Halloween is right around the corner, and it’s long been a tradition to play horror-themed video games at this time of year. So what’s more appropriate than a review of 12 (awesome) horror games for Windows that can be played for free Twelve scary games that require no registration, no Internet connection, no Xbox controller, nothing of the sort: just an irresistible urge to spend a few hours suffering in front of a decent PC.
Homesick is a 2D horror adventure where players assume the role of a young woman visiting the abandoned house where her family was murdered. This serves as the backdrop for the development of a VERY tense graphic adventure, whose main referent in terms of both aesthetic and thematic content is the classic Clock Tower from Super Nintendo.
Dark Ocean is a 3D action adventure set in an enormous cruise ship on which your character appears to be the only survivor. The rest of the passengers have been infected with a strange virus that’s turned them into something like zombies, and getting out alive is not going to be easy. Dark Ocean borrows a few ideas and playable concepts from titles of the likes of Resident Evil and Amnesia, and you can see it in the final result (although the game is still not completely finished).
Yume Nikki is one of the most disturbing horror games with the most devoted fan bases in the entire world. In the game, players control the young Matsudoki, a girl who hardly ever leaves her house and whose only escape is her daydreams, where she goes inside a universe as enormous as it is unsettling. Despite the fact that it’s more than 10 years old (the first version of the game came out in 2004), Yume Nikki continues to be considered one of the games of reference for its genre. As it well should.
One Late Night
You’re the last person inside an office block. There’s not a soul left on your floor. But nevertheless, lights keep flickering, objects are moving around, you can hear noises…. In One Late Night players will find one of those first-person horror adventures that manage to deliver a few serious frights. The game also has outstanding graphics and a backstory that’s so simple and hits so close to home that it’s actually even scarier.
Midnight Man is a first-person horror game inspired by an actual pagan ritual; in it, players must survive inside a house until 3:33 in the morning. The problem? Inside the house is a strange presence whose aim is precisely to keep your character from living that long. During this short adventure players will realize that their enemy is nearby because ‘strange things’ happen around them, like chairs that move or candles that blow out unexpectedly…. Guaranteed frights.
Mad Father and Misao
Two for one. Mad Father and Misao were both developed by the same creator, Sen, and even though they both have completely different themes, they nonetheless manage to offer two terrifying experiences with highly unsettling story lines. Both games were developed with the WOLF RPG Editor, and although at first glance they don’t seem as scary as other games with better graphics, their brilliant plot lines and some of the more grotesque scenes more than compensate. Two classics for the price of one.
Babysitter Bloodbath is your standard slasher movie turned into a PlayStation One game. Players control a babysitter whose job gets a bit complicated when the electricity in the house goes out. It won’t be long before the babysitter (and the player along with her) realizes she’s not alone: a crazy person dressed up like a clown and armed with a knife is inside the house with her. The best thing about Babysitter Bloodbath is not the splendid homage it pays to an entire genre of cinema, but rather the number of options it includes, with the most outstanding among them being the ability to choose between first- and third-person views, or apply a VHS or DVD filter.
SCP – Containment Breach
You’re the subject of tests in a secret research center dedicated to working with monsters and paranormal events. This is the backdrop for the beginning of SCP – Containment Breach, a first-person horror adventure where the player must beware of both the supernatural creatures and the compound’s own soldiers. The best thing about the game is that in spite of its fixed and interesting script, the halls of the compound will change every time your character dies and you’ll start from the beginning, meaning the next scare always awaits just around the next corner.
This isn’t exactly a horror game, but this article obviously couldn’t leave out a title of the likes of Terrordrome. For the most ill-informed of you out there, Terrordrome is a 2D fighting game starring some of the most famous characters from the history of horror films. Leatherface, Freddy Krueger, Ash Williams, Michael Myers, Chucky, Jason, and Ghostface are just a few of the characters you can control. Each has his own attacks, combos, specials, etc. Without exaggerating, perhaps one of the best freeware titles ever made.
I See You
I See You is a first-person horror adventure that, unlike the vast majority of games in this genre, doesn’t try to frighten the player via the main character. Instead, I See You goes straight for the player seated in front of the computer, keyboard and mouse in hand. Saying much more about the game could ruin the experience and thus it’s best to take on this adventure without too much prior knowledge. That said, it’s not for the faint of heart.
Slender / Slender Space / Segatakai
To close this post, nothing better than the classic Slender and two of its best remakes: Slender Space and Segatakai. The original Slender needs no introduction, but the other two probably do. Slender Space is basically the same game as always, except it’s inside a spaceship, with all that comes along with that. For its part, Segatakai is a very similar title to the original, but with a very nicely done Asian aesthetic and graphics as good as they are disturbing. In short, three sure bets for a few frights in front of your computer screen.