It’s Halloween! If I hadn’t spent this month drowning in assignments, there would have been a lot more content to celebrate this fact. But yeah, I thought it was time to indulge in one of my main interests: gaming. As I’m not a massive fan of modern horror games (jump scares ain’t my thing), I thought I’d create a list of games that aren’t designed for this holiday but still fit the mood. There’s something off or creepy about these games that I truly appreciate.
- Don’t Starve.
Don’t Starve is a wonderful little game that is insanely difficult. You’re dropped off in the middle of no-where, no idea how you got there, and you need to survive. This game deals with issues like isolation, psychosis (your character will hallucinate at one point or another), fear of the dark, and insecurities about the future. Everything is a potential threat, you know you can die at any moment. This is a game that’s easy to learn but almost impossible to master. If you haven’t played it already, it’s time to pick it up.
2. This War of Mine
This War of Mine is one of my all time favourite games. A civil war has broken out, you’re a civilian trying to survive until a ceasefire is put in place. This is very much a real life horror scenario and the developers did not shy away from difficult questions. If this game doesn’t get an emotional reaction out of you, you probably don’t have a heart. This game examines a very unusual perspective of warfare that most games never even acknowledge and it is very much a game for adults.
This little gem is a glorious experience. It’s over the top, has FMVs, hints at satanic rituals, and features some of the most awkward conversations ever. This is a murder mystery and you’re playing a police officer who is trying to solve the case. You do this by interviewing people, searching for clues, and finding contradictory statements. This game is almost like an extended demo or showpiece for the studio and it is truly unique. You’ll be laughing your ass off at the deliberate overacting and it’s truly a wonderful few hours you’ll get from this game.
4. The Wolf Among Us
I’m a big fan of Fables, the comic book series this game is based on. This is another murder mystery game but set in New York during the 1980’s (?) and the characters all come from Fables. The art is fantastic, TellTale truly succeeded in bringing the comic to the screen. The dialogue is great, the voice actors are good, the final battle is epic, and if you’re afraid of urban legends you’ll probably find yourself avoiding looking in the mirror afterwards.
5. Dead In Bermuda
Another survival management game. A plane crashes on an isolated island and it’s your job to survive long enough to figure out how to get off this tropical paradise. The characters are memorable, it takes a few tries to figure things out, the game is at a perfect difficulty level, the plot is not what you expect it to be, and this is essentially what Lost could have been like. The cons include the fact that there’s a few translation errors (the developers are French if I’m not mistaken) and if you don’t like resource management games then this is probably not for you.
6. Grim Fandango – Remastered
This is the remastered version of the truly classic game Grim Fandango. I only just bought it, so I can’t give a full review but I have only heard good things about it. The graphics have been updated but the core of the game is kept intact. If you’ve yet to discover one of the truly iconic games in well, the history of gaming, then now’s a good chance.
7. Hatoful Boyfriend
This is one of the weirdest games ever made, and yes, it’s Japanese. Somehow, birds have taken over the world and you’re a human female who becomes the first non-bird student at a prestigious high school. This game is meant to be a dating sim, but it keeps dropping hints of something more. If you can get past the insane exterior and complete the game, you’ll discover one of the most epic mindfucks ever written. This game claims to be a cute and quirky dating sim, but it’s lying and I’m so happy it is.
8. Plague Inc: Evolved
Feel like playing something casual? Something where there isn’t much of a plot? You’re trying to create a plague to eradicate mankind. That’s pretty much it, it’s a great game for road trips or when you just want to keep yourself occupied without making too much of an effort. This was released around the time when the big Ebola outbreak occurred and the thought of a disease being able to erase our species is pretty scary.
This is a short, free, point and click game. If you’re on Steam you can just download it straight away. I played through it in half an hour and it creeped me out. This is probably the game on this list that comes the closest to actual horror. You’re playing a man who is in his cabin and something doesn’t feel quite right. It’s your job to find the clues in the cabin to unlock your memories to find out what’s really going on. If you have a very limited amount of time, this is a good option to still get you in Halloween mood.
10. Portal & Portal 2
This was a triumph. These games are modern classics for a good reason. They’re essentially physics puzzles with the single most memorable villain to ever speak out of metal. If the idea of AI and machines taking over the world scares you, this series will be a great option. The creep factor is high, they will make you smile, and they’re quite tricky.