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This Halloween, when your kids ask you trick or treat, give them the treat of some spooky video games. Not all horror games are meant only for adults.

It’s difficult to find kid-friendly games that will frighten them without giving them nightmares. You can’t give a child an iPad loaded with the zombie-killing Dead Trigger 2, after all. Children need something a little more age-appropriate, without skimping on the scary elements.

Considering that every kid these days is born with a tablet in their hands, we went on a Halloween hunt for the best horror games for kids. Here’s what we found!

1. Plants vs. Zombies 2

  • Platforms — iOS, Android
  • Type — Strategy / Tower Defense
  • Appropriate for — All Ages
  • Horror Element — Cartoon Zombies
  • Gore — None

Zombies are always a favorite during Halloween time. But telling a kid about the undead might be a little too frightening. The megahit Plants vs. Zombies franchise turns the walking dead into an all-ages-appropriate game.

Plants vs. Zombies 2 is free-to-play and tremendous fun at the same time. You have to plot your variety of attack plants in the right place to stop the zombies from invading. The zombies also vary in appearance, from simple undead stragglers to mummies and pirates.

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It’s a game that relies more on your child’s imagination, which is actually better than scaring them outright. Be warned that there are plenty of in-app purchases (IAPs). It’s advisable to disable in-app purchases What Are In-App Purchases & How Can I Disable Them? [MakeUseOf Explains] What Are In-App Purchases & How Can I Disable Them? [MakeUseOf Explains] "I can’t believe it!" my cousin said to me the other day, "someone’s just bought a $10 in-app purchase on my mother’s phone, and she doesn’t even know what I’m talking about!". Sounds familiar? How... Read More before you hand it to your kid, since you don’t want an accidental bill.

DownloadPlants vs. Zombies 2 for Android (Free) or for iOS (Free)

2. Dead Eyes

  • Platforms — iOS, Android
  • Type — Turn-Based Strategy
  • Appropriate for — 9+
  • Horror Element — Zombies, Creepy Music
  • Gore — None

More zombies! This time, the spookiness factor has been turned up quite a few notches. Gone are the cartoonish zombies, replaced with pixelated undead, straggling along towards you.

Dead Eyes is a turn-based strategy game, much in the same mold as our beloved Lara Croft: Go. Each step the character takes, so will the zombies on a predetermined path for them. Your child’s only job is to get away from all the zombies by charting a smart path where the undead won’t walk.

The game’s pixelated, black-and-white art style makes it much spookier than others in this genre. The real kicker is the haunting background score, which boosts the creepy factor to maximum. Tell your child to play it with headphones on, if they dare.

One good thing about Dead Eyes? You pay the three bucks it asks for, and you’ll never be bothered with in-app purchases or ads.

DownloadDead Eyes for Android ($2.99) or for iOS ($2.99)

3. Goosebumps: Night of Scares

  • Platforms — iOS, Android
  • Type — Point-and-Click Adventure Puzzle
  • Appropriate for — 9+
  • Horror Element — Cartoonish Monsters
  • Gore — None

R. L. Stine is the king of writing horror fiction for young readers. And for the first time, his imagination has been brought to the mobile screen with Goosebumps: Night of Scares. The game is age-appropriate for any child who reads the Goosebumps series of books.

In the game, R. L. Stine is voiced by Jack Black. All of the creatures from the Goosebumps books have come to life, including Slappy the Dummy, werewolves, evil gnomes, and so on. Stine is stuck in a typewriter, and will tell you how to capture all the monsters in his magic book, so you can finally set him free. It’s a point-and-click adventure game, but with a few frights and jump scares thrown in.

The game is also among the few kid-friendly games available on virtual reality headset Oculus Rift How the Oculus Rift Works and Why You Need One How the Oculus Rift Works and Why You Need One Why is there so much excitement over the Oculus Rift? Because it's a technological marvel. Here's how it works and why you're going to love it. Read More . So your teen can actually put on the headset and be a part of the action! It’s not recommended for younger children, but as long as you have a mature teenager, it should be fine. Here’s a quick video showing what such kids thought about it:

It’s an enjoyable game that never gets too frightening, unless you’re wearing the VR headset. With the headset on, the sudden alarming moments can be too much to handle.

DownloadGoosebumps: Night of Scares for Android (Free) or for iOS (Free)

4. Five Nights at Freddy’s

  • Platforms — iOS, Android
  • Type — Strategy
  • Appropriate for — 12+
  • Horror Element — Large Robotic Animal Dolls
  • Gore — None

If you want your child to stop pestering you to take them to Chuck-E-Cheese, get them to play Five Nights at Freddy’s. Even for adults, it’s one of the perfect scary games for Halloween 10 Scary iPhone & iPad Games, Just in Time for Halloween 10 Scary iPhone & iPad Games, Just in Time for Halloween Not be left out of a scene that's dominated by console titles, iPhone game developers have come up with a slew of their own horror games. Read More . Set in a similar establishment, the robotic animal mascots like giant teddy bears and ducks come to life at night at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza.

Playing as the newly hired security guard, the hero is safely sitting in their booth. But the mascots are bent on turning him into a robot too. There’s a limited amount of electricity available for the guard. You must check on all these mascots using an array of cameras, which take up power. The lights need to be used sparingly, since they take up power. Large doors can be closed or opened, but again, that takes up power.

The question is if the guard can last the night with the limited amount of electricity he has. And if he manages to last, can he do it for four more nights at this nightmarish kids’ restaurant?

Your child might need some help on this one, since it’s a difficult game. And get ready to hear the clanking sounds of moving robots whenever you’re in the dark. Common Sense Media, which reviews movies and games for parents with kids 8 Great Movie Review Sites For Parents With Kids In Mind 8 Great Movie Review Sites For Parents With Kids In Mind Fancy an evening watching movies as a family? Let's explore a few of the best movie review sites for kids so that you can choose the best go-to site for your family's needs. Read More , says Five Nights at Freddy’s is appropriate for children over 12 years.

Once you’re done with the first part, there are four sequels to play as well. And if you ask us, they’re worth the time and money if you like the series Is Five Nights at Freddy's 4 Worth Buying, or Is It More of the Same? Is Five Nights at Freddy's 4 Worth Buying, or Is It More of the Same? Five Nights at Freddy's 4 has made a surprise appearance on Steam. Is it actually any good? Let’s find out! Read More .

DownloadFive Nights at Freddy’s for Android ($2.99) or for iOS ($2.99)

5. Limbo

  • Platforms — iOS, Android
  • Type — Platformer
  • Appropriate for — 13+
  • Horror Element — Monsters, Art Style, Eerie Music
  • Gore — None

Good horror isn’t just about jump scares and gruesome monsters. Sometimes, it’s about being subtly building an atmosphere that is dark, gloomy, and full of eerie possibilities.

Limbo is a game so pretty you’ll forget it’s on mobile 5 Games so Pretty You'll Forget They're Played on a Smartphone 5 Games so Pretty You'll Forget They're Played on a Smartphone If you're tired of playing yet another flappy bird clone and want games that are truly beautiful, you'll love these. Read More . Your child will play as a boy who sets out to rescue his sister from an unforeseen evil. The spooky, dim lighting, the gothic art style, and the use of shadows builds an ambiance of dread. And there’s a dull-but-ominous background score that keeps the scare factor going throughout the game.

The game is entirely about solving puzzles and problems to get to the end of every level. It can get a little difficult for children at times, so you might need to help them out.

I’d reckon Common Sense Media is being overcautious in advocating this as a game for those above 16 years. The parents and kids who reviewed the game say it’s fine for children above 12–13 years.

DownloadLimbo for Android ($4.99) or for iOS ($4.99)

What Did We Miss?

Apart from these five scary games for different age groups, which others have you tried with your children? Are there any Halloween must-have games for kids that you recommend?

Let us know in the comments section below!

Image Credits: p_ponomareva/Shutterstock

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