We all have plans of some kind for Halloween. They may not necessarily be the plans we wanted of course, and that might leave only certain opportunities to get a horror fix. If you’re in need of a horror-themed gaming session on this most hallowed of days, then we’ve come up with ten games for a variety of situations and tastes.
The Party: Spelunky (Multi)
So you’re having a Halloween party, and you fancy some local co-op gaming. Something that’s got monsters and ghosts in, but is somewhat accessible to even those who aren’t traditionally horror fans. Enter the rip-roaring, addictive absurdity of Spelunky. Four people at a time can huddle around the screen and race (carefully now!) to collect treasure, defeat monsters, and move deeper into the cave network. As with any co-op or competitive multiplayer game, there’s the risk of arguments over individual decision making, but I’m sure you’ll forgive Brian for accidentally (so he says!) causing you to be impaled on a spike pit.
For The Kids: Bendy and the Ink Machine (PC)
Kids are bound to get excited around any event that involves candy, and perhaps you need to occupy them for a bit before or after the Trick Or Treating with a seasonal dose of kid-friendly horror and what better than the latest popular game for that, Bendy and the Ink Machine. In this five-part adventure, a retired animator named Henry finds his former studio’s creations have been brought to nightmarish life by the aforementioned machine. What follows is a survival horror where Henry explores and solves puzzles.
Quick Fix: SEPTEMBER 1999 (PC)
It’s a busy day and you’re gloomily anticipating not getting to mark the Halloween occasion with anything horror related. Time is precious, but you want to have something quick, so how about 98DEMAKE’s SEPTEMBER 1999? This found-footage style adventure lasts just over five minutes and gives you perfectly compact creeps.
For Murder Mystery Fans: Condemned Criminal Origins (Multi)
While the storyline isn’t as good as it could be, Monolith and Sega’s Condemned made up for it with its then-unique way of investigating crime scenes, as well as its creepy atmosphere. Losing your gun almost from the beginning of the game forces you to get up close and personal with the psychopathic vagrants that appear out of the shadows. And yeah, the “scan objects and call your buddies at the lab” routine gets repetitive, but for the time, it was a novel idea.
90s Nostalgia: Blood (PC)
Hot on the heels of Duke Nukem 3D‘s success, Monolith took Duke‘s Build Engine, filled it with occult themes and gore, gave the protagonist a bunch of one-liners straight from Army of Darkness and The Shining, and came out with a pretty fun and underrated shooter. Find me a game where you can use a flare gun to set zombies on fire (that in turn run around screaming), or shoot off their heads and then proceed to kick the heads around like a soccer ball? Blood never sold well, but lives on with GOG.com and Steam.
Road Rage (without the road): Carmageddon (Multi)
To be fair, it’s not quite horror, but if you’re fed up with Trick or Treaters knocking at your door, or if driving your kids around the neighbourhood has you more than annoyed, you can always jump into the Red Eagle and mow down businessmen and old ladies for points. Of course, you could play Carmageddon “normally” by completing the race, but where’s the fun in that? Rack up combos and other bonuses by running over pedestrians, instead!
Home Alone: Alien: Isolation (Multi)
After the bomb in Aliens: Colonial Marines, Sega went back and gave us something that was as close to the terror and isolation of the original film as you could probably get in Isolation. Putting you on the deck of the seemingly deserted Sevastopol, and then forcing you to hide from the Xenomorph lurking around the ship is definitely nerve-wracking. True, you’ll probably not going to get Xenomorph’s lurking around your house, but the atmosphere and terror of the game will certainly have you thinking twice before turning off that bathroom light.
Fighting Spirit: Mortal Kombat X (Multi)
Really, if you haven’t played any of the Mortal Kombat games by now, I can’t help you. It’s again not horror in the traditional sense, but any time you have ninjas who will slice off your face, gut-munching, head-smashing and more deviously ingenious ways to finish off your opponent, that’s good enough for me. The latest edition of the long-running franchise brings Jason Voorhees, The Predator and Leatherface into the fold for some ultimate horror fun. If you and your buddies are up for ripping each other apart (yet don’t want to pay for the hospital visit), you can’t do much better on Halloween with MKX.
Traveling: Outlast (Switch)
Having to travel back from work on Halloween? Whisk yourself away from the commute (provided you’re not packed into a train like a tin of sardines) and investigate an asylum full of naked monstrosities by tucking into Outlast on the Nintendo Switch. Just make sure you wear headphones so you don’t get any questioning looks about the things being muttered by the patients. Though if you’re looking for a bit of space, maybe dont.
Online Party: Friday the 13th: The Game (Multi)
What could be a more comforting way to spend time online with your friends this Halloween than reenacting your very own slasher movie. Better still, it can star one of you as Jason Voorhees! A few drinks, the lights turned out, and a trip to Camp Crystal Lake sounds like a good time to us.
What’s your go-to horror game for Halloween? Let us know!