Ask any kid. Halloween is more than just an hour spent walking from door to door, collecting enough sugar-laden candy to induce a diabetic coma.
It’s an entire day spent celebrating the supernatural. The scary. The bizarre. You get to wear eyecatching costumes, and decorate your house like the set of the Adams Family movies. And if you’re into video games, there are more than enough that’ll frighten. Here are six of the best that are suitable for under-16s.
Ever see Friday The 13th? Ao Oni is a bit like that, but much, much scarier. You’re placed in the shoes of Japanese adolescent Hiroshi. He, along with three of his closest friends, make the decision to visit an abandoned mansion, which unbeknownst to him is haunted. The aim of the game is to survive long enough to escape from the museum, whilst simultaneously dodging incarnations of the Oni monster, and solving puzzles.
It’s a bone-chilling way to spend All-Hallows Eve, and you can get it for free. You’ll need RPG Maker XP to run it though.
Legend of Zelda – Majora’s Mask
It’s easy to dismiss the Zelda series as children’s fantasy games, incapable of the suspense and tension required to shock and scare. But Majora’s Mask – the sixth installation in the series – shows that not to be the case.
The game – available for the Nintendo Wii in Europe, North America and Japan – puts you in the shoes of Link who has to save Termina from certain destruction at the hands of the evil Skull Kid, who has sent the land’s moon slowly hurtling towards it. It’s scary. It’s dark. It’s Zelda, but not how you know it.
Slender : The Eight Pages
If David Lynch made one video game in his long career, it probably would have been Slender : The Eight Pages. This survival-horror is set in the fugue of a forest at midnight, where you have to collect eight pages of a secret tome whilst avoiding ‘The Slenderman’ – a thin, besuited, faceless apparition.
This atmospheric tour-de-force is free, and can be downloaded for OS X and Windows. Don’t have nightmares.
If you’ve got a Gamecube gathering dust in your attic, you should give Luigi’s Mansion a try.
Published in 2002, the game puts you in the perspective of Italian Plumber and professional Bob Selleck impersonator, Luigi. After being sent to an abandoned mansion, your brother soon goes missing, and it’s up to you to find him. To do that, you team up with the creepy E. Gadd, who furnishes you with a ghost-killing vacuum cleaner. Yes, the variety of weapons sucks (pun absolutely intended), but that doesn’t stop it from being a charming, ghost-themed romp through the Mario world.
Time to dust off that Gamecube.
Huntsman – The Orphanage
‘Game’ isn’t really the word I’d use to describe Huntsman – The Orphanage. It doesn’t do this incredibly narrative-driven, cinematic survival horror experience any justice.
The plot (which I won’t spoil for you) brings you to an abandoned orphanage, filled with the ghostly remnants of a monstrous act committed 20 years ago. You have to investigate what happened, whilst simultaneously showing compassion to the victims and avoiding the malevolent Huntsman. You have no weapons, other than your own speed and agility.
It’s dark. It’s chilling. It’s well written. It’s available for PC on Steam .
Earlier this month, a Texan man found himself locked in a London bookstore, after it had closed for the night. In Ib (pronounced ‘eeb’), a similar thing happens to the protagonist, except she’s in a museum where after hours, the exhibits come to life. And they’re out to get her.
Like Ao Oni, the game is available for free on PC, and requires RPG Maker XP.
I Ain’t Afraid Of No Ghosts
Each of these games are totally suitable for anyone under 14. Though some may be a little to scary for really young children. Use discretion when deciding what kind of horror experience it right for your family!
Did I miss any? Let me know. Drop me a comment below.
Image Credits: Girl at computer Via Shutterstock