As Halloween crawls out of the ground to give us a scare, players are preparing to get into the spooky season with some spooky games. We’ve curated a list of new games released this year that you should check out if you want to experience some true terror. Some of these are indies, some are singleplayer only, and others have a co-op element. Whether you want to soil your pants solo or with a friend, we’ve got you covered.
Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes
Why not get started with a bang. The Dark Pictures Anthology is a long-running horror series of games where the core focus is the narrative experience. In House of Ashes, the story revolves around a squad from the US army towards the end of the Iraq war. The team accidentally uncover a secret buried deep beneath the rocky desert. This one is perfect if you've got a house full of friends and a desire to get scared. Grab it on Steam and get ready to fight for your life.
Back 4 Blood
Think of Halloween and horror movies and you’ll quickly land on the zombie genre. Back 4 Blood really leans into Turtle Rock Studios’ roots, taking what Left 4 Dead achieved way back in 2008 and iterating upon it with more weapons, attachments, new mutant zombies and a card system. Where the horror really starts to shine is in the intense moments where you and your friends try desperately to survive the hordes of Ridden running at you. If you’ve got some friends to play with this Halloween, Back 4 Blood could very well rise out of the ground and hit the top of your list.
Who’d of thought taking out all of the color from a video game would make it terrifying? Well, it absolutely works for Mundaun. Set in the Swiss Alps, Mundaun takes players on a journey to uncover what happened to their grandfather. Set in an eerily quiet town, you’ll need to solve puzzles and slink around quietly, all while trying not to let the rising fear in the back of your throat stop you from playing. This one is a bit of a slow burn, so prepare to have your nerves fraying away over the course of the game. You’ll find it over on Steam.
RE 4 VR
While horror games can be scary when they’re in the normal format, what takes them to a whole new level is when you throw virtual reality into the mix. Resident Evil 4 VR is a fantastic title that long-time fans of the series will no doubt love, but it’s also an intense romp thanks to VR. Every aspect of RE4 plays extremely well in VR, whether you’re partaking in boss battles, running from zombies, or slinking through dank halls trying not to ruin another pair of pants. If you’ve got an Oculus Quest 2, this is a must-have.
Resident Evil Village
Resident Evil Village took what made RE7 so great and mixed in more of the RE4 action that fans loved. Though it might have a bit more action, the atmosphere of the Village remains as tense and horrific as you would hope. However, instead of zombies, you’ll be facing off against werewolves, tall vampire ladies, and other horrific beasts. You’ll start off feeling powerless with a desire to run through the halls yelling, and even though you’ll get more weapons later on, you’ll still wind up running through halls yelling, but you’ll at least be shooting. Don’t trick yourself this Halloween, treat yourself to Resident Evil Village.
Little Nightmares 2
The original Little Nightmares was a hit, as it leaned into the horror theme of monsters and things being way too big. If you don’t like feeling miniscule and being chased by grotesque and large monsters, then you’ll absolutely love (hate?) Little Nightmares 2. This game takes what made the first game so great and throws in some more tension. Instead of cheap jumpscares, the game tends to rely more on its unsettling atmosphere and horrific imagery, which leaves you with an otherworldly sense of foreboding. Take a stroll over to Steam to pick it up.
The Medium is one of those games that will stick with you after playing it. Taking on the role of an actual medium, Marianne, players will venture through haunting locations as you shift back and forth between two worlds: reality and the spirit world. Utilizing a fixed-position camera angle, The Medium really leans into the tension and atmosphere side of the horror genre.
Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection
Though it might not be spooky or scary in the technical sense, what’s really terrifying about Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection is the challenge. As a knight in a suit of armor (sometimes only in your love-heart speckled boxer shorts), it’s your duty to save the princess and defeat all manner of fiends that stand in your way. If you really want to feel the tension, slap it on a higher difficulty level. The game is available on a few platforms, including Steam.
Death’s Door tackles the main theme you want to discuss around Halloween: death. In this quaint title, you take on the role of a bird that reaps souls. The combat is quick and creative, with the game encouraging players to combo together a myriad of moves with the sword and bow. Keep an eye out for those freaky enemies and don’t let them overwhelm you. You can grab Death’s Door over on Steam.
Lost in Random
For a game that focuses on chance, Lost in Random is a title you’ll want to bet on and dive into. The game’s atmosphere and setting are delightfully creepy, with the overall experience reminding TJ Denzer of American McGee’s Alice games. Give this one a look if you want a horror game that you can share with a younger audience. Check out Lost in Random’s Steam page.
Metroid Dread has garnered a whole lot of positive attention, and while it might not be a true horror game, it does have plenty of tense moments. Exploring a dark and dangerous location all by yourself is concerning enough, and that’s before you consider the nigh unstoppable EMMI robots tucked around what feels like each corner. These things will hunt you down with ferocity unlike anything else in the game, killing you in one swift instant if you’re not fast. Metroid Dread is a great entry in the long-running series and one you should treat yourself with this Halloween season.
Card games and deck-building might not sound like a horror game, but the atmosphere and design of Inscryption is enough to send shivers down your spine. The game blends together roguelike elements with deck-building and throws in escape room puzzles for good measure. There’s an unnerving element to Inscryption which makes it the perfect option for a late night Halloween game session.
Happy Game is anything but. This horrific and terrifying experience will strike fear into your heart or make you extremely uneasy. In Happy Game, you must help a boy who has fallen asleep and gotten stuck in a nightmare. The world is absolutely heinous and filled with awful creatures and eldritch beings. Go on, check it out.
There are a ton of other fantastic games out there that will leave you feeling creeped out, horrified, or just plain unnerved throughout the entire experience. But if you’re looking for some good clean terrifying fun this Halloween, check out some of these titles that were released this year. What other games released this year that left you feeling nice and spooked?
Sam Chandler posted a new article, 13 terrifying horror games to play this Halloween
Not gonna lie, this list not having a single Frictional Games title on it vacates any sense of subject matter authority!
Nope. "We’ve curated a list of new games released this year that you should check out if you want to experience some true terror."
Skipped right to the list. I stand corrected 🙂
I knew it! Haha. Nobody reads, but it's cool. You took the time to check it out and you engaged. Thanks. :)
anyone else playing Inscryption? easily my indie GOTY, love it. Can't say much but wow(wow)wow WOW!
I want to check this out because it's been hyped, but I've never really got into deck building games. How hard is to pick up? What's the onboarding like?
It did take a little getting used to the mechanics are simple enough but slightly different than the norm. I would put it at a medium difficulty. I love card builders (slay the spire, monster train are my jam). This is not quite like that as your deck is always evolving and starting over. The game has a demo, give it a shot see if it is up your alley. I think the art is beautiful and love the "escape room" mechanic. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1092790/Inscryption/