It’s incredible how terrifying a pixelated silhouette can be. It’s the glowing white eyes, waiting for you in the shadows.

The Final Station does horror gaming so well. It starts off as this cute, 8-bit train game with retro graphics and a simple premise. And it gets gradually darker in a way that creeps up on you that is delightfully chilling.

It starts off simple, with a single train journey that introduces you to the basic format of the game. You play as the conductor of the train. It is your responsibility to make sure it runs safely and on time. You have to control three separate parts of the train that fluctuate along the journey. You also have to keep an eye on your passengers, to make sure they’re happy and healthy.

The controls are easy to pick up. There is nothing too complicated about them.

The generally difficulty of the game increases at a great pace. You can probably get through the first journey without really doing anything. The train will get to its destination on its own. But you can use the time to figure out what everything does. The next couple of journeys have some more serious matters you need to attend to if you want to arrive in one piece.

When it does start to get challenging, it has already given you the tools to handle it.

This all happens quickly and efficiently. It isn’t patronising at all, despite having a simple premise, and it makes decent use of the Switch controls.

The darker elements of the game creep in subtly. It starts with guards standing at stations and people complaining about mysteriously cancelled trains. It doesn’t tell you why it’s happening. It doesn’t tell you explicitly what’s going on.

It’s up to you to pay attention to the odd messages pinned to the noticeboard and the worryingly sombre news broadcasts. Things that should be a routine part of your job, like collecting the codes that allow you to leave the station, become longer tasks.

The clues are scattered in the background long before you see the first bloodied body slumped over its desk. The search for the codes leads you through neighbourhoods that are invaded by increasingly sinister sights.

Guards become more numerous. They also become more threatening. They yell at you with their guns pointed in your direction. They appear underground, watching over prisoners in cages. Stick your nose in where it isn’t welcome and the guards could cause as much trouble as the looming silhouetted figures lurking everywhere.

Even your passengers aren’t safe. While at first, you only have to worry about their hunger and general wellness, when things get really scary, you may end up finding them with their heads exploded.

You quickly have to learn how to be a survivor. At first, helping yourself to people’s random toiletries is funny. But after a while, your ability to scavenge and then be frugal with your resources can be a life or death skill. You have to figure out how to aim true, shoot straight and use anything as a weapon.

This game is a hell of a lot of fun to play. It’s not overly complicated, but it puts the sense of horror on the screen beautifully. It’s easy to pick up and gets interesting very quickly. The way the story is told through features of the world is very creative. Those little touches absorb you into the world so completely that your heart rate rises every time those little white eyes loom out of the darkness.