Spoopy Halloween 201917th October 2019
If you want to get into the Halloween spirit, I’m here to do my best to give you all the spoops you need. I associate Halloween with a particular vibe, but I also know that for many, if it’s scary, it’s Halloween-y. I’ll be doing my best to cover both, but also to provide a variety, so everyone can hopefully find something to give them a good scare.
Now, my horror cadets (friendlier than horror newbies, right?), first and foremost I will direct you to my easing into horror games list. I disclose precisely what you can expect in decent horror starter games. But wait wait wait. Don’t go yet! While this list is more for the horror masters, most of these games are actually fun to watch others play if you can’t stomach playing them yourself. So feel free to take note of these still.
My most potent association with Halloween is the slasher genre, as I’m sure it is for many people. It doesn’t even need to be scary, but the vibe is entirely Halloween to me.
You go to camp. You wake up to blood everywhere. You have to escape a homicidal bear with a knife. That’s pretty Halloween to me.
Lakeview Cabin Collection
Lakeview Cabin is a homage to classic horror films of the 70s and 80s. What better way to get into the Halloween spirit than by getting dumped into a slasher film? This is quite a challenging one, but it’s also sandbox-style, so it’s still fun.
Friday the 13th: Killer Puzzle
What could possibly be more Halloween than Jason Voorhees? Okay, it’s a puzzle game (a free one…), so not particularly scary, but it’s Friday the 13th. There is, of course, a Friday the 13th game. However, I have not played it. Since I haven’t touched it myself, I can’t, in good conscience, suggest you all go out and buy it. Also, the devs are legally unable to do anything more with the game. So I’m suggesting a lighthearted alternative.
Also, please visit their website. Best. Page. Ever.
There are so many ways to be scary, and I think anything with a retro vibe should be in its own category. Whether it’s unsettling because of stylistic choices, evoking early memories, or, if you’re quite young, the unease of something before your time.
Waygetter Electronics // Little Flag Software, LLC
This game is like Nightmare Before Christmas… is it Halloween-y, is it Christmas-y? It’s set at Christmas, but it’s a horror experience. If you’re a 90s kid, and if you have unresolved past Furby ownership issues, then this is terrifying. If you have no idea what a Furby is, it’ll just be a simple jump-scare experience.
I’ve already mentioned this game before, and the dev probably thinks I’m a little too obsessed with it. But it’s a great retro horror experience. Don’t plan your entire evening around it, because it’s super short, it’s more of a proof-of-ability. Makes an excellent aperitif before jumping into another, longer, horror experience.
This should really be under the slasher section, but the super retro feel is overwhelming. I’m just generally a massive fan of what Puppet Combo does. In this game, you become a babysitter, and you need to survive a murderous rampage. All in retro Playstation 1 and VHS style glory.
Power Drill Massacre
Aaaaand it’s Puppet Combo, again! Slasher film and PS1 inspired gore! You’re trapped in an abandoned building… and need to survive a …murderous rampage. This doesn’t bode well for my next one. But. Shush, it’s good. It’s Puppet Combo.
Night of the Nun… aka Nun Massacre
You’re trapped in your daughter’s boarding school and have to survive a murderous rampage. In retro glory. Look, it’s a terrifying nun trying to kill you, by Puppet Combo.
If you get into the Halloween spirit through immersing yourself in a pool of creepiness, here are my choices for losing yourself in the spoopy moment.
Layers of Fear
Blooper Team are amazing at creating an immersive atmosphere. It may not be the most terrifying horror experience out there, but it’s freeroam in a beautiful, ever-changing environment. There’s still spooks, and there’s gorgeous music.
This is an atmospheric, creepy puzzle horror game. For me, this is all about the atmosphere, but I wasn’t sure whether to include it. It seems opinions are pretty divided on this one, the only thing people agree on is that the atmosphere is creeptastic.
More Bloober Team! I do love the way they create atmosphere and tension. This one has some very clever mechanics, but most importantly, you have a companion! You have a very good boi. The best boi.
My favourite boi. My second favourite boi.
Visage could easily go into the jump-scare section because booooy does it have those. However, this, to me, is a master-crafted horror experience. The atmosphere gets right under your skin. It’s scary long before there’s even a jump-scare. You also have to manage your sanity, as it starts to deteriorate when you’re in the dark.
This game is still in Early Access, so please be aware of that.
What’s scarier than your heart jumping into your throat? Now, I’m not keen on games and films that spam jump-scares. Taking advantage of a fundamental human physiological response just seems a bit cheap to me. That being said, jump-scares in of themselves are not necessarily cheap. They can be very effective when done right.
Five Nights at Freddy’s
Can we call this a cult classic now? FNAF exploded. A whole series, books, plush toys (which I’m super into) and countless fan games. It has inspired many games with its mechanics. It’s a pretty stressful experience, trying to manage your power, doors and keeping track of animatronics through screens, trying to prevent a jump scare death.
The Joy of Creation
I had to include some FNAF fan games, I just had to. If you are a FNAF fan, The Joy of Creation is definitely a fan game you should try. It’s done so well, and it’s done purely out of a passion for the franchise. This one has some great variety and creates some intricate lore.
Game Jolt – The Joy of Creation: Story Mode (free)
(Sorry, no fancy embeds for Game Jolt)
This is another fan game series I wanted to include, and I would like to suggest the whole series, because lore. This is probably more of a recommendation for FNAF fans, but so many FNAF games are incredible in quality and dedication. JeliLiam took down the original Final Nights, saying “just wasn’t up to my new quality standards” – so you’ll have to start with 2.
Welcome to the Game 1 & 2
These are probably the most frustrating games of all time, but still so good. It’s punishing, there’s a lot of RNG, intense jump-scares, and disturbing content. Personally, I like the second game a lot more, because it’s free-roam, and it’s a lot more complex, and generally has a lot more of everything. You have to surf the dark web, dodge hacking attacks, and try to survive a lot of people trying to kill you.
Like the classic Doki Doki Literature Club, Love, Sam makes you believe it’s going one way and then swerves somewhere different. There’s a lot of reading in this one, but it also brings the spoops. Many, many spoops.
Note – the game had crosshairs turned off by default for me, so there were several times I struggled, so make sure crosshairs are on before you do anything!
Emily Wants to Play & Emily Wants to Play Too
If you’re scared of dolls, you might want to give this one a wide berth. Murderous dolls. Oh, and there’s a clown. It’s ‘simple’ – Emily and her friends want to play with you. Unfortunately, this tends to end in your death. You have to work out how to avoid dying and survive long enough to escape.
Also available on android, iOS, XBox One & Playstation 4
If none of that moved you, then I only have one suggestion:
Escape The Ayuwoki
…and if you don’t get it, say it out loud.
Once you’re all gamed out, I have one last recommendation: bundle up in bed in the dark, visit Creepypasta.com, and fall into a deep dark rabbit hole of creepiness. If you’re unfamiliar with creepypasta: they’re short internet stories that have given rise to intensely creepy games and many urban legends. Slender? Yeah, that’s a creepypasta.