden People”, Nelson Tethers: Puzzle Agent is a game that fans of Twin Peaks are sure to enjoy.

Alan Wake

A phenomenal game created by the talented folks over at Remedy Entertainment, Alan Wake puts you in the shoes of a writer taking a vacation with his wife in the hope of finding inspiration for his next novel. Things take a turn for the worse, however, when a dark presence throws his world into disarray. This riveting third-person action-adventure title set in sleepy rural town also explores the concepts of duality much like Twin Peaks.

Unfortunately, Alan Wake is not available on digital stores anymore due to the licences expiring on its exceptional soundtrack, so you’ll have to track down a physical copy of the Xbox 360 version if you want to play it now. Luckily, the same disc is also playable on the Xbox One.

Deadly Premonition

Deadly Premonition is Twin Peaks: The Videogame. Honestly, there are so many parallels it’s uncanny. Rural American town? Check. Ritualistic murder of a teenage girl? Check. A kooky bunch of locals? Check. An FBI Special Agent with a love of coffee driving in to investigate said ritualistic murder? Check. See what I mean? Add in an abundance of symbolism and a strange supernatural presence, and et voila! You have the perfect game for a Twin Peaks fan.

Available on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC, Deadly Premonition is very rough around the edges, but it’s still a compelling piece of entertainment that just has to be experienced.

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