The Forest Articles RSS Feed | The Forest RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Mainstream Survival games are predictable: How can we change that? Sun, 18 Feb 2018 12:30:11 -0500 Sjaak den Heijer

Right now, survival games are regaining a lot of their initial popularity after being kicked off their throne by Battle Royale and MOBA games. This is mostly because some of the survival’s flagships are finally leaving or have already left Early Access. The departure will probably cause a second survival game craze, meaning we’ll get another wave of countless Early Access survival titles that all want to share in the genre’s popularity. However, many survival games share the same core concepts and can be very predictable, leaving little room for surprise.

What is a mainstream survival game?

Narrowing it down to the core, in a survival game you usually find yourself in an open world environment with little to no gear or resources. Your only goal is surviving by gathering food, crafting tools and weapons, and building/finding shelter. Besides making better gear and making processes like getting food more efficient, there are no real goals in the game. All the things on top of those mechanics can heavily differ from game to game and really depend on whether or not it’s a single or multiplayer survival game.

In multiplayer survival games like Rust, the end game mostly consists of raiding bases, while the end game for  The Forest, one of the cornerstones of the single-player survival genre, consists of defending your base from weird humanoid creatures who try to hunt you down. But, there's never an end to those games or anything to give you a real sense of completion.

This game design with no definitive end is hated by a lot of players, but is loved by many more. However, when one of these games clicks with you they can be real time sinks; you could potentially pour thousands of hours into one of these games.

Same old, same old

The survival genre has more than enough games that take the core concept and add new things to it. Usually, it’s just the setting or the environment that changes. Some games are set in space while others completely exist in the depths of the oceans. In other instances, things like zombies or dinosaurs exist to make player vs. environment a bit more exciting or there are fantasy elements like magic.

These are changes that make a lot of the survival games stand out from each other but don't really change anything about the core of the survival game. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but at some point, the core will be burnt out and people will grow tired of these games that on surface level look very different but when you get into them you’ll start to notice it’s the same formula over and over again.

How to change?

For the survival genre to evolve and become something big, like the RPG genre, developers need to play around with the core concept by adding new things, removing old things and overall changing up the same old formula while still keeping the feel of a true survival game.

Game Worlds

There has been a lot of experimenting with game worlds in the genre but it usually ends up with an open world that is big, but small enough to still feel limiting and without a real sense of exploration. I would love to see a survival game set in an open world like the one in Horizon Zero Dawn but much much more expansive, a world you can explore for hours without running into the same little towns over and over again. A world that rewards exploration while still having to survive by gathering your standard food and resources.

Or, a survival game in a more tiny place i.e. someone who is locked in his own home due to a snowstorm that also caused a power outage, where you have to survive in the most primitive ways with whatever you can find in your own home. It would be especially cool if the house would be randomly generated for a different experience every time you play.

Branching out

Branching out to different genres as a sub-genre would make for some really cool games, games where survival isn’t your main goal but something added for immersion whilst not feeling like a burden. A true MMO with basic survival elements could be something really interesting or maybe a heavily story-driven RPG where you have to provide not only for yourself but also for a group of survivors that are in there with you. Or maybe even a Battle Royale game with matches lasting one to two hours where you’ll have to survive the elements as well as outlive all of the other players.

More survival

When it comes to surviving in most survival games, all you'll need to get yourself is some food, water and sometimes shelter for warmth. However, this is a point where developers could get really creative. It would be cool to see basic things like going to the toilet become necessary in survival games but also things like your mental state or getting sick could be added to make surviving so much more interesting. At the very least, developers should try to make basic surviving more than just gathering food and water.


These are just some ideas that could potentially make for great games, but the survival genre should definitely branch out and renew itself to become something even bigger than it already is. Feel free to share your own thoughts in the comments. Don't forget to stay tuned to Gameskinny for much more gaming content.

What's the Beef: Why Don't More Survival Games Let Players Farm? Sat, 21 Jan 2017 20:07:33 -0500 Neal Cox

Ever since Minecraft officially released in November of 2011, survival games have been a staple of the video game release schedule. Games like Day ZRust, The Forest, Ark: Survival Evolved, and many more have really struck a cord with gamers.

However, there is a feature missing from some of these games that has left a hole in the hearts of many players: Farming. Now, I'm not asking for these games to go all Farming Simulator on us, but there is something important, both mechanic and thematic-wise, that is lost when farming or farming features are left on the cutting-room floor.

Of all of the games I listed previously, three of the four (Rust, Day Z and Ark) had farming mechanics. You may notice that these three are some of the most well known games within the genre. I'm not saying this is directly because of their farming mechanics, but farming mechanics help to serve two main purposes.

 In these three games, hunger is a major aspect of the gameplay. If you don't eat, your stamina, and sometimes your health, will drop until you die. It may take longer than getting shot in the back or falling off a cliff, but it will happen.

So, now that you have to eat, you are presented with two choices: farming, which is safer but may take a while, or scavenging, which may be quick, but is also more likely to result in your death. Some players may decide to just scavenge, living like animals in the forest or among the ashes of a post-apocalyptic eastern-european country.

Farming, however, allows players a chance to build their supplies and be better prepared when dealing with the world around them. Farming also leads to investment, which makes base-building and fending off attacks that much more important. Farming, if done right, leads to player immersion within a game's world. Without it, the world can sometimes feel just a little hollow. However, there's more to farming than what's on the surface.

Thematically speaking, farming signals a change both in the player and in the game world. It shows that, even in its early stages, that the player is beginning to bend the world to their whim. Some games may not introduce farming until the late game, when a base has been established, and enough supplies have been gathered to make such an undertaking feasible. Others may introduce it in the tutorial, and require the player to invest some time in it if they hope to last a day within the game world.

Regardless of how they do it, farming exists as a physical manifestation of the player's power. Imagine what it is like for a player to go from having a small farm to having a plantation. Imagine going from one crop to many. You can see your progress in many things within a survival game, such as a house, but very rarely do other manifestations of power actually provide you with something. By the end, when you've altered an entire field, island, or biome to suit your farming needs, you will have truly seen the effect that you have had on your world. You are no longer just surviving, you are thriving

Now, why don't more games include farming mechanics? From what I've described, it must sound like the best thing in games since the ability to jump. Well, there are plenty of reasons for this. Most obviously, it might not fit what a game is going for. Some games just aren't about taking over the world of a game.

Maybe the game world is hopeless and futile, and the idea of being self-reliant may go against the themes of the game. It would weird if a game like I Am Alive, a survival game set in a post-apocalyptic America, were to focus on farming when everything else was about combat and traversal.

Some games like The Forest are more combat focused. Why waste your time farming some carrots when you could be hacking some naked cannibals to death with an axe? What if, more mechanically speaking, the programmers and designers only have a few features that they could put into the game within their time-frame and budget? If you wanted to make a fun survival game, would you focus on farming instead of movement, scavenging and combat?

Farming isn't perfect for every game, just like Farming Simulator 2017 isn't for every player. However, more survival games should definitely consider adding farming to their list of game-play features. If they want the player to merely survive in their survival game, go ahead and ignore the farming.

But, if they want your character to take on and conquer the world, bend it to their will and become the true master of their destiny, they should add it in.

Alternatively, maybe they just want to get your players hooked on the success of growing fake carrots and tomatoes. Whatever works for them. As long as there are seeds to plant and wheat to harvest. 


The 5 best open world sandbox games you should be playing, but probably aren't Thu, 07 Jul 2016 10:46:36 -0400 Jenifyr Kaiser

Sandbox games are a dime a dozen nowadays, especially with the flood of indie developers out there. This is great news for those of us who love the genre, but as there are so many not all of them are worth your time. Here is a short list of the best open world, sandbox titles that you should be playing right now.


Kenshi is one of my personal favorites. Developed by Lo-Fi Games, it has been in Early Access on Steam for quite a while, but the development seems to be ongoing. It is an oddly fun RTS, RPG, sandbox hybrid. You control a group of characters, which you can add to by hiring more at the local pub. It is still pretty rough around the edges with so-so graphics and plenty of bugs, but it is very playable.

This is not an easy game by any stretch of the imagination, and the beginning is the hardest bit. Give it a few hours, though, and you will be hooked. You start the game with essentially nothing, and wandering around alone is inadvisable due to the roving hordes of bandits and predators. Once you have a good sized group and have built your base, the game gets a lot more fun. You can purchase on Steam or from the official website.


Creativerse is a relatively unknown voxel based sandbox game. It plays out much like Minecraft, but with much better graphics and a much deeper crafting and building mechanic. This one is also still in Early Access on Steam and the developer, Playful Inc., is very active with regular updates.

The best part about Creativerse is that it is 100% free to play. They do have an online store, but all the items for sale are cosmetic in nature. The core game is there for all to enjoy. You can play alone or with friends online if you like that sort of thing. Check out the official website for more details. 

The Forest

The Forest is yet another Early Access title that has received a lot of love from the developer, yet still has a relatively small fan base. It is absolutely beautiful to look at and terrifying to play.

You begin the game in an airplane with your little boy in the seat next to you. The plane crashes, a crazy cannibal looking creature nabs your kid, and you are left alone in the woods. You start with a fire ax and a hundred or so suitcases to rifle through for supplies. The rest is up to you. If you survive your first night, I suggest building a treehouse. It's harder for them to get you up there. Good luck! Check out the official webpage for more details.


Crashlands is one of the most ridiculous games I've ever played, but it's also one of the most addicting games I've ever played. It looks and plays a bit like Don't Starve, but has an actual story. It's an absurd story, but it is there.

Basically, a giant head pulls your spaceship out of warp then blows it up.You and your trusty robot, Juicebox, are then stranded on a strange planet and have to find a way to get rescued. If you would rather wander around the planet building things and making cool weapons, that's fine too. It is a truly open world game with lots to do and see. Check out their website and definitely watch the very well made and hilarious trailer. 

Evochron Legacy

Evochron Legacy is the latest release from Starwraith Games. If you are anything like me, you are probably eagerly awaiting the release of No Man's Sky and Star Citizen, then this is a great game to tide you over until then. It is an open universe game in which the player starts with nothing more than a tiny ship and a lot of hope. You can do anything from trading, mining, or exploring the surface of planets.

The developer continues to work on the game and releases a new version every few years. This one is a huge improvement over the last version. It launched with some bugs, but they have patched it up and it is fantastic now. It is not for the faint of heart, however, as it has a steep learning curve. If that doesn't scare you off, there is a lot to find, and love, in Evochron Legacy.

That's it folks! These are my top 5 open world sandbox games. There are so many more out there and so many on the way. I hope to bring you some exclusive info very soon on one in particular -- Star Rangers. Until then, keep learning, keep building, and keep playing!  

8 Horrifying Games That Will Make Your Blood Run Cold Fri, 01 Jul 2016 06:16:33 -0400 Captynplanet_8219


8. Call Of Cthulhu 


The final game is more of a hopeful inclusion. For a long time, there has been a lack of games that do justice to H.P Lovecraft's stories about unimaginable terrors from beyond the brink of understanding.


At E3 this year, Focus Home Interactive released a trailer for their upcoming game Call of Cthulhu, and it seems that we might finally have a game that will live up to its source material.


If Focus Home Interactive is able to pull off the atmosphere purveyed by their trailer, and they are smart enough to include as many possible references and interactions based off of Lovecraft's stories, then it is sure to be awesome. 


I just want to see more than a recycle of A Shadow Over Innsmouth or Call of Cthulhu, the story that is. If Focus Home Interactive can include some cool stuff from the stories that are less known, but still within Lovecraft's canon, than we'll be in for a pleasantly maddening experience.


What other horror games have kept you up at night? Did any of your favorites make the list? Let me know in the comments!


7. Resident Evil 4 


It was announced a while ago that Resident Evil 4 would receiving a facelift for its re-release on PS4 and Xbox One, and I couldn't be happier. I won't lie, I'm a fanboy of this game. It played a pretty important role in my childhood gaming timeline, and it scared the absolute sh*t out of me the first time that I played it.


Resident Evil 4 starts out with the player taking control of Leon Kennedy in a remote Spanish village as he investigates the disappearance of the president's daughter, Ashley. The villagers don't seem to approve of his presence, and as you navigate the dismal settings filled with hordes of mindless foes that don't ever stop walking towards you, a more nefarious plot begins to unfold.


This game is amazing, and I have fond memories of not wanting to get any nearer to some of the enemies in the latter parts of the game, who seem to enjoy ritualistically chanting in a manner that I hope nobody ever has to hear in real life. The only thing that makes this game annoying is a sequence of babysitting that you have to do later on. Besides that, it's wonderful.


6. Lone Survivor


Nameless protagonists seem to be a theme in horror games, and Lone Survivor is no exception. In this game, you take the role of a young man who lives in a post-apocalyptic future. The protagonist is guided by hallucinations around the map in order to locate specific items and resources used to progress further into the game.


The main character's sanity plays a large role -- and in order to combat your frail mental state, sleep and proper nourishment are required. There is a trade-off to taking care of yourself, though, as certain items may be located in a more easily if the protagonist is hallucinating. 


Don't let Lone Survivor's 2D art style fool you -- this game can deliver chills with the best of them.


5. Layers of Fear 


Layers of Fear lets players take control of an artist descending into madness. In order for the artist to finish his newest project, various items must be collected. This means that you get to walk around his creepy mansion filled with psychological tricks and terrifying images that you can't even be sure are real. 


As you navigate the mansion and find more and more items, the disturbing story behind the painter and his madness are explained, and by the end of Layers of Fear you'll wish you had never wondered what was going on in the first place.


4. SOMA 


Frictional games, the creators of Amnesia: The Dark Descent, seem to have the formula for atmospheric horror games down to a science. In their newest production Soma, players take control of a man who has undergone experimental brain surgery to fix his amnesia, but when he awakes, it is in an underwater research facility in the Atlantic Ocean. 


As if that wasn't enough to have a creepy environment, the facility appears to be in ruins, and everything above the ocean's surface has been devastated by a huge comet which caused an extinction event.


Soma also includes cool sci-fi elements, which are a nice change from Amnesia's medieval castle setting. 


3. Amnesia: The Dark Descent 


Amnesia: The Dark Descent puts you in control of a young man named Daniel who is trapped in a castle without his memory. Daniel has forgotten the extent of his identity and has no idea why he in this creepy fortress. It is up to you to guide him through the castle's dim corridors, which also happen to be filled with monsters that you have no choice but to run away from.


The game has no combat and no weapons. Your only chance for survival is to run away from the horrors you encounter, while trying to keep a grip on your sanity.


2. The Forest


The Forest starts off simply enough: your character is in a plane crash, and when you wake you see what is presumably your son being carried away by a pale humanoid. After that, you're free to do whatever it takes to survive. 


If you're lucky, or unlucky, enough to see some locals of the surrounding area, you'll realize that you're on an island populated by some kind human stripped down to their most basic instincts who have a penchant for cannibalism. No worries though, if you run away from them you'll most likely get away, and you can start collecting resources from the surrounding area to build a proper shelter. 


But then you start finding effigies made up of body parts. And then you start finding pitch-black caves with huge amounts of corpses hanging from the ceiling. And then you start finding mutants that look like someone decided to make a spider out of fused human torsos.


The Forest is currently in development, but purchasing it now guarantees the full version when it is finally finished. The game is updated regularly with the new structures to build, animals to hunt, and enemies to evade. 


1. The Path


The Path is an independent game which was released by Tale of Tales back in 2009. Borrowing from the classic story Little Red Riding Hood, the player chooses to control one of six sisters who are told by their mother to go to their grandmother's house. Following the path to Grandmother's house is simple enough -- you just have to walk forward and you'll eventually reach it. But that isn't how you're supposed to play the game.


Once you start wandering off the path, you will encounter items that begin to tell a more disturbing story than one about a girl simply visiting granny. The sounds in this game are enough to give someone nightmares alone.


The Path isn't a long game by any means so it's worth your time if you're into atmospheric horror games. You can pick up The Path on Steam for under $10. 


Horror games can take you from the depths of the ocean to the streets of an abandoned city.  Whatever the setting for a horror game, the end goal is the same every time.  Players are supposed to quake and peek over their shoulders just to make sure that whatever is on their screen hasn't ended up in their living room.


Series like Silent Hill and Resident Evil made a name for the horror genre, and since then titles like Five Nights At Freddie's and Outlast have been keeping the screams coming.  Horror has become one of the most popular genres in gaming, and hopefully, with upcoming titles like We Happy Few and Resident Evil 7, it will keep growing.


Here are a few horror games that should have you keeping the lights on for a bit after you're done with them. 

The state of horror games in 2015 Thu, 10 Dec 2015 08:22:20 -0500 Ty Arthur

While other gaming genres are stagnating and in need of a serious shake-up, horror is innovating and finding new ways to be more effective. The recent pinnacle was probably last year as Among The Sleep and Alien: Isolation from 2014 showed how first person experiences can epitomize and legitimize terror.

Although not without flaws, those games made it clear that horror works best when you can't effectively fight back – a notion that's gone forward into 2015 with a bevy of absorbing titles, covering every platform and graphical style you can imagine. That's great for gamers in general, but can also be a problem for individual players, as many of the most intriguing titles didn't hit all platforms: if you want to experience them all, you'll need to bridge the divide between PC and multiple consoles.

Before checking out our look back on the state of the horror genre this year, don't forget to also read through our other articles analyzing the state of other genres in the 2015 gaming world:

Most Overhyped / Biggest Horror Disappointment Of 2015

There were a slew of high-quality and imminently frightening releases this year, but all is not well in the state of horror...

Silent Hills

Until the upcoming reboot of FF7 was announced to be an episodic release without turn-based combat, there wasn't a bigger outcry from gamers that reverberated across the entire web than when Silent Hills was canceled and PT was pulled from the PlayStation Store.

Hideo Kojima's messy breakup with Konami led to this collateral damage that still has people in shock. We're all desperately holding out hope that someday this Guillermo Del Toro / Norman Reedus collaboration will return, but the stark reality staring us in the face is as bleak and horrific as the game would have been.

Just looking at this makes me sad

Five Nights At Freddy's 3 And 4

The gaming community is definitely split as to whether the infamous Five Nights At Freddy's series is a boon or a low point for horror. With simplistic gameplay (honestly, these could be mobile tapfest games rather than PC titles) and a string of games coming out in rapid succession, FNAF catapulted into the public consciousness mostly from the reaction videos. Frankly, watching those reaction videos is more fun than actually playing the games.

Two separate entries came out this year in the series, which didn't really shake up the formula much beyond a change in scenery and adding in some pixelated mini-games. The first 15 minutes playing any given FNAF game is scary, exhilarating fun, but then you're left with the endless repetition. It isn't long before the annoying realization sets in that it isn't actually all that enjoyable to check camera 1, check camera 2, check camera 3, re-check camera 1, close door, open door, check camera 1, ad nauseum into infinity.

This is really only scary the 1st time.

Biggest And Best Horror Release Of 2015

Horror managed to sneak its way into plenty of major games solidly sitting in other genres, like the Lovecraftian influences in Bloodborne, while Black Ops III of course saw the return of zombie mode, this time going in an eldritch horror direction set in the 1940s.

For the full-fledged games that are meant to be horror through-and-through, there was no shortage of options in 2015, and some of them managed to reach the same heights of last year's crop. It should go without saying that these are games best experienced alone, with the lights out and headphones on, or you lose a lot of the impact.


Coming from the same folks responsible for the Penumbra and the Amnesia games, you know you're in for something really messed up and genuinely creepy with Soma. While there aren't as many direct scares this time around with monsters actively trying to kill you, there is an overall sense of dread – and some really disturbing psychological horror – that propels this one forward. It's also always nice to see horror take a sci-fi bend rather than another supernatural or modern day focus, and fans of System Shock will be right at home here.

The lines get seriously blurred in Soma, in more ways than one.

Dying Light

Really delivering on the promise of open-world style horror that was hinted with past zombie titles, Dying Light puts the emphasis more on the “game” aspect in the genre of “horror games,” and is a ton of fast-paced fun once you get the controls down. That all changes when the sun drops below the horizon, though, as everything turns deadly and you have to carefully sneak your way back to safety, with the horror of the situation hitting home a little harder. Much like Dead Island, there are some issues with the gameplay, but overall this is a much better experience.

Until Dawn

Going a very different direction from either Soma or Dying Light is the interactive movie Until Dawn. You've heard this one before: a bunch of attractive and horny 20-somethings are about to spend the weekend in a remote cabin when something starts picking them off one by one. You may have seen it a hundred times in a slew of movies with diminishing returns, but you've never played it quite like this. The choice system brings to mind Heavy Rain while the subject matter is classic slasher horror to the max.

Resident Evil: Revelations 2

After a spate of games that keep going further and further away from their roots, we did get another Resident Evil title this year, and that's usually a good thing for horror fans. While it's not Resident Evil 4 (and the series is probably never going to be that good again), the episodic Revelations 2 is still being received better than the last couple of entries. It's still more action-focused than fully survival horror, but switching between characters to use each of their skills is a fun mechanic, and you can now try the 1st episode for free on consoles.

The Park

Although not a big release by any stretch of the imagination, there was one indie game well worth mentioning in horror that saw release in October just in time for Halloween. Short and sweet, The Park isn't a lengthy experience, but it's an all-encompassing one that really draws you in and hits the psychological horror notes hard. Amusement parks are already pretty creepy, but abandoned ones at night are even more so, and this game will make you never want to go near another one again.

Yeah, don't go on the Ferris Wheel.

Early Access

The advent of early access titles through platforms like Steam has made it difficult to classify what year a game is actually released. If a title has been available in early access for all of 2015 (and half of 2014 or earlier...) and has been played by thousands, but won't be feature complete until 2016, what year does the game actually come out? The issue becomes more complex when you consider that some developers are just leaving their games in early access mode indefinitely, using the money of new purchases to fund additional features over time.

There's some interesting ethical considerations in this style of funding, since fans are essentially paying for demos that may never get finished, and overall it's more dicey and prone to fail than straight crowdfunding. We'll avoid those titles that have been abandoned or look on the verge of failing and instead focus on three prominent games this year featuring fairly frequent updates that appear to be nearing completion.

The Forest

The Forest has been in early access since May of 2014, and it shows a ton of potential; hopefully, the full and complete game is actually on the horizon. This one puts you as the only survivor of a plane crash in a huge forested area filled with seriously creepy cannibalistic creatures. It's basically a survival sim – you have to build shelter and craft objects – but with a horror theme. This one has the possibility to become great, if only it ever makes it out of alpha.

Layers Of Fear

Only having been in early access since August of this year, Layers Of Fear is already feeling more like a complete game, and it delivers the fear in spades. Putting you in the role of a painter who has just totally lost his mind, there is an amazing atmosphere and aura of menace to this whole game that's both unique and leans on classic tropes. If there's an early access horror game that seems destined for success in the near future, this one is it.

Everything about this game is as unsettling as the painting suggests


Having used the early access feature of Steam for more than a year now, Darkwood offers a completely different style than what you'd typically get from a horror game: it's a top-down, procedurally generated game. It sounds odd, but it works, and there are some truly creepy moments on display in what Darkwood has offered up so far.

Horror On The Wii U In 2015

Fatal Frame 5

Frequently an afterthought in this latest console generation, lately there have been a few reasons to dust off the not-so-old machine (most notably with the RPG Xenoblade Chronicles X just arriving). Horror fans actually have one very solid incentive to go the Nintendo route: Fatal Frame 5 finally landed in North America on the Wii U this year under the title Maiden Of Black Water.

If you aren't familiar with the series, those early Fatal Frame entries were terrifying before games really figured out they could be terrifying, and they are still worth playing today. Unfortunately, this one isn't getting nearly the love from fans as the earlier games (the Metacritic score is currently a very disappointing 67), but for Wii U gamers it's still worth giving a shot. Unfortunately, this is a digital-only title in North America, so don't expect to find it sitting on store shelves.

Get ready to see dead people!

The Forecast For Horror In 2016

Horror isn't slowing down anytime soon, and in fact it's a good bet the genre is going to significantly ramp up as VR devices like the Oculus Rift finally arrive for large scale use. While that's still a ways off, the closer 2016 already has a ton of fright-based games that look amazing.

Games originally forecast to arrive this year – like the black and white, noir horror title Dollhouse or the Clocktower reboot Nightcry – are going to be coming early 2016 and should make some great early year material.

Asymmetrical or co-op is also getting a bigger focus coming up soon, with games like Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age or Friday the 13th covering the cooperative front. If you want something really unique, be on the lookout for Perception, a horror title along the lines of Outlast or Amnesia that changes the formula by making you play as a blind character.

Co-op monster hunting action is on the horizon.

For a full look at what's coming, check out our list of the 11 most anticipated horror titles slated to arrive in the coming months here, and be sure to let us know what you thought of 2015's scary offerings.

The Scariest and Spoopiest Games for this Halloween Sun, 25 Oct 2015 12:46:03 -0400 Brandon Morgan


In all, these horror games simply scratch the surface of the genre. Sure, they may be some of the very best recently released, but there are always plenty more to get your hands on for a couple of cheap thrills or horrifying nightmares.


Halloween is less than a week away, so if you truly want to be scared, then turn off the lights, close the blinds, toss on some headphones, and enjoy one of these titles.

The Forest

If you've ever been looking for a video game version of the film The Descent, with just a bit more added in, then The Forest is what you're looking for. Surviving alone on a deserted island after a plane crash is bad enough, but adding in flesh-eating cannibals and horrific deformed creatures is a bit overkill.


Unfortunately, that is exactly what this Steam Early Access title accomplished. It's an unsettling player-driven adventure that could last you days in-game, or you could last for all of ten minutes. The enemies are smart, they hunt you down after seeing you once, so staying on the move is a good idea.

Spooky's House of Jumpscares

Spooky's House of Jumpscares doesn't look like it would scare anyone, let alone a child, but you'd be dead wrong in thinking that way. Ten minutes into the game and I was already on the edge of my seat as little monsters and creatures popped up in the hallways and random rooms.


The spoopy horror game boasts 1000 rooms of "cute terror" that the player must survive. Cuteness fades quickly and gives way to hideous creatures. It's unsettling.

Alien: Isolation

There are very few games that truly scare me when it comes to the horror genre, but Alien: Isolation was the most recent to do so. I played late at night, enjoying the dark expanse of space for a time before things turned into a living nightmare aboard the spacecraft.


If you want the perfect horror atmosphere, then look no further than Alien: Isolation. This is the game everyone was waiting for when the Alien franchise turned toward the gaming world.


Outlast, although it is an older game, remains one of the very best survival horror titles in the entire world. The first-person perspective, the terrifying location, the creepy enemies, and more all lend their hand to ensure this tale sticks with you long after you complete the campaign.


With the most recent release of Whistleblower, there has never been a better time to enjoy the world of Outlast.


Honestly, Whistleblower features one of the very best antagonists seen within the video game world, and not just within the horror genre. See for yourself!


Thanks to developer From Software, the creators of the Dark Souls franchise, the world of Gothic Horror has been brought down upon gamers' heads in Bloodborne; another PS4-exclusive title.


The game may not be scary in the same sense as SOMA or Until Dawn, but it certainly has its moments. The setting is the scariest of all, as is the difficulty, where if you die you start back further away. It is unforgiving.


SOMA, the most recent sci-fi survival horror game from developer Frictional Games, has combined some intense scenery with an unsettling story about being a human being.


Set in an underwater facility, SOMA is tosses the player into this dilapidated world filled with robots who fancy themselves humans. The team at Frictional has created terrifying encounters with twisted creatures and insane AI, only you get to determine how to handle the situation on hand.

Until Dawn

Until Dawn, one of the most recently released horror games, albeit one exclusively on the PlayStation 4, is in the running for the best horror launch this year.


While the game is primarily about the story - much like TellTale's adventures - you can still control your character and put them through life or death situations. Every single choice you, the player, makes will alter the course of the story. Main characters will live or die depending on whether or not you take the left path or the right, or if you decide to hide or confront the killer head on.


It's terrifying and interesting all wrapped into one package.


The horror genre is easily, in this writer's personal opinion, one of the best genres to exist within the video game world. The simple act of being afraid of a game has ensured millions of people are too terrified to turn off the lights at night.


However, there is another breed of gamer out there who bathes in the fear, who loves to get their hands on the latest horror games and sit afraid in their living room or at their computer.


For those gamers, here are some of the very best horror games to enjoy this Halloween.

The Forest: Dragon Slayer Awards Nomination for Best New Indie Game 2014 Sat, 02 Aug 2014 13:33:42 -0400 Valentina Floegel

Dragon Slayer Awards are here! The Dragon Slayer Awards are fan nominated awards for communities in online gaming organized by Guild Launch, Gameskinny's sister site. Every year fans (you) are invited to vote for their favorite games/people/communities in each category. One of the nominations for Best Indie Game this year is The Forest. This is one of five games competing for the award. Voting is taking place now.

The Forest, Endnight Games' latest single-player survival horror adventure, released its Alpha on Steam in late-May of this year. Since then, the game has received positive reviews from many news sources:

"Despite its cannibals, The Forest delivers a survival experience that feels more "real" than many of its counterparts. You hunt, build shelters, and fight in a beautiful world that's oblivious to the action.                                                                      - Gamespot Review

"The atmosphere is subtly but noticeably different - scarier, prettier, more concerned with the realistic nuts and bolts of lonely survival than multiplayer mayhem or Minecraft-esque construction.                                                           - Eurogamer Review

The Forest begins with you being the lone survivor of a plane crash, but you are not alone on the island. Cannibals roam the area you inhabit, and they are precisely what makes the game so interesting. You must spend your days exploring and collecting supplies to build your base to protect yourself from the cannibals at night. By using stealth, you can successfully kill these creatures, though seeing one implies there are others nearby. If you observe these creepy, human-like creatures, you discover that they are actually smart.The cannibals travel in packs stalking their prey: you. They show emotion: fear of fire, curiosity as they examine you rather than aggressively charging towards you, and sadness when mourning the loss of their own. These dynamic creatures are part of what make your time in The Forest complicated. They kill you and haunt you; but observing them begs the moral question of who is really the evil one inhabiting the island. When The Forest isn't creeping you out, it's letting you take in the view. Endnight Games has recently activated a "Vegan Mode" that deactivates enemies in The Forest. Now you can die a slower death from diseases while wandering through the beautiful terrain. Since it is still in Alpha, new patches are constantly being released. You can keep up with this on the game's website.Although no release date is set, you can purchase The Forest Alpha for $14.99 on Steam. There are plans to port the game to Oculus Rift and to eventually add a co-op mode. As of now, the Alpha is only available for PC.

The Forest may just be another survival-horror game, but it's adding new concepts to the table. If you've played it and loved it, go vote for it as the best 2014 Indie Game here and help it win it's very deserved Dragon Slayer Award! You can check out the other nominees here.

Interview: Endlight Games' Ben Falcone Talks to GameSkinny about "The Forest" Sat, 02 Aug 2014 16:21:44 -0400 Alex D'Alessandro

The summer months are beautiful, aren't they? Lazy days under the canopy of a sycamore tree, reminiscing about a lost love or that night you'll never forget. Those camping trips deep into the forest, counting as many stars as your attention will let you. Realizing that some weird naked people are following you around with flashlights taped to the tops of their heads...Yeah, the living is easy.

Ben Falcone is the creative lead over at Endnight Games, the indie darling that has caused some serious ripples in the survival horror genre with their in-development hit, The Forest

GameSkinny had a virtual sitdown with Mr. Falcone about all things bloody, scary, and cute. 


GameSkinny: The Forest has really impressed gamers since its May 30th public release. Before The Forest was released, Watch Dogs was the top contender on the Steam sales chart, but only a few days later The Forest was Steam’s top seller. Why does your brand of survival horror speak to gamers more so than a AAA game might?

Ben Falcone: We were really surprised to release at number one on Steam, especially right after Watch Dogs. We’ve tried to capture the feel of playing in the woods, building a fort, finding a rock and throwing it and then fighting against an enemy threat. The openness of the game and the freedom you get as a player really lends itself to YouTube playthroughs and we credit most of the success of the game so far to the amazing videos people have been making.

We want players to eventually build up a stash of weapons, cover themselves in armor and the take on the enemy directly, find their missing kid and try to escape the forest.

GS: You’ve stated that a far range of films and games have helped influence The Forest: from Disney films and Minecraft to Cannibal Holocaust and Don’t Starve. Juxtaposition is clear from the onset of The Forest, and the game seems to love teasing players with beautiful vistas only to have them ambushed a few seconds later. How do you keep the players interested in exploration and experiencing the beauty of The Forest while delivering that sense of doom as soon as night falls?

BF: The vision was always to make this really beautiful, interesting world, and then try to use that as a base to scare people. Originally the plan was to only have enemies come out at night, but we’ve found the scariest moments come when you don’t expect the enemies at all. Lots of horror games are set in dark scary locations and it seemed like an interesting idea to try something scary above ground in a pretty location.

GS: How important is a proper “endgame” to the experience of The Forest? Has it always been a larger goal that the team has kept in mind? 

BF: It feels important to me, that there’s this open world, all these things you can do, but then also the option of going straight for the ending. Your son is missing. How do you find him, and what do you do to survive and find out what happened to him? I feel having just a pure survival game with no goal at all would eventually be tiring, and mixing the survival with the very subtle story is really interesting to us. We want players to eventually build up a stash of weapons, cover themselves in armor and the take on the enemy directly, find their missing kid and try and escape the forest.

Work together, or kill each other. It’s up to you.

GS: The mutants exhibit complex behaviors to say the least. Some will bluff charge you only to back away and stalk you from a distance, yet others will walk directly at you, scream, and presume to smash your skull into a chalky dust. What was the decision behind the complex set of behaviors that the mutants seem to posses, e.g., worshipping at early hours, patrolling, setting up communities, etc? Does adding a moral scale deter the players from killing every mutant they see? 

BF: We wanted to try something different with the AI, and as a team we are always interested in games that try new ideas. From very early on we wanted to try and make these creatures feel alive and dynamic; not knowing exactly what they’re going to do or how they will respond in different situations makes them a lot more interesting and hopefully scary.

GS: A co­-op mode has been in the works for sometime, according to most sources. Are there any details you could share about the cohabitation with other players and how that will change the dynamic of The Forest. Will your relationship with the other human player(s) necessarily be symbiotic?

BF: We’ve tried to make the world and game as dynamic as possible and feel having another human in there will only further this goal. Work together, or kill each other it’s up to you.

GS:  Aside from bug fixes and player feedback, what is an advantage of the “Pre­Alpha” public release? Do you worry that some players might be deterred from playing the full future release because of a possibly “buggy” first experience?

BF: It’s definitely a worry for us. We want players to have the best experience possible, and so for most players waiting until final is probably the best idea. Some players, however, really like providing feedback and help to the team, filing bug reports and being part of the development process. It’s also an interesting look behind the curtain for some players who are interested in possible careers in game development at some point, being able to see a game form over time is an interesting experience in itself, but a different one than playing a finished polished release.

 GS: Occulus Rift — The graphical aesthetic of The Forest has a real visceral punch, coaxing players deeper into areas that they might normally avoid. Booming thunder rolls overhead, rain falls in sheets and pools on the ground, a flash of lightning reveals that you are being followed and then you realize you are surrounded. This game seems simultaneously terrifying and mesmerizing with the Occulus Rift. Why did you want to port The Forest to a VR headset?

BF: I’ve always been really excited about VR, 3D and the Rift. I was hoping to have Rift support in for the first version of the alpha release but so many other bugs and gameplay features took priority.We’re hoping to have a Rift version ready in time for the next dev kits and feel that will be a much better experience for players than using the current dev kit, which is limited in a lot of ways. When the VR does work well, and you do get lost in the world it can be a really amazing feeling, looking down at your feet and feeling like you’re actually standing in mud, or seeing a life-size cannibal run jump attack you which can be terrifying. 

GS: Crafting and survival seem to go hand in hand, especially in video games. How deeply do you want the expand the crafting experience to aid the player all the while keeping a balance between skillful playing and white­knuckle panic? 

BF: The goal has always been to make something that is really hard, really challenging for players, unless they play smartly, gather resources build weapons,using their wits to survive.We never wanted to make a fast twitch type game and hope as we balance the game, more attentive players will be able to survive for as long as they focus on making good decisions. We want making a series of bad decisions to ultimately lead to the players death.

GS: Since you have added rafts and houseboats as of V 0.03 are you alluding to the idea of being able to leave the island and explore somewhere behind your humble crash site? Could there be an even greater enemy than sharks lurking in the water? How large would you like to expand the realm of play in The Forest?

BF: Escaping the forest should be the eventual goal of most players, along with finding your missing son, but how exactly you escape isn’t something we want to reveal.

GS: How do you propose to keep the players interested and coming back once the island has been thoroughly explored and built upon? Are there limits to your character's actions? 

BF: We hope the amount of randomness in the world will help with replayability. Co­-op is one place which will really help this, but even as a single player game it’s hopefully a different experience each time players enter the world. Adding more randomness and interesting actions to the creatures, having a bigger world to explore and more things to do will hopefully keep things fresh to players.

GS:  Are there any big changes or additions that you can hint to for the next update?

BF: We’re very close to having a brand new ambient lighting system working in the game, along with a rough pass of global illumination, combined they really bring the visuals together and drastically improve the look and realism of the world. Down the line, opening up new parts of the world and introducing new animals and more importantly the rest of the cannibal types is going to be really exciting and interesting to see.

The Forest Isn't Going Anywhere 

The capers and creeps of the The Forest aren't coming to end anytime soon. With continual updates being pushed out at a regular pace, The Forest will grow into something beautifully haunting - a true indie killer. If you agree, make sure to go over and read our breakdown of The Forest for our Dragon Slayer Awards; fan nominations for community games and personalities -- oh yeah, vote or die. 

Dragon Slayer Award Nominees: Best New Indie Game Thu, 31 Jul 2014 11:08:06 -0400 Kate Reynolds

Proof that independent video games have finally blossomed into forest of vast games are this year's Dragon Slayer Award nominees for Best New Indie Game.

We have horror games, simulators, pretty games, games with strong narratives, and sandbox games - just to name a few of the genres our nominees can claim. So without further ado, the Dragon Slayer Award Nominees for Best Indie Game. 

  • Among the Sleep
  • Goat Simulator
  • Starbound
  • The Forest
  • Transistor

How Do I Choose?

It's true, each of the five games nominated for this category offer a little something different to the indie game scene and the gaming scene at large. So here are a few things to keep in mind while deciding which of these games to vote for. 

Game Mechanics

Indie games have perfected the art of taking simple game mechanics and transforming them into artfully complex systems. This might be a new style of combat, the melding of narrative and gameplay, the creation of a new genre, or a new twist on an older formula. 

Think about this: if the game was stripped down to its basics, are the mechanics both sound and interesting? Are the fundamental concepts of the game (puzzles, survival, combat, simulation) unique unto themselves? 


In addition to distinct gameplay, many indie games are known for artful presentations. Some may use retro art, enticing soundtracks, and even new types of narratives. 

So when thinking about presentation, ask yourself this: How do the artful elements of the game come together? How do the auditory, visual and narrative elements of the game come together to create a larger whole? 

Industry Innovation

While it's fine and dandy to choose a game simply based on gameplay, we would humble ask you to consider the impact these independent games have had on the overall gaming industry. 

When thinking about this, try to analyze what each of our nominees offer the their respective genres. Did a game completely revolutionize its genre? Did it create its own? What does it have to offer in the larger picture? 

Go Vote!

So with those considerations in mind, go vote for your favorite Dragon Slayer Award nominees, and help us decide once and for all what the best new indie game of 2014 is. 

Top Sellers on Steam - July 20 through 26 Mon, 28 Jul 2014 00:48:47 -0400 Mary Yeager


#10: The Elder Scrolls Online -


Despite having a rocky start with their launch in April, TESO is still seeing great sales numbers and finishes up the list of top 10 sellers on Steam for the week ending July 26th. The Elder Scrolls Online brings the world of Tamriel for players to enjoy cooperative play while journeying the worlds we know from The Elder Scrolls single-player series.


Released: April 4, 2014


#9: The Forest -


Get your survival horror fix with this game as a lone survivor of a jet crash. Face off against a society of cannibalistic mutants that want to have you for supper. Build and survive in this open-world horror simulator.


Released: May 30 ,2014


#8: Dungeon Defenders Eternity -


Dungeon Defenders Eternity is a tower defense action-RPG. Some of its new features include:

  • New Missions
  • \n
  • New endgame
  • \n
  • Secure online play
  • \n
  • and more.
  • \n

Released: July 22, 2014


#7: Dead Island Franchise Pack -


The Franchise pack gives players access to the following:

  • Dead Island
  • \n
  • Dead Island Ripper Mod
  • \n
  • Dead Island: Riptide
  • \n
  • Dead Island: Riptide - Fashion Victim
  • \n
  • Dead Island: Riptide - Survivor Pack
  • \n
  • Dead Island: Ryder White DLC
  • \n

Released: This was a weekend deal on Steam slated to end Monday morning at 10 AM PST/1 PM EST.


#6: Planet Explorers -


This open-world RPG is one of the few titles currently released by indie developer Pathea Games. The game utilizes a voxel system to change their world. This is also an Early Access Game on Steam that could include game-play issues.


Released as Early Access: March 11, 2014


Official Release Date: Unknown


#5: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive -


CS: GO is the fourth in the series of Counter-Strike. It can also be found in the top ten list of top paying eSports games. CS: GO offers players updated versions of the classic content Counter-Strike is known for.


Released: August 21, 2012


#4: DayZ -


This is not an official game release, yet it still finds its way onto the top sellers list on Steam. DayZ is still in Early Access Alpha. These purchases are designed to assist developers and could contain game-breaking issues.


Released as Early Access: December 16, 2013


Official Release Date: Unknown


#3: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Legendary Edition -


Award-winning Skyrim is still on top sellers list despite the fact that the game was originally released November 11, 2011. The Legendary Edition includes all the official add-ons:

  • Dawnguard
  • \n
  • Hearthfire
  • \n
  • Dragonborn
  • \n

It also features the mounted combat and legendary difficulty and skills.


Released: June 4, 2013


#2: Dark Souls II - Season Pass -


Players have been snapping up the Season Pass for Dark Souls II to gain access to the three chapters from the Lost Crown Trilogy. Players have to take back crowns originally owned by Drangleic's King Vendrick.


Released: July 22, 2014


#1: Divinity: Original Sin -


Divinity: Original Sins is an RPG adventure that includes a turn-based combat system and open world play. Play online with friends and use the tools to make adventures. As a young Source Hunter, players can interact with anyone and anything in game as they hunt the "foulest of magics".


Released: June 30, 2014


Top Sellers Last Week on Steam


Find out what games and packs were top sellers last week with this Steam round-up. From voxel games to horror games, check out these titles.

The Forest Coming to Steam Early Access, New Screenshots Revealed Fri, 24 Jan 2014 08:07:40 -0500 Brandon Morgan

Developer Endnight Games has announced today that they intend to release their survival-horror title The Forest via Steam’s Early Access program. The studio is currently working on getting a playable early alpha ready for said release. To help boost excitement for the upcoming game, Endnight has sent out a series of new screenshots, excitement is definitely rising.

The new screenshots shown below showcase a new enemy type, some beautiful, yet decrepit scenery, and the new spreadable flame gameplay feature they have been working on. Everything looks brilliant so far and definitely horrifying. The game reminds me of a playable version of the film The Descent, which featured similar creatures surviving in the depths of a mountainous cave system. Being hunted has never looked like so much fun.

The Forest is planned for release later this year on PC. Endnight Games is working hard to ensure the world feels like a living, breathing place that continues even if you aren’t looking at certain aspects of it. The creatures have emotions and their own lives, the wilderness comes alive, and the nighttime is deadlier than anything before.

The Forest, Where Minecraft Meets Survival Horror Tue, 14 Jan 2014 18:30:36 -0500 JohnHeatz

I’m a huge survival fan, and of course, I definitely enjoy some survival horror action every once and then; which brings me to one of the games I’m looking for the most: Endnight Games’ The Forest.

Now that you’ve seen a little bit of the game, let’s explain what is it about.

The Forest is an open-world, survival horror game in which you’re the lone survivor of a plane crash, whom is now stuck in an island full of some weird mutant cannibals. This island is basically a forest, a gorgeous forest that will put your survival skills to test without giving you any exact quest to follow, even though there will actually be some quests, a story, and even a proper ending for this game, as revealed during an interview with Eurogamer.

"We wanted to create a world where we could drop the player into and give them free range to do whatever they want, similar to something like Minecraft where a lot of the fun comes from decisions that you make."

Said creative director Ben Falcone during the interview.

Basically, in order for players to “find” this story, they’ll have to investigate, find different pieces of information that then will need to be put together in order to show what the story behind the island and those cannibals is.

When it comes to these adversaries, Endnight Games is going to shake things up a bit, making them a little bit more…credible. As they described them, these cannibals will not only be evil, but hungry, and they’ll feel empathy towards each other, not to mention the fact that they’ll be smarter than you think.

To give an example of this, it is explained that they might actually be stalking you for a while without you even noticing, staying at a safe distance from you, and even calling others in order to help them get to you. Also, if they find a dead body of one of their own, they’ll even cry for the dead ones, or even run away from the site.

The Forest is currently under development for PC, however, the studio says it is undergoing conversations with both Sony and Microsoft in order to bring the game to consoles, and -for the PC- it will be entering its beta in the next few months.

The Forest Looks Like a True Survival Horror Game Wed, 08 May 2013 16:20:43 -0400 McLain Anderson

Although it's still in production, the pre-alpha gameplay footage the game developer released just recently looks awesome! Players will have to try and survive by gathering supplies for food and the materials needed to build a camp. They will also need to defend themselves from the creepy monsters lurking about in the shadows of the forest. 

In other cool news, the game will have full support with the Oculus Rift and if you're interested in the game, you can vote for it on Steam GreenlightCurrently the link to Steam is down at the moment, but it should hopefully be back up soon!