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Indiegames: Horror Games for Halloween


Put the pumpkin down and switch on your PC or console: New horror games like Amnesia Rebirth and Phasmophobia plus horror classics make you tremble.

by Rainer Sigl October 31, 2020, 9:00 a.m.

Artwork by Amnesia Rebirth (Image: Frictional Games)

Halloween is time for horror! Anyone who doesn't want to get their goose bumps from films but from games can look forward to a huge selection of high-class games. Even Fortnite makes it scary: the action game dedicates a whole series of special events to the holiday under the name Fortnitemares .

Aside from this really big name, indie games spread a lot of fear and horror – and at a low price and particularly imaginative.

We wish you a good scare with our selection of new and some classic horror games that are guaranteed to scare you.

Amnesia Rebirth: Dark sequel

Ten years after the iconic Amnesia – The Dark Descent, the Swedish developer Frictional Games is sending us on another first-person horror trip in a class of its own.

In Amnesia Rebirth , the young archaeologist Tasi Trianon is left on her own as a survivor of a plane crash in the Algerian desert. Dark caves, abandoned fortresses and nightmarish hell dimensions beyond our world make for what is probably the scariest game of the year.

Because we cannot defend ourselves against the figures lurking here in the dark, all that remains is caution, hiding and escaping. Aside from the adrenaline-pumping horror moments, Rebirth comes up with clever puzzles and an exciting story.

Rebirth is a successful successor that will inspire and frighten both connoisseurs of the original and beginners. Of course, the first two parts, The Dark Descent and A Machine for Pigs, as well as the science fiction horror thriller Soma and the Penumbra series by the same team are also worthwhile horror trips.

Available for Playstation 4, Windows PC and Linux; around 25 euros.

Amnesia Rebirth [EU Steam Altergift]

Song of Horror: Classic survival horror

At first glance, Song of Horror by the Spanish developer Protocol Games looks like a classic survival horror game in the tradition of Resident Evil. With fixed camera positions you trudge through dark places, solve puzzles and have to fight off creepy monsters from time to time or flee.

The highlight: The attacks and even the lurking positions of the supernatural horror are different every time, and the evil even reacts cleverly to past actions of the characters.

How serious the game is about death can also be seen in the selection of main characters with slightly different skills and weaknesses. If one of them blesses the temporal, that is final and you have to continue with another character.

In five episodes that can be purchased individually or in a complete package, the horror increases in a highly entertaining manner right up to the finale. Despite its superficial similarities to genre classics, Song of Horror is a pretty original alternative, and it's brand new for consoles too.

Available for Windows PC, Xbox One and Playstation 4; around 30 euros.

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Darkwood , released in 2017, creates an inimitable horror atmosphere with its eerie game world and mysterious characters by day and hair-raising, terrifying siege situations by night.

In a cursed forest alone, it is important to collect resources in daylight and advance the story. When it gets dark, a desperate struggle for survival begins.

Darkwood does without jump scares, instead it relies on its very own atmosphere and a subtly told horror story that slowly unfolds. A horror insider tip away from the usual ghost trains – the less that is revealed at this point, the better.

Available for Windows PC, MacOS, Linux, Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Xbox One; around 14 euros.

Layers of Fear: Walk Into Madness

The Polish development studio Bloober Team was inspired by a horror legend for its first-person game series Layers of Fear : The demo, simply titled PT (Playable Teaser), released for PS4 in 2014 for a later pulped new part of Silent Hill.

The PT, directed by Hideo Kojima, is still regarded by many as a mythical milestone in horror game history – all the more because the free short horror experiment by Sony has been taken out of the store and only exists in the form of a steadily growing number of unofficial fan remakes.

Layers of Fear, released in 2016, adopts many of PT's creepy ideas and not only plays with repetitive rooms and eerie dramaturgy, but also skillfully unsettles the perception of its audience.

The descent into the madness of its protagonists is impressively brought to the screen by a multitude of small, mean ideas. Both parts of Layers of Fear as well as the science fiction horror spectacle Observer by the same developer guarantee goosebumps.

Available for Windows PC, MacOS, Linux, Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Xbox One; around 20 euros.

Layers of Fear – Masterpiece Edition

Inside: Deceptively cute horror

In 2016, the Danish indie stars Playdead released Inside, a timeless exceptional game whose eerie story slowly but relentlessly escalates into spectacular horror.

In the sidescroller, deceptively cute at first glance, you steer a mute child through a dystopian nightmare. The path always leads from left to right, original puzzles and eerie locations provide variety.

Graphically and, above all, impressive in terms of animation, unique in its world and its narrative, varied in terms of gameplay, Inside is a masterpiece not only for horror fans.

In the three hours or so they experience a game that they will not soon forget. Warning: Despite its youthful hero, this game, like its indirect, equally recommendable predecessor Limbo, is not suitable for children.

Inside

Available for Windows PC, Xbox One, PS4, iOS and Nintendo Switch; around 20 euros.

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game Cultist Simulator , which was released in 2018.

In the mixture of card games, resource management and dark stories told in fragments, one rises from having-nothing to a mighty sect founder and occultist in the London demi-world of the 1920s.

Seen from the outside, it is really only about playing and collecting various cards that can represent resources, but also people, ideas or activities and are provided with various timers.

Sounds complicated? That is on purpose – the confusion and its overcoming are part of the concept and at the same time the fascination that this strange, impressively complex simulation exerts. Caution: If you look up guides and wikis instead of finding your own way, you spoil the horror fun yourself.

Available for Windows PC, MacOS, Linux, Android and iOS; around 7 euros.

Cultist Simulator

Phasmophobia: ghost hunting for four

"Paranormal Activity – The Game" is a succinct description of the multiplayer Steam success of this year's Halloween season. In Phasmophobia the players with flashlights and all kinds of technical ghost hunter equipment set out in teams of four to capture supernatural phenomena on video and survive the ghost hunts that are newly generated every time.

Although Phasmophobia (playable with and without a VR headset) is currently still in Early Access, it has already found an enthusiastic fan base on Steam and Twitch.

If you already have three horror-tested players at hand, you should also venture into the GTFO (Windows PC; around 35 euros in Early Access), which is also successful in Early Access, for the ultimate horror multiplayer evening and enjoy the adrenaline-pumping mix Try shooter and horror stealth gameplay.

Alternatively, the co-op game The Blackout Club (Windows PC, PS4, Xbox One; around 25 euros), which has already been finally released, offers stunningly original multiplayer horror à la Stranger Things.

Phasmophobia is available in Early Access for Windows PC (with / without VR support); around 12 euros.

Phasmophobia [EU Steam Altergift]

More games to scare you

In the science fiction horror game The Light Keeps Us Safe (Windows PC; around 16 euros) you try to survive a dark night full of scary robots. Thanks to the randomly generated world and clever puzzles, the open-world first-person game is ideal for a dark horror game night.

Those who like it more classic can look forward to the return of the text adventure with Stories Untold (Windows PC, Xbox One and PS4, MacOS and Nintendo Switch; around 10 euros). The original adventure combines four episodes into an original narrative experiment that doesn't just rely on text input and that really gets pretty scary.

A tip for fans of very strange games at the end: The Russian developers Ice-Pick Lodge are best known for their Pathologic series. In the eerie knock-knock (Windows PC, MacOS, Linux, Android and iOS; around 2 euros) as a hermit in a bizarre house in the dark forest with uninvited guests you are on your own.

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Source: golem.de