Oh boy, it’s that time of year again, where things get dark and scary and mediocre movie sequels about being lost in the woods seem to pop out of the mildew.
But maybe that’s not your style and you’d rather engage in an interactive medium that promises to both scare and entertain you. Here’s the top five scariest horror games currently on Steam, from least scary to super spooky.
5. DUSK (2018)
Kicking off the list is the legendary FPS “Dusk,” which utilizes old, blocky graphics to put forth an unnerving atmosphere. You play as “Dusk Guy,” a treasure hunter who stumbles into the town of Dusk looking for some good old ancient artifacts. You must fight a world ending cult that worships an Eldritch god. The player moves fast, but has the durability of a middle aged man with brittle bone disease, so on your feet thinking and maneuvering is a must. The enemies are fantastic, with lots of variety and different attack patterns so you will always have to adapt. The levels start out creepy, and then become more and more abstract, accompanied by an excellent techno soundtrack. The biggest issue I have is with the weapons, as they tend to be mostly generic shotguns and sniper rifles. Regardless, “Dusk” is still an absolute masterpiece, and if you’re not usually a horror fan, this is a great way to dip your toes in and still be able to sleep at night.
On the flip side of a first-person shooter game comes “Darkwood.” An intense, and I mean INTENSE, survival horror game set in an evil forest that’s about to destroy the world. You play as a random dude trapped in the forest, unable to die and trying to find a way out. The game is split between daytime scavenging missions and nighttime raids from monsters as you board up your house and wait it out until morning. The game features very difficult combat, a unique and bizarre story and some truly terrifying moments. It’s a slow burn, but it pays off well and is immensely satisfying
Easily my favorite game on the list, “Hellsign” puts you in the shoes of a licensed monster hunter. Your job is to track down demons and monsters, find clues, and eventually grab some guns and give ‘em the ole American uppercut. “Hellsign” is a fantastic game that is more about clue hunting and careful observation than simply opening fire on monsters. The biggest issue with the game is the fact that the early levels are a grind, but after a couple hours the game opens up a bit more. Overall, a solid game that’s a bit of an underrated gem, and one I’ve gotten my fair share of enjoyment out of
2. Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Anyone who has ever had a passing interest in horror has heard of this game: the legendary “Amnesia: The Dark Descent.” Taking place in a medieval castle, you wake up to find you have (gasp) amnesia, and must kill a Baron who has resorted to the use of black magic. There is absolutely no combat in the game, and as monsters chase you around the only thing you can do is run, hide, or quit the game and go back to Call of Duty. It has an appealing visual direction, with some stellar voice acting and a great story. Even with all that, it’s the way the game gets to you psychologically that sets it apart. You have a sanity meter which forces you to look at the monsters only if you have too, lending the game the ability to keep it’s monsters scary by not allowing you to become desensitized. Even more than a decade later this game is still the king of terror, going toe-to-toe with other legends like “Five Nights at Freddy’s” and even “Silent Hill 2”. It’s an amazing game that I recommend every horror enthusiast play at least once.
1. World of Horror
Let me start this off with a warning: if you are easily scared, do NOT look this game up. “World of Horror” is a turn-based detective mystery game that takes inspiration from the legendary manga author Junji Ito, whose works are beyond horrifying. The game centers around students at a high school investigating mysterious events in order to stop eldritch gods from destroying the world. You play by going to various events and choosing actions, like in a choose-your-own-adventure book. It tends to offer a lot of variety, and at times is more like an RPG than a horror game, until you see some of the monsters, which are horrifying and unsettling. “World of Horror” stands as a fantastic horror game that has a unique feel to it, and is incredibly unsettling.
By: Caleb Leasure