Halloween is the season for spooks and scares! And there’s no better way to celebrate than by immersing yourself in blood-chilling scenarios from the comfort of your own home, where nothing could ever hurt you — or could it?
We’ve curated a list of indie horror games for our most daring and fearless readers. These games innovate outside of the box with scares that will have you jumping out of your chair, and stories that will stick in your brain long after the game is over. Of course, don’t hold us accountable if you can’t sleep tonight. That’s all on you, mate.
Warning: Not for the faint of heart.
I mean it when I say Visage is truly terrifying. It draws inspiration from the likes of P.T. in creating a horror landscape so realistic and so immersive, that it twists your stomach into a thousand tiny knots at the creak of a door. The trailer below is a good indication of the brilliant sound mixing in this game. It opens up to the player’s soft yet pronounced footsteps, punctuated ever so slightly by the squelch of their rubber soles. Nothing has happened yet, but I’m already hightailing out of here. Maybe you’ll be brave enough to stay.
Watch the full HD trailer here:
2. Pony Island
This game isn’t what it seems. Hidden beneath the guise of a fluffy game about ponies lies a twisted story about being trapped in a malfunctioning arcade game, seemingly by the Devil himself. It joins the ranks of many other “meta” games which pit the player against the game master. In order to gain control, you will be forced to think of out of the box solutions. Unfortunately, the game has a few tricks up its sleeve too.
Watch the full Steam trailer here:
3. Watson-Scott Test
The previous game turned against you. This game turns you against yourself. Designed in the style of a personality quiz (albeit a really messed up one), the Watson-Scott Test is supposed to help you “discover your deepest and darkest fears” in 30 multiple-choice questions. Simple enough, right? Here’s the catch. The game is procedurally generated with a branching narrative that shifts to match your worst fears. It also uses 3D spatial audio to heighten the experience, blurring the lines between reality and fiction. Some parting advice? Don’t play this at night.
Watch the teaser trailer here:
4. Doki Doki Literature Club
If you haven’t already been spoiled to the moon and back, you may be wondering why this chirpy-looking dating simulator makes the ranks on this horror-filled list. How I wish I could go back to the time when I was that innocent. All I can say is: play it for yourself, and go into it blind if possible. This game will change the way you view horror games forever.
Watch the full Steam trailer here:
Last but definitely not least, this horror game was made by a bunch of Malaysians! The brain child of game development company Kaigan Games, Simulacra acts as the spiritual successor to their first viral hit, ‘Sara Is Missing’, both of which are based on the concept of finding a stranger’s phone and rifling through its contents to piece together a story. It’s meant to play on the borderline obsessive attachment we feel towards our mobile devices. Of course, this game is best played on mobile.
Watch the trailer here:
And that’s it! I would have written a longer list, except I made the mistake of doing the research for this article at midnight and now I can never sleep again. Leave me a comment below if you’re in the same boat as me after playing these games, and let me know which spooked you the most!
(Personally, the Watson-Scott Test will haunt me forever and ever.)