Still looking for more frights in your witching season? Well we enjoyed making the last list that we thought we’d take another crack at it to see if we couldn’t make the lightning surrounding the creepy haunted mansion strike twice.
The Forest is a strange beast for this list. The gameplay has more in common with Minecraft than it does with most games you’d traditionally associate with horror. Your first few hours of gameplay involve cutting down a bunch of trees, tabbing out to a wiki page and basically trying to set yourself up enough not to pointlessly die. However as time goes by and the creepy cannibals make their presence known and you find yourself delving into the storyline the games horror undertones become overtones and your shoes slowly begin to fill with urine.
Disgusting jokes aside The Forest is dripping with creepy atmosphere, and the building system isn’t too obtuse or impenetrable. It might take some getting used to but the sense of fear and horror that the game imparts is very real, and honestly the build up is definitely worth the pay off.
If there is one thing that can step up horror from ‘spooky’ to ‘oh my god I’m having a heart attack’, it is basing it on real life. The Dyatlov mountain pass incident is the story of several Russian students who were killed under mysterious circumstances on the slopes of Kholat Syakhl in the northern Ural Mountains. Over the years since their bodies were discovered there have been countless theories, documentaries and even films made about what could have happened to cause the strange death of these 9 people.
Kholat is a horror game which tries to interpret the happenings in its own way, featuring a lot of snow, a digital reconstruction of the 9 victims base camp and also Sean Bean (for some reason). At first it almost feels like a documentary that you can play, albeit one with a very creepy atmosphere running through it, but as you get further in things begin to devolve. By the 20 to 30 minute mark you’re almost too scared to continue, and honestly is there any better advert for a horror game?
Among the Sleep
When we’re kids it’s pretty easy to scare us. Among the Sleep is a game which tries to capitalize on that fact, putting you square in the booties of a 2 to 3 year old baby. Among the Sleep is possibly one of the most interesting horror games out there, and for more than just its odd premise. By putting you in the place of such a young child the game manages to make some very mundane things seem scary. What is that loud noise by the door? What it the living room like at night? What is hiding in the dark?.
It is always interesting to be presented with a game based on a different culture and history. Year Walk is based on an ancient pagan tradition of Swedish origin, and is dripping in Swedish folklore. Year Walking was a type of vision quest undertaken to try and divine the future, and Year Walk takes the player on their own future seeking vision quest.
Year Walk starts out feeling very peaceful and calm, but it’s not long before the creep-o-meter starts to ramp up. You come across mythological creatures and spirits, some of which are none too friendly, and the entire experience has an otherworldly feel to it. You get hints to help you along if you get stuck, and there’s an encyclopedia filled with information about the tradition itself and the spirits you meet along the way. At only an hour or so long Year Walk is the perfect bite-sized Halloween treat.
Lone Survivor is something of a special game. It manages to capture the oppressive atmosphere of the early Silent Hill games. It is filled with strange monsters, an interesting and involving story and a surprisingly large amount of gameplay. Lone Survivor also manages to pack all of this onto a 2D plane made up entirely of pixel graphics.
The gameplay is deceptively simple, but once you get started you can end up getting sucked into an 8 hour play session, slowly creeping around a seemingly abandoned town. All of the survival horror elements are there, sparse ammo, finite health, strange encounters. It’s like someone took everything that made those games great and compressed them down into the perfect package. If you’re looking for something classic that’ll scare you silly, then look no further than Lone Survivor.
How about you? What are some of your favorite games to play during the Halloween season?