The horror games of Halloween

Posted by David Konow

With Halloween nearly upon us, not only are there tons of great frightening movies to watch, but a lot of horror themed games you can play too.

As a long time horror fan and old school gamer, it’s funny to think of games being scary, especially if you grew up in the old days of Atari and Coleco. But as we all know by now, gaming has come a long way since then.


 
So going through a few lists on the 'Net, what games are most recommended to play this Halloween? Resident Evil comes up of course, because it’s the zombie game pioneer. Actually, as The Daily Collegian notes, it’s survival zombie horror. Undead or not, survival games are big sh*t these days, and Res Evil definitely helped launch both genres, big time. 
 
Next on their list is BioShock, which at one point was going to be a movie with Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean) directing. Like any good mystery, it gets more exciting the more layers of the story you unravel, and as Stephen Margelony-Lajoie writes, "Players must slowly put the pieces together of what happened themselves."
 
In the case of a movie like Se7en, the audience never "jumps the wall," meaning the movie never takes you to the killer’s lair before the cops themselves discover it. You know as much as they do until they come in contact with the killer, and you’re not given any clues until it’s time. Like any great horror movie, the sound in BioShock also goes a long way in scaring the player. 
 
We already wrote about Slender Man on TG previously, and it’s become an indie hit much like Halloween or Evil Dead were indie hits back in their time. It’s a simple set up, but so was Halloween, and it’s how you present the set up that makes it effective. Like the best low budget horror films, Slender also proves with a little money, and leaving a lot up to the player’s imagination, you can still scare the hell out of people.
 
Another game we recently discussed was Amnesia: The Dark Descent, which is also one of the most talked about scary games around these days, and again, like a lot of low budget horror films that broke through, it also made back a ton of money on a fairly small investment. Oddly enough, on several lists I’ve consulted I didn’t see any mention of the Dead Island games, but if you want a good game where you can rip through a ton of zombies, the Dead Island series is a good place to start.
 
So this Halloween, why just watch scary movies? Keep the lights off, plug in some Slender or Silent Hill, and keep the scares coming.