The Flock is a multiplayer horror game with a limited lifespan, just like its players

Unless you only play a few select genres like puzzles or racing games, death is an inevitability in most games. While it’s as common in games as the color red in a first-person shooter, death doesn’t really carry much in the way of consequences or lasting impact. Upcoming horror game The Flock aims to change that.

Unlike nearly every other game on the market, The Flock will launch with a limited population. The game will start with a population of 215,358,979 Flock lives. Once these lives have been used up, The Flock will be pulled from sale and won’t be available to play anymore. Ever.

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Each player in The Flock begins the game as one of the titular Flock, an agile monster in search of the Light Artifact. Only one player can grab the Light Artifact, which transforms that player into The Carrier. “Only the Carrier can win the game, so you want to get a hold of that Light Artifact. The twist is, the Flock are not allowed to move in the light of the artifact or they will be burned to a crisp in mere seconds. If they choose not to move, they turn into a stone statue and are invulnerable to the light,” the game’s FAQ reads.

“If you’ve paid attention, there’s two things that can happen to the Flock,” the FAQ continues. “They either die (e.g. by moving through the light) or they transform into a whole different creature called the Carrier. In both scenarios there is eventually no more Flock. If this were the real world it would mean the Flock is a tragic race doomed to extinction. We want to convey that story into our multiplayer.”

There are only two events that will ever increase the game’s population. The first is if developer Vogelsap releases The Flock on another platform like the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. The second is that, if a hacker is found decreasing the population, the developer will add these lives back to the total.

The Flock isn’t meant to be and won’t be for everybody,” the developer writes. “We at Vogelsap like to focus our experience into something unconventional and adventurous, which means we cater to a certain audience that is interested in such experiences.”

The Flock goes on sale on Steam on August 21 for $17.

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