Bonus Post Alert!
Today in the UK is the first official day of Autumn and that means that the clocks have went back by one hour! So what are you to do with that extra hour? Play games of course, and because it’s the day before Halloween; you should be playing horror games!
Why play through a longer game though? You don’t have an extra eight hours, only one! So here is a selection of short horror experiences that shouldn’t last more than an hour; turn the lights down and turn the volume up – it’s time to scare the living crap,out of yourself!
‘Slender’ is an incredibly short experience that puts the fear of God right up ya!
There is not one gamer on this planet that doesn’t know what Slender is; but that shouldn’t mean that it doesn’t deserve a spot on this list. The game is a triumph of marrying cerebral horror and jump scares. You are never allowed to drop your guard and that is exhausting for the player.
The fact that the paper locations are procedurally generated (well randomised between a possible 12 locations) and that the Slender appearances are completely random means that you cannot get used to the game’s style of horror nor do you become desensitised because of it’s incredibly brief running time.
Thank God it only lasts about fifteen minutes!
Alien Isolation: Challenge Mode (PC/PS4/Xbox One)
‘Alien Isolation’ is the best AAA horror game released in the last decade. Probably the best survival horror since ‘Resident Evil 4’ in fact. However the fact that it lasts nearly 20 hours disqualifies it from this list – and yet here it is…
…because the challenge mode distills the main game into 10-15 minute chunks of gameplay that are bloody terrifying. The fact that you are against; not only the alien, but the clock as well, really changes how you approach the game! You cannot really hide and your agency must be greatly increased. Add this to the fact that you’re in a tiny area with death only a second or two away means that, like ‘Slender’, you cannot relax and you cannot stop moving forward.
A true marvel of using gameplay mechanics to completely change the game and amp up the horror!
Year Walk (iOS/PC/WiiU)
For a game that started life on iOS and is based on the ancient Scandinavian method of divination (seriously, read about Arsgang here) ‘Year Walk’ is pretty god damn scary!
The game starts with you leaving the room you have spent the last day in (with no food or water) and you begin your journey to the local church, via the scary forest that’s full of monsters.
The presentation of the game is claustrophobic (it limits the visible screen size on iOS), the graphics are stylised and beautiful while the sound (with headphones) is absolutely masterful! This game is one that gets a kick out of unsettling you and it does a damn good job at it too!
You already know what ‘Paranormal’ is based on.
You already know it will be terrifying.
You will not be disappointed!
The game is played through a video camera as the lead character is chronicling the strange things that happen in his studio apartment (classic horror tropes such as things being rearranged, ghostly apparitions and demonic presence). As you get further into the game the horror ramps up very nicely until you hit a point where you cannot take it anymore – the game is basically a haunted house simulator and it is a damned good one!
The amount of fears that get played with here is staggering, from the house itself to the events you will experience – there is seldom a moment to compose yourself. The game makes it clear with every night that it will get worse and it’s challenging you to continue…
…daring you to quit.
Can you make it to the end?
Until Dawn: Rush of Blood (PSVR)
I have been having a blast with my PSVR, experiencing new sensations in my games, knowing a level of immersion I did not think possible and knowing true fear!
‘Until Dawn: Rush of Blood’ is a game that gets done no favours by watching gameplay on YouTube! It looks like a cheesy, tame and crappy horror game! Once you don that headset though everything changes – the sense of scale that is created is unexplainable, and the fear that accompanies it…unavoidable!
I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve screamed at well placed jump scares and I cannot overstate how much I shake when I’m trying to shoot the oncoming hordes of enemies! It’s a good thing that the levels range from 10-20 minutes – because at times that’s all my heart can withstand!
It truly is terrifying once you’re in there!
Know of any other short horror games?
What games are you planning on playing to fill that extra hour today?
Tell me in the comment section!