Here at AVerMedia, we’ve picked out a few titles that give us just the right kind of fright. If you’re looking for some spine-chilling titles, our staff came up with a few faves that’ll leave you feeling juuuust uncomfortable enough to consider sleeping with the lights on.
Andy’s Horror Picks: Spooks for Everyone
I am not a huge fan of horror games. I’m not easily scared, but I am easily startled. Many horror games rely on jumpscares and not much else, so I tend to avoid the genre.
I’ve been having a lot of fun with friends on some games that have recently blown up: Phasmaphobia and Among Us!
Wait! Among Us isn’t a really horror game.
It can be…
This is the one everyone’s been playing. I love how essential teamwork is, how varied the gameplay is, and how creative you have to be with your solutions.
For those of you who haven’t played, here’s the gist:
You’re on a team of ghost experts tasked to identify the type of ghost haunting a location. Your main goal is to simply identify what kind of ghost it is using a variety of tools to find evidence. However, while you’re scouting the ghost, the ghost may be hunting you. Work with your team, do your best to survive, and identify that ghost!
As discussed before, the teamwork is one of my favorite aspects. It dramatically decreases the startle factor on what otherwise would be jump scares. The variety of tools, strategies, and solutions then turns this horror game into a teamwork-based horror-puzzle game.
What do I dislike? I hate how slow you move. It makes going back and forth between the van for equipment and exploring the location a chore, not to mention how much more stressful it makes the game when the ghost is nearby.
Movement aside, it’s great spooky fun with friends!
When I say “Among Us,” I don’t mean your regular game of Among Us. My friends and I have a gamemode many call hide and seek that we call “House of Horrors.”
The rules are simple:
- 1 imposter
- Scale # of tasks with crew size/skill. Generally avoid common tasks
- IE 5-6 players? 2-3 short tasks or 1 short, 1 long
- Set imposter vision to 0.25x, kill cooldown to 10 seconds
- Set movement speed to ~1.75 (fast but not too fast)
- Set kill distance to short
- Imposter is NOT allowed to sabotage (no doors and no emergencies)
- Imposter CAN vent
- Crew is NOT allowed to report bodies or call emergency
- Crew can only win by finishing tasks.
- Feel free to keep mics on and to call out who the imposter is (but if you’re a ghost, don’t give live location updates)
- The smallest map (Mira HQ) is the best one for this
- If someone accidentally reports a body or calls an emergency meeting, everyone must skip voting and the imposter must give the crew 3-5 seconds lead time.
In short, the imposter has almost no vision and must run aimlessly to kill the crew as quickly as possible. Because the imposter can barely see, this means the crew is doing their best to stealthily complete their tasks as quickly as possible without dying.
No voting, no reporting – only tasks and fear.
These games are super quick and a ton of (scary) fun… as long as you can avoid the imposter! On top of that, it works best with 5-8 players, so you don’t even need a full group.
See some of this gameplay in action! Some of the AVerMedia staff got a small group together with a couple of our partners, Cha0tik and Mekel Kasanova, to play this spooky edition.
Shu’s Horror Picks: Singular Scares
I’ll start this by saying I’m easily frightened. I hate the idea of watching horror movies by myself, but there is something strangely enticing about playing horror games that are single player. I’m not going to claim I’m brave enough to play titles like Resident Evil, but I love exploring mysterious or horror-psychological titles, and eventually stumbled on a tiny corner of the horror genre that’s just spooky enough for me. These two are my current favorites that I think most people should try, if they’re trying to dip their toes into horror games that have an interesting story without overly frightening scare factors.
World of Horror:
As the title suggests, this game is just…well, a world of horror. Not every spook has to be experienced in 4K graphics; World of Horror chooses to highlight all of the unsettling nuances within its detailed pixel art.
An immersive single-player experience, the story unravels more and more as you progress, make decisions, and unlock clues—leading to different chapters and endings that allow the player to slowly piece together what’s truly behind the disturbances. Sometimes, the unsettling part has nothing to do with encountering a ghost or a monster, but with the decisions leading up to the encounter. Other times, it’s the flavor text in the game that makes you rethink your hunch. Either way, if you’re looking for a game that’ll leave a lingering feeling of unease… you’ve found it.
For someone who’s got a light stomach for anything tagged under the “Horror” genre, I couldn’t help but show an interest in the unique style that’s drawn influence from horror mangaka Junji Ito, most popularly known from his stories, Uzumaki, and Tomie. Combined with stories that have been claimed by multiple reviewers to have a “Lovecraftian” feel to them, there’s something enticing about World of Horror (and the unknown) that compels you to try it out for yourself.
If there was to be a gripe about this game, I would say that the biggest drawback is the fighting system, which almost feels a little bit out of place when you’re trying to explore and find clues along the way. A turn-based system that requires a little bit of counting on the player’s part, I found that it almost distracted me from the storyline in the sense that it was the one aspect of the game that I could never find myself excited to encounter whenever they came up.
All in all, each of the stories in the game have their own twists and appeal, and are perfect for a short spook when you’re running short on time, but want to play a short game that’ll hit the spook factor just right.
The Witch’s House:
Along similar lines of a retro RPG-esque game, The Witch’s House is a mysterious adventure created in RPG Maker that makes its mark in this specific niche of horror games, and is often brought up along with titles such as Yume Nikki, Ao Oni, and Ib. Play as the protagonist, Viola, who finds herself lost in a forest. Unable to find a clear exit, she stumbles upon a mysterious house, hoping to find any sort of hints that’ll help her escape from the forest.
The official story description starts off:
“The young Viola visits a mysterious house in the woods. She soon discovers its dangerous nature and must find a way out. But the house is ever-changing, and death could be lurking anywhere…”
What could be inside this house? And how will Viola find a means of escaping the forest? Accompanied by a black cat as you progress through the story, the player solves puzzles around each of the rooms in this mysterious house, and makes decisions along the way that ultimately factor into the ending of the game. Along the way, the player finds out a little bit more about the owner of the house, and what may have happened to them as well… You may or may not also get chased around by things. With four total endings, the decisions you make along the way will create new experiences, adding to its replay factor.
Featuring a much more involved story, I found that I felt more and more involved with the story and the character as the story progressed. The greatest part of this game is knowing that you’ll have to face difficult decisions along the way, and can create a part of the main protagonists’ personality as a result of your actions. Although I’m not one for jumpscares, this game can trigger one or two of them which catch you off-guard, but it’s nothing that overtakes the game—it’s the creepy factor of feeling like you’re being watched by the house that makes this game much more eerie.
A rich storyline paired with charming pixel art style that’s iconic from most titles created on RPG Maker, The Witch’s House takes a small cast of characters and manages to create a story that leaves you with some sort of–well, I won’t spoil it for you–but a memorable ending (or endings?) that’ll have you recommending it to friends when you’ve fully experienced the story on your own.