Happy Halloween! Or, if it's the kind of Halloween I hope you're having: Happy candy-eating, slasher-watching, horror-gaming Halloween. You may already have plans for this weekend, but I’m here to make sure they involve many an indie horror. I'm going to run through a few of my favourite indie horror games of 2015; games that you should really be playing to celebrate Halloween in style (and tears). Ready? Are you sure? Okay, here goes.
A delightfully disturbing little point-and-click game from Killmonday Games, where you take control of Fran Bow, a little girl who is sent off to a mental hospital after her parents are murdered. By taking some dodgy medication, she can choose to see another side to the world; a darker, gory side that truly shows off the terrifying manifestations of mental illnesses. Only by blurring the line between these two worlds will she be able to find her missing cat and escape the confinement of the hospital. IGM's full review can be found here, and Fran Bow is available on Steam for $14.99 USD.
As surreal as it is colorful, Albino Lullaby really stuck with us. Whether that was because it was tense and atmospheric from the beginning, or because it featured giant worm-like creatures called The Grandchildren, I couldn't tell you. What I can tell you is that both myself and Bonnie (IGM's Site Editor, of course!) rave about it. IGM's full review of Albino Lullaby: Episode 1 can be found here, and can be purchased on Steam for $9.99 USD.
A short, but highly disturbing point-and-click adventure that takes you deep into the psyche of Hamilton, a homocidal young man. Meet many strange characters during Hamilton's journey, and follow the wishes of the voices inside his head. As it features themes of neglect and abuse, it is one that maybe only the most hardcore of horror gamers will be able to handle. That includes you though, right? My full review can be found here, and Masochisia is currently on Steam for $6.79 USD.
An interesting look into the depths of what actually scares gamers, Nevermind uses biofeedback devices to determine when a gamer is becoming afraid, and what is causing it. Then, naturally, the game makes it scarier. Depending on the personality and fears of the player, the game could be completely different. Nevermind is available for $19.99 USD on Steam, and the devices to create a much more personal nightmare can be purchased from the website. It is worth nothing that these are not necessary to play the game, but are highly recommended. Our full review can be found here.
Only a fool would miss out on SOMA, the latest from Frictional Games, the studio behind the beloved Amnesia series. While I was busy drowning in real life nonsense, I didn't have time to finish and review SOMA for IGM (why, life?), but having just finished the game last weekend, let me assure you that it should be played this Halloween. It will feel familiar to those that have played Amnesia, and first-person exploration and puzzle solving are still the order of the day. What sets SOMA apart from its spiritual predecessor is its underwater Bioshock-esque setting, and themes that will have you questioning where the lines of humanity and conscience have to be drawn. Experience it for yourself on Steam or PSN for $25.49 USD.
Just a few more...
In case you want a few more horrors to get onto your radar, here are a few honorable mentions:
DISTRAINT – A surreal 2D horror adventure developed solely by Jesse Makkonen and released only 10 days ago, in time for Halloween. Read about it here.
The Intruder – A first-person survival horror where you scavenge for supplies in a lonely, monochrome world, hoping to prepare yourself for the return of an unknown entity. It’s still early in development, but is already looking quite promising. Read our extended Halloween preview here.
Friday the 13th – An anticipated asymmetric multiplayer that pits seven counsellors against one player-controlled Jason Voorhees. It is currently halfway through a Kickstarter campaign to “Unleash Jason”, and is aiming to reach $700,000 USD. The game was once known as Summer Camp, and has since merged with the machete-wielding franchise, which you can read all about in our news article, or on the Kickstarter campaign.
Allison Road – An ultra-realistic first-person horror title that is seen by many as the spiritual successor to PT, the teaser for Silent Hills (since cancelled, but never forgotten). The studio, in a surprise twist, cancelled the game’s Kickstarter campaign and joined publisher Team17 to bring the game to life. Everything you need to know can found here.
P.A.M.E.L.A – You wake up in Eden, utopia gone wrong, where humanity may have taken things too far in the bio-augmentation research department. Of course, you now have to face the consequences by augmenting your own bodies with futuristic tech and weapons. Find out more here.
Tempted to play or find out more about any of these recommendations tonight? Feel that some great indie horror is missing from this list? Just want someone to hold your hand while you play through Outlast again? Let me know in the comments below, or get in touch with me on Twitter, as I’m sure to be indulging myself with all of the horror I can get my hands on this weekend.
Getting déjà vu right now? That may be because you read this on IGM, where my article was first featured! Check IGM out for all the latest on indie games.