Although many of us don't need an excuse to break out a survival horror game and stress ourselves out from time to time, with Halloween around the corner, some gamers may be looking to do just that. Jump into that spooky spirit with a few terrifying games designed to keep you up at night. We'll take a midnight stroll through a list of 5 indie games, all intent on grating upon our delicate psyches and making us wonder if we're asleep or awake.
Welcome to Hanwell Mental Hospital, the oldest, most decrepit-looking mental hospital still housing patients. Asylum is a constant nail-biter, as players are immersed in an incredible storytelling experience that takes them through floor after floor of blood-soaked rooms that hint at unspeakable atrocities from the hospital's past.
Taking over four years to finally come together, the game has impressive visuals that only serve to bring horror and fear to the player in a very real way. In case the base game isn't freaky enough for you, the game's website has extra features, including taped therapy sessions with some of the more infamous patients of the hospital. Find secret rooms, lost patients, sadistic doctors, and a side of yourself you never knew existed at Hanwell. Just don't stay too long...
Like Asylum, Kraven Manor gives players the freedom to explore a massive and fearful environment with nothing more than a flashlight and their curiosity. While players discover the troubled past of William Kraven and his demonic mannequins, they collect miniature rooms and figures to carry back to an interactive model in the manor's entryway.
Each time players add another piece to the model, the entire house changes and players are left with more to explore and more to fear. Rooms already traversed change with added blood splatter and flickering lights, forcing players to be cautious even in familiar places. Kraven Manor holds the Best Gameplay and Best Visual Quality Awards from Intel University Games Showcase and can be played on Steam for $5.99... If you dare.
Neverending Nightmares is aptly named because it seems to give neverending nightmares to its players. The game's somewhat basic visuals give it a sort of comic strip feel, but do nothing to take away from the lasting impact of terror the game supplies.
Following a protagonist who wakes up in a different place after each nightmare, players are tasked with discovering just where he is and why he's there by exploring barely lit rooms caked in excessive gore. Each time the player dies or falls into darkness, they wake up in a different place, panicked and terrified all over again, with the overall darkness of the game increasing each time until soon you're too terrified to leave the bed you woke up in.
Neverending Nightmares is a true hallmark when it comes to psychological thrillers, and with its creator Matt Gilgenbach already working on a Kickstarter for a follow up, the Nightmares are sure to stay.
With a creepy slow tempo, haunting lyrics, and enough quick cuts of unexplainable images, just watching the SCP Containment Breach trailer is enough for me. But if anyone wants to feel the fear of being the only sane person alive in a secret underground facility used to house strange and anomalous artifacts that come to life randomly, then this story is for you.
Take command of a Class D test subject, otherwise known as a human guinea pig, and do your best to make it out of the facility alive without running into the game's main antagonist, SCP-173, and getting your neck snapped. The game focuses mostly on survival, but players can chose to brave the endless darkness to find files or artifacts about the facility which may help in their escape. SCP Containment Breach is free to play, thanks to the SCP Foundation Community, and can be downloaded from their site for hours of stressful and hallucinogenic fun.
What's more terrifying than going to sleep with your family on vacation, only to wake up on a deserted space ship in decaying orbit around an uninhabitable planet? Not much, in my opinion. But that's exactly what awaits players who take on Stasis, a breathtaking isometric horror story told through the eyes of John Maracheck, as he tries to find his missing wife and child before the ship he's on plunges into an acidic atmosphere.
Stasis is like a Dead Space offshoot in 2D, featuring complex engineering puzzles and a well thought out story line, complimented by world class musicians and experienced voice actors. Widely accepted and praised by fans, Stasis holds a 9/10 rating on Steam and a 4/5 rating on Metacritic respectively, and looks to hold the trophy of fear for a while longer.
That's my list, but what's yours? What creepy indie games will you be picking up this Halloween? Let me know in the comments below!