Horror games are on the rise and there is no end in sight. Jump scares and eerie noises are common tropes in games these days whether you are trying to escape an insane asylum or struggling to live another day in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. You would think that a genre aimed at grown-ups would not garner as much attention as kids games would, but boy! If you look at the increase of new horror games releases over the last few years, there’s definitely a trend to detect. Gamers want good story writing that will give them nightmares. They want terrifying creatures to run away from, battle against, and ultimately defeat. Don’t worry too much if you have a hard time stomaching the sight of blood and get queasy about gory scenes. Not every scary game is based on massacres!
Some horror games manage to be hauntingly spooky without even so much as a drop of life’s red elixir. Take the original Slender Man as an example: The suited antagonist has given millions of players worldwide the heebie-jeebies without even wielding a weapon. Horror games are all about highlighting the unknown. What monster may be lurking in the shadows? What’s hiding around the corner? What was that sound you just heard? Why are the lights flickering? Wondering what the hell (quite literally, sometimes) is going on is half the reason why horror games are becoming increasingly popular. The other half? Going up against supernatural beings or deranged serial killers with little to no chance of survival. Sometimes, not even a massive arsenal of firearms will help you survive. Other horror games that belong to the survival subgenre will require you to rely on wits alone and outsmart opponents by running away, solving tricky puzzles or simply hiding in a cupboard. Shh, be very quiet!
Both indie games (like Outlast) and big AAA titles (like The Evil Within) have conquered the gaming industry by storm in 2014. This not only showed in sales figures, but also in the amount of Let’s Play videos that have popped up - and continue to do so - on YouTube and other media platforms. Online sensation PewDiePie has publicly screamed his little lungs out while running from evil creatures in horror games and Yogscast members Hannah and Kim have bravely faced aliens and other frightening entities in their Fright Night series. Have you ever watched someone play horror games online? We have, but at the same time fully understand that watching someone dive into multiplayer shooters like F.E.A.R. Online or Faceless might not be as thrilling as going at it on your own.
Because most free horror games are set in an alternate universe far different than our own, there seem to be no boundaries when it comes to creating gruesome monsters and nefarious villains. One thing is for certain: Spooky games often offer a variety of foes that will leave your blood curdling and your spine tingling. Here are a few examples of what you might have to take on when joining other players online in the battle for good versus evil:
Some horror games will willfully trick you into thinking that there is some ultimate source of evil waiting to take you out at any chance. Truth is, however, that these stories often follow the goal of playing tricks on your mind. Sometimes, our own characters turn out to be the most vicious...