It’s October and Halloween is coming up, so it’s that obligatory time of year where you play at least one scary game. There are the popular franchises that guarantee a fright likeThe Evil Within, Outlast, and Five Nights at Freddy’s. They’re fine games, but they aren’t the only scary video games out there. Here are four scary games you ought to play for Halloween that you might have overlooked.
The Park is a psychological horror game from Funcom that came out in 2015. You play as Lorraine, a single mother who searches for her son, Callum, in an abandoned creepy theme park. The game explores Lorraine’s story and emotions in soliloquies as the player progresses through the amusement park as well as the amusement park’s dark history.
It’s clear Lorraine suffers from anxiety and depression, and a big part of the psychological aspect of this game is deciphering what’s real and what’s a figment of Lorraine’s imagination. The Park is also a short game, only about two hours long, which is perfect since the game is less about jump scares and more about getting in your head.
You can purchase The Park on Steam for $12.99
Detention is not a role-playing game, but it’s hard not to role play when you have to walk past the “lingered” and you hold your breath with the character. You play the game primarily as Ray in a deserted school in 1960s Taiwan. As you solve puzzles throughout the game, you learn Ray’s story and the school’s history.
Detention is a fascinating departure from some horror game tropes. Fighting and running away aren’t major game mechanics, and there isn’t a clear cut enemy trying to get you. Detention is more eerie than scary because you’re wrestling with the consequences of a bad situation versus merely reacting to it. Much like The Park, Detention leaves you with something at the end of the game versus just providing an experience.
Detention is available on Steam for $11.99.
Bendy and the Ink Machine
In Bendy and the Ink Machine, you play as Henry, who is invited by his old friend Joey Drew back to the animation studio they worked at years ago. Joey invited Henry over to the long-abandoned studio to check out an ink machine, and that’s where the game starts.
I’ve only played through chapter 1, and what I really like about Bendy and the Ink Machine is the quirkiness. The main character is in an abandoned cartoon studio and looks like an old 1940s cartoon itself. There’s ink everywhere, the antagonist is obsessed with ink, the ink is kinda…sorta…not really blood. It’s weird but I like it.
This game is a good choice if you want one that’s a little more “chill” but still gets you into the spooky, Halloween mood. There are jump scares, but they don’t interfere with your ability to complete the puzzles.
The first chapter of Bendy and the Ink Machine is free to play on Steam.
There are five chapters total: chapters 2 and 3 cost $5.99 each while chapters 4 and 5 have not yet been released.
Yes, Clock Tower came out in 1995 for the PS1, so you either need the disc or an emulator to play this one. But, if you want to go retro for your Halloween gaming, then Clock Tower is an excellent choice that’s not Resident Evil.
Clock Tower is a point-and-click game where you’re constantly running around in a panic. Scissorman is chasing you, he’s managed to kill everyone else in the building, he’s blocked all the exits and cut off all the phone lines. You can’t kill Scissorman, at least not yet, although doing so will solve everything. So, what are you going to do?
If you want a game where you’re just about screaming the whole time, and fearful of giant gardening shears the rest of your life, then Clock Tower is the game to play. Clock Tower can be found on emulator or purchased online or at a retro video games store near you.
This list is by no means an exhaustive list. What lesser known horror game do you really enjoy? Let us know in the comments!