Halloween is one month away and you know what that means — it’s time to order that pumpkin spiced latte and turn off the lights, because there’s no better time for a scare! Whether you’re a scaredy cat, or ready to punch a ghost in the face, we’ve compiled a mix of indie and AAA games that are sure to frighten.
If you prefer to watch than play, you can catch our livestreams happening every weekend this October, featuring the games in this list! All you have to do is follow us on Facebook at @themagicrainmy to receive a notification when we go live.
1. Slender: The Eight Pages
It feels like horror games didn’t even exist before Slender Man blew up the Internet. Based on a 2012 creepypasta about a faceless, towering creature dressed in black, the game’s objective is to find eight notes in the forest while avoiding the Slender Man.
Most gamers have experienced Slender: The Eight Pages at least once in their lives, but it remains a household name in the indie gaming community even today. If you ever need an example of its influence in indie game developers, you only need to look at Siren Head, a new creepypasta and Slender-inspired game that released just this year.
2. Amnesia: The Dark Descent
If Slender marked the beginning of commercialised horror games, then Amnesia: The Dark Descent solidified Let’s Play as a genre of online videos. Pewdiepie, who has one of the highest Youtube subscription counts in the world, began his own Let’s Play journey with this game. In it, you play as a man named Daniel who is trying to escape a dark and foreboding castle without losing his sanity.
After all these years, A:TTD has managed to hold up as one of the scariest horror games in existence; all thanks to its ominous atmosphere and solid sound design. Within its first year, it managed to sell almost 400,000 copies and its numbers are still growing today. This doesn’t even include its two sequels, A Machine For Pigs and Rebirth!
Developed by Taiwanese studio Red Candle Games, Detention is a 2D side-scrolling horror game that puts you back in school during 1960s Taiwan. Its plot follows Wei and Ray as they unveil the mystery behind their old high school, supposedly cursed and haunted by vengeful spirits.
Despite being the studio’s first game, Red Candle Games showcases nothing but mastery in immersion. Its simple gameplay, graphic art style, and sound design all contribute to the game’s eerie atmosphere, while its character-focused story takes twists and turns that will keep players feeling dread throughout its 3 hour playtime.
4. Five Nights At Freddy’s
Believe it or not, this is the game that kickstarted a modern indie horror game revolution. In it, you play as a security guard for Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, a pastiche of the real-life Chuck E. Cheese franchise. But you soon find out that this is no normal security gig, as the store’s animatronic characters come to life at night with murderous intents.
While its main gameplay functions like a resource-management game, more people play it for its easter eggs which reveal a hidden, overarching plot. 11 games and 12 novels later, the FNAF fandom is still trying to unravel its true lore — and they’re unlikely to give up soon. So whether you want to join the hunt, or just looking for a fun scare, it’s worth playing the game that started it all.
The second title from Red Candle Games takes a strong departure from the 2D side-scrolling action in Detention. Devotion is a first-person psychological horror game that follows Du Feng Yu, a troubled screenwriter, as he relives the past tragedies that struck him and his family.
I won’t sugarcoat it: This game is highly disturbing and not for the weak of heart. However, its story and the way it interweaves East Asian culture and religion into its design and gameplay makes it worth the experience. Unfortunately, the game was removed from Steam for political reasons and is currently only available to those who bought it before the ban.
6. Spooky’s Jump Scare Mansion
Spooky and her haunted mansion may seem cute, but this jumpscare-heavy game is surprisingly scary. The objective of the game is to survive 1,000 rooms of cute jumpscares created by Spooky, the ghost of a young girl who inhabits the mansion.
It all seems rather simple at first, but after the initial cuteness wears off, the enemies get scarier and the levels more fast paced. And with save points only activating at every 100th level, completionists will have a blast trying to beat this game. Casual players? Not so much.
One of the best horror games of its time, Outlast is a scare through and through. It takes place in a psychiatric hospital (of course) where you play as journalist Miles Upshur as he investigates the rumours of inhumane experiments being conducted at Mount Massive Asylum.
Unlike most horror games, Outlast doesn’t have any visible health bar or attack options. The decision to leave the player completely helpless, except for limited stealth tactics, only elevates the game’s tension further while earning it plenty of positive reviews for effectiveness.
8. Night of the Consumers
If you’ve ever worked a service job, this indie horror game might hit a little too close to home. In Night of the Consumers, you play as an employee on their first day of the job. With the store closing in a matter of minutes, your main objective is to survive the crowds of customers demanding last-minute assistance.
Accurately enough, the game features every aspect of a nightmare job: An unreasonable manager, aggressive customers, and a shift that never seems to end. Gameplay includes stocking shelves and serving customers within an unforgiving time limit, while its art style adds even more horror to this already-stressful game. In three words: Welcome to hell.
9. Baldi’s Basics
As one of the meme-horror games to release in the wake of Five Nights at Freddy’s, Baldi’s Basics is both incredibly ridiculous and ridiculously infuriating to play. Your goal as the player is to escape school by collecting seven notebooks Slender-style, all the while running from Baldi, the school’s head teacher.
But Baldi isn’t your only obstacle in the game. From the discipline teacher to the school bully, every enemy is randomly generated with location and movement pattern at the start of each round, making Baldi’s Basics equal parts skill and luck. So what I’m trying to say is, good luck!
10. Silent Hill: P.T.
Finally, a legend among legends — Silent Hill: P.T. was originally designed as an interactive teaser for a new Silent Hill instalment. Directed by Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro, the game follows an unknown protagonist as he tries to escape a mysterious house — but there’s a catch: Every time he opens the door at the end of the corridor, he loops back to the beginning again in an endless loop.
The teaser quickly gained critical acclaim not only for its direction, but also its tension building and story complexity. However, it was its eventual cancellation that drove it to viral fame. When the teaser was removed from the PlayStation Store, some fans uploaded copies online while others drew inspiration to create games of their own, inspired by its looping concept. Needless to say, this is definitely one almost-game worth experiencing.
Did any of these games give you a rush of adrenaline? We hope so! Because we’ll be livestreaming all of these games every week this October.
To be notified when we go live, all you have to do is follow us on Facebook at @themagicrainmy. We’ll see you there!