All Hallow’s Eve has commenced, and for those of us not going to costume parties, parades or trick-or-treating (you’re never too old after all) why not settle in with some free horror games?
Developed by several different indie game studios, the following six games are all short and spooky and should keep you up well past the witching hour.
Click each game’s title for the link to its download page.
Fellow Pixelitis writer Karen Rivera and I consider this our personal favorite on this list, as well as one of the scarier ghost-related games we’ve played. Eyes is super quick and super frightening. The object is to break into a house and make off with bags of cash. Unfortunately for you, the former occupant of the house hasn’t exactly vacated the premises. You will need to utilize “eyes” to detect where our ghost friend (we call her ‘Sheila’) is hiding.
The White Chamber is a point and click adventure that takes roughly an hour to beat and features multiple endings for replayability. It’s basically Silent Hill in space. With a great anime aesthetic and some creative puzzles, The White Chamber is much more forgiving than most point and clicks, but what it lacks in challenge it makes up for in terror and some shocking changes of scenery.
Here’s another game we forced, er, “asked” Karen to play. Slender, based off the Slenderman mythos spawned on the Something Awful forums, is simple in execution and downright suspenseful to take on. Pursued by the eponymous man in question, you must guide a character through a dark forest in order to collect his eight pages. But each time you snag a page, Slenderman gets closer to snagging you.
Some of us, particularly those with real people careers, often end up working late hours at the office. We all know these later shifts can be a bit lonely. One Late Night takes this premise and adds a heaping ton of HOLY CRAP. An FPS adventure much like Amnesia: The Dark Descent, your task is to avoid being killed by any number of office-related instances of doom while trying to escape. It’s like if Office Space meets The Grudge.
Like Slenderman, the SCP (Search Contain Protect) series arose from a collection of creepy-pasta focusing on objects and places with unusual (often horrifying) properties. This series of tales was eventually collected into a wiki and formed into a fairly cohesive mythology.
Containment Breach takes these tales and spins a clever videogame out of it. Your goal is to avoid one particular object, a statue that works similarly to the Weeping Angels from Doctor Who in that you literally can’t take your eyes off of it. This aspect lends itself to the game’s core mechanic, a blinking meter. When the meter depletes, you blink. It sounds absurd in its premise, but believe me, you don’t want to be caught blinking at the wrong time.
6. Yume Nikki
One of Pixelitis writer Stephen Hilger’s Pixel-Fright-Us picks, Yume Nikki is a surrealist game with graphics reminiscent of Earthbound. This game has the player delve into the dreams of a disturbed adolescent girl. The game is a trippy and psychological experience. Most of the game is set around discovery and exploration, though ultimately there is an ending to be unlocked. Yume Nikki is the closest thing to dropping acid in videogame form.
And believe me, it’s a bumpy trip.