Once again, it is that time of year filled with wonder and magic, eldritch and frights. Similar to movie marathons, video games are a great way to put yourself into a certain mood. Here are a few games that are recommended to play this October to settle into a Halloween mood.
In this first-person survival game the player assumes the role of an investigative journalist, Miles Upshur, who is exploring a neglected psychiatric hospital overrun by homicidal patients. It offers various stealth techniques but no offense maneuvers or visible health bar. Most of the maps are unlit, using the player’s camcorder as a source of light — if the player records any footage Miles will write a note. The battery on the camcorder is slowly consumed, so players must scavenge for new ones.
Lollipop Chainsaw (PS3, XB360)
Don’t mess with a cheerleader. Juliet is a witty cheerleader who hacks-and-slashes her way through a zombie apocalypse — all with her handy chainsaw and boyfriend’s decapitated talking head chained around her waist. There are endless comedic elements to keep players entertained. This game also offers a level up system in the guise of a shop so players can buy new moves and combos with in-game currency.
Friday the 13th: The Game (PC, PS4, XB1, SWITCH)
Modeled off of the classic slasher film franchise, “Friday the 13th: The Game” is a multiplayer survival game set in the 1980s around Camp Crystal Lake. In this game, one character is randomly selected to be Jason while the other players assume the role of counselors. As Jason, the selected player must kill the others that are trying to escape within the time limit. There are also objectives in the map that make escaping much faster. Illfonic, the company producing the game, has one of their three studios located here in Tacoma, WA.
Dead By Daylight (PC, PS4, XB1, Switch, iOS, Android, Stadia, XBX, PS5)
“Death isn’t an Escape.” This game has a similar playstyle to “Friday the 13th: The Game” — one player is the killer while the others play as survivors that aim to avoid being sacrificed to an ominous force called the Entity. While it offers original characters, a big selling point of this game is its variety of DLC crossover characters from classics including “Halloween,” “Left4Dead2,” “Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” “Saw,” “Nightmare on Elm Street,” “Evil Dead,” “Scream,” “Stranger Things” and “Silent Hill.”
Luigi’s Mansion Series (Gamecube, 3DS, WII U, Arcade, Switch)
This lighthearted action-adventure franchise has you playing as Luigi as he explores players’ mansions — including his own — and a hotel as he attempts to capture ghosts despite his anxious and timid behavior. While some games are shorter in length, they are all memorable with their own charms.
Yume Nikki (PC)
Also known as “Dream Diary,” this game provides a surreal setting as the player enters a young girl’s dreams. It is an early entry to the role-player game maker horror/adventure trend and considerably paved the way for later entries such as “.flow,” “ Lisa: the First” and “Undertale” — which drew inspiration from the game. The visual theme is considered similar to Earthbound with its provisions of endless paths, vague interactions and abstract environments that keep one curious.
Witch It (PC)
In this action hide-and-seek game players take on the role of hunters. They are tasked with the role of hunting down witches who are destroying their village. This cartoon-stylized world is filled with many classic Halloween environments such as old libraries and icy lakes. While very well put together, this indie game is still in the early access stage, leaving potential for more features and improvements in the future.
Until Dawn (PS4)
Why just watch a slasher horror movie when you can play in one? “Until Dawn” is an interactive survival-horror drama that plays cinematically with actions being mostly quick-time events. In this game, players take control of eight teenagers who have to survive at and around their lodge in Blackwood Mountain. The butterfly effect is very important in this game; it will keep track of any clues, secrets or choices you make that affect the storyline and ending. That being said, this game has relative replay value as well.
Corpse Party (PC, PSP, PS VITA, iOS, Android, 3DS, Switch)
“Corpse Party” is an old-school, cult classic role-playing game from 1996 that has been continuously played and remastered over the last 20 years. This game incorporates multiple genre elements such as horror, monster, psychological, RPG and action. You play as high schoolers that tell ghost stories when suddenly an earthquake occurs that then teleports them to a neglected schoolhouse in an alternate dimension. Throughout the chapters of the game, the characters are haunted by ghosts of those who have been trapped here. To escape, you must interact with other characters and objects, inspect the environment and avoid depletion of your hit points by enemies. Be mindful of the choices you make, this game offers multiple endings.