Greetings goblins, ghouls, and all of you other ghastly gamers and geeks out there! The season of haunting is upon us, as October marks everybody's second favorite annual reason to dress up. (Maybe some day we can have San Diego Comic Con all year long… a boy can dream.) Halloween is my all time favorite holiday, and I know many here at GameTyrant and GeekTyrant would agree with me on that one. We’re a bit of a weird collection of fans of the macabre. Personally, nothing gets me ready for the season quite like flicking off the lights, hiding under the safety of my best Snuggie, and playing some great video games that scare the candy corn right outta me. I’ve compiled a list with a 1-to-5 rating from those that will make you lose sleep to the ones I wouldn’t mind playing with my nephews before binge-eating fun sized Snickers bars.
5 - Zombies Ate My Neighbors
This SNES classic is perfect for getting you in the mood for the holiday without making you need to buy a new pair of underoos. LucasArts knew what they were doing back in the day, and Zombies Ate My Neighbors is a testament to that. Running around the neighborhood saving the quirky cast of neighbors from the zombie hordes is fun, challenging, and hilarious. Not to mention, it has a great 16-bit soundtrack full of creepy tunes that never get old! If your mom sold your copy in a garage sale years back, you can get it on the Wii Virtual Console. Otherwise, dust off the SNES and take Zombies Ate My Neighbors out for a ride.
4 - Lone Survivor
Now that we’ve seen all the fun and whimsy that retro graphics are capable of, let’s talk about one of the rare instances that they can scare you to your core! Super Flat Games' chilling 2-D side scrolling survival game, Lone Survivor pits you against some of the creepiest monsters in video games and gives you little more than your wits to help you get by. The first time I played this game, I was floored by just how unnerving a retro-style indie game could be. You can pick it up on Steam for about $15, and it works on Windows and Mac OS.
3 - Undertale
Undertale by Toby Fox is definitely not a scary game, but at times can be a bit on the unsettling side, and definitely has a fair share of tense moments. A game about a young kid who falls through a hole in the ground into a world inhabited by only monsters, it’s your job to find a way to blend in and survive. You’ll team up with goofy skeletons and adorable monsters to figure things out in this funny, unusual, and somewhat creepy RPG.
2 - P.T.
Sweet… merciful… Skeletor, P.T. (Playable Teaser) may have damaged me emotionally the first time I played it. I experienced it in a pitch black room on a 4K projector screen with a fine-tuned surround-sound system. I think any more immersion than that and they would have had to drag me out of the room in a body bag. Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro set out to do one thing when they made this small game, scare the piss out of people, and I’ll be damned if they didn’t succeed. If you haven’t played this game yet, it will be a bit difficult to get your hands on it, as it was taken off the PSN Store by Konami after they sent the project to an early grave. But if you have a buddy with it still on their PS4, then go give yourself a good fright this Halloween and give it a play.
1 - Until Dawn
While I didn’t find Supermassive Games’ spectacular Until Dawn as scary as P.T., it certainly left me with adrenaline pumping through my system every time I set down the controller. The characters in this game are so amazingly crafted that you will try your damnedest to keep them all alive and kicking! You'll second guess every single move you make during gameplay, and just hope it doesn’t lead to your favorite character’s death by the end. (Sam, I will never let you die! You are my one and only!) If you can’t tell by how often we post about it here on GameTyrant, we’re big fans of Until Dawn and if you haven’t picked it up yet, it is well worth the $60 price tag!
Those are the 5 games I’ll be playing to get myself amped for the Halloween season! What are the games you play to help get you in the spirit? Let me know in the comments and together we can build a collection that will pay tribute to this, the greatest of all holidays! Happy Halloween everyone!