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9 Crowdfunded Horror Games to Anticipate in 2016

Until 2012, I saw crowdfunding as something bands sometimes did as a “fuck you” to labels. Fast forward a little bit and I feel like I’ve covered a thousand of them here on Bloody Disgusting. In a relatively short amount of time, crowdfunding has become a viable and exceedingly popular alternative to a traditional publisher.

Millions of dollars have been invested into various horror projects on sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, with many thousands more pouring in all the time. Without them, Dead State, Knock-Knock, Contagion, DreadOut, Among the Sleep, Neverending Nightmares, Fran Bow and Stasis might’ve never been realized.

That’s just the games that have already come out, and it’s not even all of them.

The incredible popularity of crowdfunding in games development is a direct response to how ridiculously expensive video games are to create, much less market and ship. This has kept many publishers from investing in riskier projects, and sadly for us, that includes niche genres like horror. When a horror game reaches its funding goal, that’s something worthy of celebrating.

So with that in mind, let’s do this.

Pathologic (Remake)

If you missed this one a decade ago, don’t worry about it, because Pathologic is coming back after a wildly successful crowdfunding campaign. This will be the second game Ice-Pick Lodge has made without having to deal with a publisher — Knock-Knock was the first — and one of the (many) benefits that come with that is its creators have total creative freedom.

Cash Monies Raised: $333,127 on Kickstarter
Release Date: Fall 2016 (PC, PS4, Xbox One)

Through the Woods

The horror genre isn’t kind to children. Many games either force them to play the role of pint-sized devils (Lucius, Silent Hill: Homecoming) or hide them away in a cubby somewhere so the adults have something to do (The Park, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter). Through the Woods takes the latter approach with its child, only this time, it plays out over a series of flashbacks narrated by the mother after the fact.

Maybe this time we’ll see what almost certainly happens after that heartwarming reunion. There’s no way that mom isn’t grounding her kid forever the moment they get home. That’s why there are never any sequels, because that kid never left his room again.

Cash Monies Raised: $43,833 on Kickstarter
Release Date: Spring 2016 (PC)

Asylum

Senscape’s Lovecraftian horror adventure game Asylum hasn’t been in development since the dawn of time, it only feels that way. The game’s been delayed multiple times, but recent updates may be hinting at a release in the near future. After what happened to Call of Cthulhu and InSANE, an ancient curse has almost definitely been placed on any game that borrows even a little bit from the works of H.P. Lovecraft.

Cash Monies Raised: $119,426 on Kickstarter
Release Date: Spring 2016 (PC)

Friday the 13th: The Game

Jason Voorhees is returning to video games with Friday the 13th: The Game, a 7-on-1 asymmetrical multiplayer game inspired by the films many of us grew up watching. One player assumes the role of Jason, who’s singular objective is to bring a bloody end to every camp counselor he sees through his adorable little face holes.

Cash Monies Raised: $823,704 on Kickstarter
Release Date: Fall 2016 (PC, PS4, Xbox One)

Last Year

Fall 2016. Mark it on your calendars. I would highlight all of it, from Aug to Nov, give or take a month. That’s a lot of days, so you’ll need a fresh highlighter. It’ll be worth it when Last Year and Friday the 13th go mask-to-mask in a bloody brawl to see who’s the best at poking unsuspecting teens with sharp objects.

In Last Year, a team of five counselors have to survive a stab-happy murderer for a set amount of time or until they can come up with a way to go from hunted to hunter. Dun dun dunnnn.

Cash Monies Raised: $114,711 CAD (about $86k USD) on Kickstarter
Release Date: Fall 2016 (PC)

Perception

In a world governed by comic book rules, going blind is how one becomes a superhero. No one gets sad anymore when a kid is blinded by toxic sludge or the pointy end of an umbrella since they know there’s a 100% chance that kid will be parkouring across rooftops, bludgeoning criminals to near-death with nunchucks by the end of the week.

Video games treat blindness like a special ability too, only the results tend not to include skin-tight leather outfits and, in most cases, not even a single nunchuck. Perception gives players the chance to see through Daredevil’s milky eyes, complete with superpowered echolocation that’ll be needed to survive against roughly a haunted manor’s worth of evil spirits.

Cash Monies Raised: $168,041 on Kickstarter
Release Date: Summer 2016 (PC)

NightCry

This is going to sound harsh so please fight the urge to take up your pitchforks and torches. How does NightCry exist? I swear I saw Clock Tower 3 fire a golden energy arrow into the heart of this series, which, if we’re being serious, has only had one good game in a span of two decades.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m more interested in NightCry than I’ve been for any of the games that preceded it, and what little we’ve seen so far looks incredibly promising. The game has some serious talent behind it too, including Clock Tower series creator Hifumi Kono, director Takashi Shimizu (Ju-On, The Grudge), and artist Masahiro Ito, the creator of Pyramid Head.

Cash Monies Raised: $314,771 on Kickstarter
Release Date: Spring 2016 (PC)

Ashen Rift

There’s a screenshot you’ll likely recognize if you followed our coverage of Dead Rising 3 where Nick is standing on a car surrounded by zombies. Now if you were to say Nick represents us and that sea of hungry ghouls is a sea of post-apocalyptic video games, that’s what it looks like every time anyone steps into a GameStop.

That is to say there are too many of them, and since you can’t shoot video games in the head — last I checked, they don’t have one — they’ve been free to multiply like modern first-person shooters for years. And that might seem like an awful way to introduce what looks like a genuinely interesting horror game about a man and his dog, but if anything, the fact that Ashen Rift has a spot on this list despite that is a testament to how good it looks.

Cash Monies Raised: $17,496 CAD (about $13k USD) on Kickstarter
Release Date: Fall 2016 (PC, PS4)

Grave

I could tell you all about Grave, but my hand’s cramping up so I’m going to leave it to the professionals — i.e. the folks who are making it — who describe it as an “open-world, surrealist survival horror experience set in a constantly changing reality.” It’s like if Alan Wake got left out in the sun for too long with one of those strange, surrealist paintings with misshapen creatures dancing on melting clocks or whatever, and the two became one.

Grave is a rare example of a developer that’s trying to inject some originality into the open-world genre, and that alone makes this a game worth checking out.

Cash Monies Raised: $37,622 on Kickstarter
Release Date: Spring 2016 (PC, Xbox One)

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COMMENTS

2 Comments
  • Joe Abernathy

    What happened to Call of Cthulhu?

  • Mr. Screamer

    I can’t wait for Friday the 13th and Last Year. Tbh mostly LY, because I loved Until Dawn and I want more of those meta slasher games. If it’s not like that, then it will surely be fun though.

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