With Hallowe’en this coming Saturday normal people the world over are compiling their 3 or 4 horror movies they are going to watch on the night – we are not normal people, we are better, we are gamers!
Every year I spend most of October playing horror games, mostly this involves me playing my way through the ‘Resident Evil’ series and it seems that ‘Alien Isolation’ has made its way into that rotation. These games are all quite long – each weighing in at about 6-8 hours – and this means that a gaming marathon is impossible at Hallowe’en…
…except it doesn’t! There are plenty of bite-sized horror games out there that are perfectly suited for a Hallowe’en marathon, here’s a select few to scare the hell out of yourself!
Most of these are free (!) and if you click their titles you will be whisked to their download location!
A Game that needs no introduction (but will get one anyway).
The game that started the regeneration of the indie horror title, ‘Slender’ is a short, terrifying trip through a seemingly deserted forest in the middle of the night – it is so dark that you can only see in the narrow range of your flashlight. Your task (should you accept it) is to find 8 pages scattered throughout the environment in order to escape the nightmare you are trapped in…
…that nightmare is the Slenderman! A nondescript monster who looks like a human wearing a black suit – only this guy has no face. He will relentlessly pursue you and the more sheets you collect the more intense his haunting becomes and if you happen to look at him for too long it is game over.
Slender will do everything in his power to make you look at him including teleporting and distraction techniques – he will briefly appear behind you and as you spin around he will be there. Right in front of you! Although jump scares are the order of the day here they are made effective by the environment and the atmosphere built by the game.
Forget the terrible retail version ‘Slender: The Eight Pages’ and download the far superior original version. A beautifully terrifying marriage of cerebral and jump scare.
Another game that made the indie horror movement more mainstream, and it is another absolutely horrific experience – that lasts about an hour.
The game was developed by Joonas Rikkonen, and features a blinking mechanic that is absolutely central to the game – the main antagonist is called SCP-173 a statue that can only move towards you when you are not looking directly at it (which is where the blinking comes into play). With every blink it moves closer to you and should you lose track of it – it will break your neck!
SCP-173 is not the only antagonist though, with each new SCP there are new mechanics and tactics introduced, each new encounter feels like its own game – for example SCP-096 requires you to manually blink and not look him in the face.
All the enemies are expertly designed and when you consider that every play through is randomly generated ‘SCP Containment Breach’ is never the same twice, but it is always harrowing.
Give it a go – its free and you’ve no excuse not to.
Unfortunately ‘Paranormal’ is no longer free, but there are legacy versions available (click the title for BETA 7). Go support it on steam to get the newest version!
This game met some popularity on YouTube, but nowhere near the level of ‘SCP’ or ‘Slender’ which is a real shame because there is a lot of good stuff going on here in what is essentially a video game version of ‘Paranormal Activity’. Again, random generation is the order of the day which means that each play through has new scares which keeps you on your toes throughout.
With gradual escalation of the (jump) scares and a running time of only 30-40 minutes, Paranormal is well worth a play!
Alien Isolation: Challenge Mode (2014)
‘Alien: Isolation’ is the best horror game of the last few years and while the story mode weighs in at nearly 20 hours, it’s not really made for this list.
What is though is the challenge mode – which gives the player a condensed version of the main game in 10 minute chunks.
Each map gives the player a series of objectives and challenges them to complete them in as quick a time as they dare…challenge mode epitomises everything that is great about ‘A:I’ and eschews everything that wasn’t so great. The result is a mode so fraught with tension and intense fear that it is perfect for your gaming marathon this hallowe’en!
Although the season pass is £19.99 you can buy each of the five packs for a fiver, buy the first and enjoy one of the finest horror experiences you can find!
What horror games have you been enjoying this October?
What ones are you going to be enjoying this Saturday?
Tell me in the comments below!