Demon thumbs, broken controllers, katana-wielding badasses, and spooky ghosts are some of the things we have to look forward to in April’s selection of horror games. I really didn’t think this year could match the frighteningly awesome first half of 2015, but here we are, four months in and it still hasn’t slowed down. Let’s have a look at what’s coming up this month.
The Oculus Rift ($599) has had a few weeks to get comfortable before the arrival of its only major competitor, and now the war is on for the virtual reality space. What separates the HTC Vive from the Rift can be summed up as price, specs and support. The Vive costs $799, has superior specs to match its more premium price, and it’s being backed hard by Valve. It also has one fantastic horror game you can grab right away in Albino Lullaby: Episode 1.
Release Date: April 5 (PC)
Dark Souls III
At this point, Dark Souls III doesn’t need an introduction. It’s going to ruin you, but you know this. It’ll break your confidence, leave you feeling incompetent and infuriated with yourself for not pressing the dodge button in time, but you know that too. You don’t care, because that’s the point. You’ll power through the frustration because you know there’s a light at the end of that tunnel, and when you get there, you know it’ll be one of the most rewarding gaming experiences that are out there.
Release Date: April 12 (PC, PS4, XBO)
Phantasmal: City of Darkness
Phantasmal: City of Darkness is a crowdfunded survival horror roguelike that released on Steam Early Access (review) last year. With its Lovecraftian themes and procedurally generated levels, this game has an incredibly high replay factor that should more than justify its budget price. It’s on sale for $11.99 until Thursday, then it’ll go back to $14.99.
Release Date: April 14 (PC)
The Walking Dead: Michonne – Episode 3
Telltale’s spin-off miniseries starring fan favorite Michonne will come to an end this month with the finale episode ‘What We Deserve’ that should tidy up any loose ends left by the first two thirds of The Walking Dead: Michonne so we can all be ready for the premier of The Walking Dead: Season 3 this fall.
Release Date: April 26 (PC, PS3, PS4, 360, XBO, iOS, Android)
Aliens vs. Pinball
This isn’t a “horror” game, but it is related to one of the best horror games of 2014, so here it is. Aliens vs. Pinball is an Alien: Isolation inspired pinball table for Zen Pinball 2 and Pinball FX2 that takes Amanda Ripley’s fight for survival against an alien and some rogue Working Joes and pinball-ifies it, because why not? And it’s coming on Alien Day, naturally.
Release Date: April 26 (PC, PS3, PS4, Vita, Wii U, iOS, Android)
We have two notable Kickstarter campaigns to keep an eye on this month, starting with the atmospheric exploration game Niten that borrows heavily from Dear Esther and Gone Home, then cranks up the isolation factor considerably with its remote Japanese island setting. The game needs to raise a little over $21k by May 5, and with just $4,000 raised as I write this, it still has a long road ahead of it.
We also have Ghost Theory, a game about investigating paranormal activity in real-world locales that have been recreated so they’re fully explorable in a virtual space. If it sounds familiar, it’s because this is its second attempt at crowdfunding, after the first failed to meet its lofty funding goal.
This time, Dreadlocks is seeking about $71k to get it made. It’s about a third of the way there with more than three weeks left before its campaign closes on May 13, the day Doom arrives. You can give it a little nudge over here.