10 games to play and help creep you out on Halloween
In John Carpenter’s iconic 1978 slasher flick Halloween, a young Jamie Lee Curtis said, “Halloween is when people play tricks on each other.” For a lot of folks, that may certainly be true. For others, the costume-and-candy-themed holiday is all about watching a good horror movie or enjoying a fun video game. Personally, I like playing Costume Quest and digging into a mountain of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Without further adieu, here’s a list of 10 games that are totally worth playing this Halloween.
Alan Wake’s American Nightmare (XBLA, PC)
While it may not exactly be a full-fledged sequel to the original Alan Wake, Alan Wake’s American Nightmare continues to carry the spirit that developer Remedy introduced in the first game. What you get with this spinoff is an eerie tale with serious Twilight Zone themes. The titular protagonist is trapped inside one of his scripts, and he’ll need to utilize wit, cunning, and plenty of light to escape this horrible alternate world.
See what makes Alan Wake’s American Nightmare such a fun thrill ride in our review.
Yesterday (PC, iOS)
One of the oddest, most bizarre adventure games of the year, Yesterday tells the dark tale of an amnesiac who desperately wants to find out who he is and where he came from. He’ll do so by literally being thrust into past events and witnessing things that occurred countless years ago. The game is heavy with murder, twisted characters, and satanic themes, and it is so weird that it would make an incredible candidate for a Halloween game.
Check out our review of Yesterday and see what makes this game such a demented fun time.
The trailer for Anna was one of creepiest things ever seen as far as video games are concerned. Pretty much anything that has to do with tight, dark, and haunted spaces is a bit eerie, and this first-person adventure certainly delivers a chilling experience. While it isn’t perfect, there are plenty of genuinely scary moments that should keep the tension high. Oh, and be sure to play it with the lights off for the best effect.
We explore the dark confines of Anna in our review.
The Adventures of Shuggy (XBLA, PC)
If you’re anything like me, you don’t need to play a game that’s scary on Halloween. Maybe you’d rather just have some fun with a lighthearted romp. If so, The Adventures of Shuggy has you covered. Starring a friendly vampire who just inherited a haunted castle, this puzzle platformer will keep you busy with over 100 stages. Throw in the free 40-level expansion that was released for the PC version, and you’ve got quite the lengthy Halloween experience.
We rid Shuggy’s castle of pesky otherworldly creatures in our review.
The Darkness 2 (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
It may not exactly be scary, but The Darkness 2 is a dark thrill ride rife with some seriously awesome gameplay and chilling themes. The game is high on gore, and if you’ve got an appetite for carnage this Halloween, no other title will deliver the brutality en masse quite like The Darkness 2. If you feel like shedding blood all over the game screen, brutalizing enemies, and tearing out spinal cords, this one’s got you covered.
Our Darkness 2 review lets you know what makes this brutal action game so much fun.
Yakuza: Dead Souls (PS3)
Crime-themed action-adventure games are often entertaining, but there’s something to be said about a game that can turn things around and give you a straight-up zombie-killing romp. Yakuza: Dead Souls does exactly that, and it thrusts you right into the fray. If you want to survive, you’ll have to use all manner of firepower as hordes of the undead hobble slowly (and creepily) toward you. Dead Souls is quite the peculiar Yakuza game, but it’s also immensely enjoyable.
What’s up with the zombies in Dead Souls? We let you know in our review.
The Walking Dead (XBLA, PSN, PC, iOS)
Based on the incredible comic book by Robert Kirkman, Telltale Games’ take on The Walking Dead is one of the most engaging and emotional adventure game franchises around. Each chapter tasks you with making touch decisions, saving as many people as possible, and slaying zombies along the way. We’ve still got one episode left before this series wraps up, but you can play any one of the four current entries this Halloween.
We take a look at the latest episode of The Walking Dead in our review.
Lollipop Chainsaw (Xbox 360, PS3)
There’s absolutely nothing scary about Lollipop Chainsaw, but it has countless zombies and it’s a lot of fun, so really, it’s an ideal candidate for the Halloween season. Starring the sexy Juliet Starling and featuring the talent of Suda51 and James Gunn, this zombie-huntin’ action game is one of the most cathartic experiences of the year. Suit up, ready your chainsaw, and get ready to cut those undead losers in half. Like, totally!
Read our review to get the skinny on this pleasingly colorful zombie fest.
Sleeping Dogs: Nightmare in Northpoint (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
Sleeping Dogs is a great game in its own right, tasking you with taking out denizens of Hong Kong’s seedy underbelly. When you throw in a creepy horror-themed expansion like Nightmare in Northpoint, however, you’re in store for a real treat. Featuring an eerie story inspired by classic Hong Kong cinema, this DLC will require you to obliterate citizens possessed by hell itself, as well as the reanimated corpse of a sinister triad.
Read our review of Sleeping Dogs to see why this trip to Hong Kong is an absolute blast.
Lone Survivor (PC)
Lone Survivor may very well be the most intense survival horror game of 2012. Don’t let it’s pixelated side-scrolling appearance fool you; this game will keep you tense throughout with its strange plot, scary sound effects, and unsettling vibe. This title is a true spectacle, and if you’re a fan of the genre or want something legitimately scary, you can’t go wrong with Lone Survivor. Oh, and be sure to play it with headphones on. Seriously, those sound effects ...
We let you know why Lone Survivor is one hell of a horror game in our review.
Extra candy! Bayonetta (Xbox 360, PS3)
After you've eaten all the good candy in your Halloween haul, there's nothing quite like stumbling upon that last piece of quality sugary goodness hidden beneath a bunch of stuff that never belonged in your pumpkin pail in the first place. With that said, I present to you Bayonetta, the 2010 brawler from developer Platinum Games. This game isn't scary, but it's a total blast, making it a worthwhile title to play on Halloween. Plus, it stars a sexy witch.
Have a happy Halloween, GameZone fans! Be safe and eat lots of candy!
Want to talk about indie games, Kirby, or cheap pizza? Follow me on Twitter @dr_davidsanchez.