Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Indie-horror games to celebrate this Halloween season

From psychological to slasher, there are plenty of titles to scare players into excitement for Oct. 31
Daily Collegian (2011)

With the changing of seasons, many people turn to their favorite horror films or autumn-centered television series. However, many discard other forms of media in favor of these Halloween classics, video games being unfortunately one of them. With video games being so immersive, they are sure to engage gamers and non-gamers alike for the sinister season.

Warning: Many of these games contain content that can be sensitive or disturbing. Please be diligent in researching trigger warnings beforehand.

1. “Grimm’s Hollow”

Starting our list is “Grimm’s Hollow,” which was created by solo-developer Mahum Najam, otherwise known as “ghosthunter.” The story centers around a character named Lavender, who is looking for their lost brother in the afterlife. The mechanic of the game is turned-based attacking, which is under the role-playing game genre. Released in October 2019, the game can be downloaded through Steam for free. However, if you enjoy playing and want to explore the story more, there’s an $8 DLC.

2. “Omori”

“Welcome to white space. You have been living here for as long as you can remember.”

These are the last words you see before the game “Omori” finally begins, already setting an ominous tone that progresses throughout. With a stellar soundtrack and color pallet, players control Sunny, a seemingly disinterested and plain character. Everything seems to be going well and happy until one of the group’s friends goes missing. But sure not to take the cute art style for granted, since this RPG deals with sensitive topics that could be harmful to certain players.

3. “What Remains of Edith Finch”

Considering video game limitations, Giant Sparrow produced a game that exceeded expectations. Award-winning “What Remains of Edith Finch” is more akin to a digital pop-up book with the immersion caused by living through someone else’s eyes. Traveling back to her old house, titular character Edith Finch tries to piece together her family’s plague of misfortune and misery. While not as outwardly terrifying or scary, the lingering memories caused by this game makes up for it.

4. “Little Nightmares I + II”

Though separate titles, the story and plot of “Little Nightmares I” and “Little Nightmares II” perfectly overlap with one another. The first focuses on a character named Six trying to navigate out of a ship called “The Maw.” The setting and enemies are grimy and disgusting, adding to the overall experience. In the second game, it follows Six and a new character, Mono, as they traverse a decrepit and unravelling world. Both games can be completed in one day, with it being about 12 hours total, making it a great duo to complete on Halloween weekend.

5. “Dead by Daylight”

Have you ever watched a horror movie and felt like you would be one of the “final girls?” Well, in “Dead by Daylight,” you have the opportunity to see if that’s true! In this co-op game, you play with four other online players in various landscapes. The format goes by a four vs one, with the option to play as one of four survivors or a lone killer. Behaviour Interactive, the developer of the game, has begun to collaborate with other iconic horror franchises like “Silent Hill” and “Resident Evil.” With more updates to come, this would be a fantastic game to play with friends this season.

6. “Night In The Woods”

During the autumn season, many college students make the trek to visit their hometowns. Due to this backdrop, some may resonate with Mae Borowski, a recent drop-out from university coming back home. First dealing with mental health struggles and a life crisis, things start to go awry on Halloween night for Mae. That day forward, Mae and her childhood friends and bandmates try to uncover the mysteries that happen in their once-quiet town. Following as a side-scrolling manner, the world is nothing but expansive and immersive.

7. “Doki Doki Literature Club”

“Doki Doki Literature Club” begins like many stereotypical young adult stories do, with many of the same archetypes. From the “childhood best friend” to the “bully with a crush,” everything seems like the average school day. After joining a new club where you explore the intricacies of literature and writing poetry, things become alarming slowly but surely.

Though the art style seems unassuming, don’t delve into the story too quickly  if you’re faint of heart.

8. “Identity V”

Solely a mobile game, “Identity V” is just as impressive as the other titles included on the list. With an element of mystery, the lore behind character’s motivations is as interesting as the gameplay. What once was an investigation into the disappearance of a client’s daughter, then sends Detective Orpheus into a deadly game of survival. The backdrop is a mysterious manor for a game where individuals risk their lives for the chance of getting wishes and dreams granted. Much like in “Dead by Daylight,” players can either be the killer or the survivors during a given round. In addition to being transportable due to its mobile-only installation, it is a free game to download as well.

9. “Off”

One of the oldest entries on this list, “Off” is also among the most influential when it comes to the indie-RPG genres especially. Players control an unusual character simply called “The Batter” in the equally unusual world of “Off.” The main objective of the game initially is to “purify the world” by going to the different sections of the world and combating the entities causing distress. More of the story unravels and falls into place the further players explore the terrain, which showcases the horrifying elements that lie beneath a rather simplistic screen. Unfortunately, the game cannot be downloaded off Steam but can be downloaded for free in various languages elsewhere.

10. “Your Turn To Die”

For fans of the hit series “Danganronpa” or television show “Squid Game,” the final title of this list will be the perfect game this October. A game centered around deceit, betrayal and survival, “Your Turn To Die” reimagines what it means to persevere in stressful circumstances. Trapped in an unknown space, 10 unlikely individuals must band together in solving how and why they are all connected. The mechanics balance between a mix of visual novel, click-and-point puzzle games and debating techniques to create a unique experience. The game can be played for free on your internet’s average browser.

Sierra Thornton can be reached at [email protected].

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