Halloween is a bit like marmite; you either love it or hate it. While some people thrive on dressing up, trick or treating and being scared, others want nothing more to lock the door, shut the curtains and completely forget what day it is. Well, if some of your October 31st plans are to sit in front of your TV gaming (and to be honest, we wouldn’t blame you), then here are some ideas as to what you could be playing. Whether you’re a scaredy cat (like me, meow!) or a little harder to scare, chances are there’s a game on this list that will suit you. Take a look!
If you want to join in the Halloween spirit but don’t want to step too far outside your comfort zone, try the following scary but equally safe titles this coming Halloween.
Costume Quest 2 [Xbox One, PS4, PC, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U]
After the success of the first game, Costume Quest 2 was released a couple of years ago with similarly successful results. A simple turn based RPG with bright, colourful yet simplistic graphics, and a story engaging enough to keep you playing right through to the end with ease makes this game the perfect Halloween story for those not quite ready for a scare.
Minecraft [Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One, PS4, PC, Wii U, various handheld devices]
If you’re more creative and enjoy building, then look no further than Minecraft. Its ever growing popularity means continuous game support in the form of free DLC packs. The Halloween “spooky bundle” adds a new Halloween based map for the battle mini-games, as well as new packs that mean you can craft Halloween items and play dress up without even leaving the house. From pumpkins to ghosts and ghouls, make your Halloween a little less scary and a little more blocky.
Plants vs. Zombies [Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3, PC] Whether it’s simple tower defense or full on multiplayer madness, the Plants vs. Zombies series has plenty to offer, but mainly the killing of zombies (that’s enough of a Halloween link, right?). So whether you want to behead and decapitate waves of zombies in the original Plants vs. Zombies, or traversing maps with your friends and leaving bodies in your wake in the two Garden Warfare reincarnations of the game, these games could be the perfect Halloween escape for you.
Goosebumps: The Game [Xbox One, PS4, PC] If you grew up in the nineties and were a bit of a bookworm (like myself), then chances are the Goosebumps books played a big part of your childhood. Goosebumps: The Game takes some of the best-loved characters and scary moments from the books, such as the living dummy, the dead house and even an appearance from R.L. Stine himself, and lets you experience them yourself in a point and click adventure. Easily completable in one night, this short and (not so) sweet story might be just the thing to join in the Halloween fun.
Games that will have you on the edge of your seat this Halloween.
Alan Wake [Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Xbox One via Backwards Compatibility] when darkness is your enemy, having a torch to hand is definitely a plus. In Remedy Entertainments’ Alan Wake, you must combine artificial light and bullets to defeat the darkness and the monsters that come from it. With some pretty-much-guaranteed jump scares and a supernatural feel throughout, having Alan Wake for company this Halloween is perfect for those ready to game with the lights out.
Alien Isolation [Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3, PC]
The Alien films and its renowned Xenomorph have been thrilling horror fans on the big screen for over 30 years and various reincarnations. Where some earlier Alien games may have disappointed, Alien Isolation definitely delivered. An eerie setting accompanied with a story that requires you to sneak about trying to avoid the constant attentions of a giant Xenomorph (which could drop down on you at any minute) makes this game another perfect Halloween accompaniment.
Slender: The Arrival [Xbox One, PS4, PS3, Xbox 360, PC]
Perhaps one of the more genuine horror games on this list, Slender has made an appearance on both Xbox 360 and Xbox One. With very little direction and just a flashlight for company Slenderman himself might be just creepy enough to keep you on edge. If you dim the lights and play this game alone, not knowing when and where the faceless antagonist might turn up, might be the ideal scare for you this Halloween.
Enigmatis: The Ghost of Maple Creek [Xbox One, PC]
Enigmatis offers a ghost story of a different kind. Again completable in a night, Enigmatis is a point and click game that challenges you to solve the unusual case of missing people. Getting deeper into the story as you move through the game uncovers more secrets, so if you’re looking for a game with twists and turns that will also require a bit of brain power, then this might be the Halloween story for you.
The Evil Within [Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS4, PS3, PC]
Horror can manifest itself in games differently. Particular titles love to subtly add tension through musical and visual cues, whereas others spare no expense in throwing every ounce of gore into your face. The Evil Within almost sits in the middle of these two extremes. The game prides itself on grotesque beasts and disgustingly creative enemies while also attempting to constantly keep you on edge. It’s certainly not for those wanting to simply “tread the water” with the horror genre, but instead for those who revel in all things terrifying and disturbing. It also provides brilliant inspiration for some spooky costume ideas to scare the kids this Halloween!
Dead Space [Xbox 360, Xbox One via Backwards Compatibility, PS3, PC]
While it could be argued that the scare factor of the franchise has waned with each installment, the Dead Space games began with an extremely memorable but also haunting enemy. The Necromorphs, an enemy terrifying enough to make any grown man cry or frighten anyone out of their mind who comes into contact with them. Unfortunately, poor Isaac Clarke never got a break from them. Aboard the eerie and desolate USG Ishimura, Isaac came face to face with these nightmarish enemies time and time again and it’s something that will terrify you at every single encounter. Similar to The Evil Within, the original Dead Space brilliantly oozed tension while also presenting a wonderfully gruesome enemy for us to tear apart, or rather, tear US apart.
Outlast [Xbox One, PS4, PC]
Telling a story through a camera is a technique picked up by quite a few horror films along the years, think Blair Witch or Paranormal Activity. Outlast is a true horror game which takes advantage of the video camera point of view to give you a scare or two as players navigate the game’s environments as unfortunate reporter Miles Upshur. With the perfect horror setting of a Mount Massive mental asylum and gruesome scenes, guts and gore. If you really want to be afraid this Halloween, I’d suggest playing Outlast in the dark, on your own, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Emily Wants to Play [PS4, Xbox One, PC]
Everything about little girls in horror films screams scary, and new release Emily Wants to Play uses this idea for the basis of its game. You’re a pizza delivery person who has to try and survive the night, whilst Emily and her friends have other ideas. With the scary obstacles changing by the hour, this game might see you on the edge of your seat, or it might see you hiding behind a pillow instead; it’s your choice.
Through The Woods [PC, Xbox One – 2017]
As a parent, I imagine losing your child is one of the scariest things that could happen. Recently released for PC, Antagonist Games’ Through The Woods brings this nightmare to life, with the addition of horrible monsters to fight off. Keep your eye on your child, when the game launches for Xbox One in 2017.
Games to look out for in 2017.
Outlast 2 – Having been delayed recently after its original window of Fall 2016 for Xbox One, PS4 and PC, the follow-up to Red Barrels 2014 masterpiece Outlast might just be the game to give you a real scare next Halloween if the game is released by then and providing you have sufficient underwear.
Friday the 13th : The Game – Jason is an iconic horror film baddie and has killed many a victim across his various films with his trust machete or whatever comes to hand. He’s now been reincarnated in video game form in Gun Media’s Friday the 13th: The Game. With the exciting prospect of multiplayer on offer here, keep an eye out for Jason when the masked maniac and his game release next year.
Rides With Strangers – If hitchhiking in the middle of the night is your idea of hell, then maybe steer clear of upcoming release Rides With Strangers. Due next year, it’s your job to make it to your destination in one piece, but who do you trust to give you a ride?