Happy Halloween, GameZone readers! The day when kids big and small run around the streets dressed in costumes that range from quirky to creepy has arrived! Whether you're going out to get candy, passing out candy to the neighborhood kids, or ordering a pizza and watching the classic 1978 Halloween film like me, it's always fun getting in the spirit. If there's one thing a lot of us remember about Halloween, though, it's the candy. Sometimes you knew what you were getting, other times you were completely surprised. You'd get home, spot some delicious candy, avoid the nasty stuff, and even find a few surprises. This list of games to play on Halloween is kind of like that. It's not a top five list, and it's certainly not a list with the most recent games, but it's a list full of games that you should definitely check out. Expect some surprises!
The Binding of Isaac (PC)
Though The Binding of Isaac isn't exactly blatantly scary, it's pretty disturbing. Not only are the enemies ugly, nasty, and disgusting, but the levels themselves are pretty creepy. Guiding Isaac through his basement as he attempts to escape death at the hands of his psychotic mom is bad enough, but when you encounter monsters covered in slime, deformed creatures that cough up flies, and rotting baddies, you can't help but get grossed out. The Binding of Isaac is a great game to sit down and play while you wait for that Halloween pizza to arrive or before you go out trick-or-treating.
To find out more about this creepy title, check out our review.
Costume Quest (XBLA, PSN, PC)
Sure, Costume Quest has been out on Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network for a year, but the game was just recently made available for PC users on Steam. That, in addition to the fact that the game is based on the holiday, are two great reasons that make Costume Quest totally relevant even a year after its initial launch. If you want some wholesome, cheery fun, check out Costume Quest and add a little color to this otherwise dark holiday.
Dead Island (360, PS3, PC)
Alright, it's time for the obvious pick on the list. Obviously, zombies are an integral part of Halloween culture, and with Dead Island being one of the latest zombie games to hit the market, it would be foolish not to include the game here. If you're looking for an intense, engrossing open world game with zombies galore, you really can't go wrong with Dead Island. The game may not be perfect, but it's a whole lot of fun. Grab some candy and prepare to rip into those undead freaks.
We give you a rundown of the zombie-slaying in Dead Island in our review.
Limbo (XBLA, PSN, PC)
Though it had previously only been available on Xbox Live Arcade, Limbo recently made the jump to the PlayStation Network and Steam this past summer. What that meant was that this incredible and haunting game was made available to even more gamers. It's a good thing, too, because Limbo was one of the best games of 2010, and now it has the distinct honor of being one of the best games of 2011. If you want a truly chilling experience that stays with you long after you've finished playing, Limbo is the game for you. At about four hours, it isn't the longest experience, but it's certainly memorable, and its dark tones and eerie vibe are definitely suitable for Halloween.
Our review of the PSN version of Limbo tells you why it is both haunting and unforgettable.
Kirby's Return to Dream Land (Wii)
Major curveball! Kirby's Return to Dream Land is colorful, adorable, and bright. Yeah, not exactly the description you'd expect when thinking about Halloween, right? There's one thing you're forgetting: costumes! What does Kirby do when he sucks up an enemy and steals his ability? He dons an awesome hat, that's what! Depending on the enemy, the rotund hero will dress up with anything from a jester hat to a superhero cape to a ninja outfit. With a bevy of costumes at his disposal, it's obvious that Kirby's in the Halloween spirit. The solid platforming, beautiful visuals, and enjoyable soundtrack alone are reason enough to play Kirby's Return to Dream Land anytime of the year, but the costumes make it stand out particularly for Halloween.
Extra Candy! – Splatterhouse: Wanpaku Graffiti
What's that at the bottom of your pumpkin-shaped bucket? Did you just find a bite-sized chocolate? Sweet! I bet you weren't expecting a sixth game on this list, but here it is. Splatterhouse: Wanpaku Graffiti isn't just an old school game–it's also a foreign game. Released only in Japan back in 1989, this comical horror-themed beat 'em up offered a change of pace from the rest of the Splatterhouse series. In my opinion, Wanpaku Graffiti is the best game in the entire franchise, and though it's pretty hard to find this title these days, I'd suggest playing it if you can.
We hope you have a safe and awesome Halloween this year. Be sure to eat lots of candy, turn off the lights, and have fun with a scary movie and some awesome video games!