‘Tis the season for fear and fright, and what better way to scare yourself silly than by playing a few games to fuel your nightmares?
There are several critically-acclaimed video games, like Silent Hill and Dead Space, that will fill you with genuine terror. You’ve also got episodic video games, like Penumbra, which will scare you more than once. But these games aren’t cheap.
Fortunately, there are lots of lesser-known horror games out there that are free yet horrifying. You just have to know where to find them. Here’s a short list to get you started.
1. Covetous [No Longer Available]
Covetous is an old browser game from 2010 that still lives up even now. It’s extremely short — beatable within 5 minutes — and is barely much of a “game” at all, but for the short time that you spend playing this, it’s intensely creepy and disturbing, especially towards the end.
Eyes is a simple collect-’em-all game, but don’t let your guard down for even one moment. There are threats lurking around every corner and you must preserve your stamina if you’re going to survive. it’s creepy, atmospheric, and shocking.
“Three seconds in and I’m terrified.” Take the words of this commenter to heart before playing this game. And not only is it terrifying as a browser experience, but you can play Dark Deception with an Oculus Rift for a more immersive, more pants-crappingly scary time.
An innocent name like Hide and Seek is already imaginatively spooky, but if the name doesn’t sell you on this game, then the thumbnails will. This is also a simple collect-’em-all game, but most people who play it quit before finding that last memory. Will you?
As soon as you load this game, you’re hit by a creepy distortion of the traditional “ice cream truck song” that we’ve all heard at one time or another. This simple puzzle game is horrifying in its narrative, destroying the childhood innocence of a young girl in a way that demands a real emotional response. It’s haunting.
1. Vanish (Windows, Mac, Linux)
Vanish is the kind of game that you stop playing because you can’t bear to see what’s around the next corner. It’s eerie and menacing in all the right ways, but best of all, it’s cross-platform! If you want a free horror experience, there’s no reason not to play this one.
2. Slender (Windows, Mac)
By now, everyone has heard of the Slenderman urban legend from one source or another, and it may have worn out its welcome over the past few years — but if you haven’t already, you should really play Slender. You can finish it in less than 30 minutes, but you’ll be frightened senseless before you reach the end.
3. White Day (Windows)
White Day is a Korean game that was eventually abandoned due to poor sales and made available to download for free with an English patch. It’s an oldie (released in 2000) but is considered by many who’ve played it to be the scariest game ever. It has much in common with Amnesia, so if you liked that, then you’ll love this.
4. SCP Containment Breach (Windows)
“Don’t blink or you die.” SCP Containment Breach is what you get when horror meets procedural generation. Your goal is to escape the containment site, but the world is randomly generated each time you play, so no two play-throughs are the same. This game is just a glimpse of what might be possible with future advancements in procedural generation.
5. 7 Days (Windows)
Don’t confuse it with 7 Days To Die. As an experimental indie game, you might figure that 7 Days isn’t worth playing, but there’s a bizarrely uncanny atmosphere to this game thanks to its low-poly graphics. It’s a great game packed with emotion and spookiness, and it deserves a chance.
Keep in mind that the above games might be too scary for children. However, we think kids should be able to join in the on the frightfest that is Halloween, so here are some spooky games suitable for kids that you should be able to share with your young ones.
Which games are you playing this Halloween? What’s the scariest game you’ve ever played? It doesn’t have to be free, but if it is, even better! Share with us in the comments below.
Image Credits:shocked businessman by ArtFamily via Shutterstock
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