Halloween Gaming Spooktacular

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By Ben Wright (@iamzavagno | www.xgeeks.co.uk)

This is Halloween, this is Halloween, Halloween! Halloween! Halloween! Halloween!

To kick off this Halloween season I have put together a list of PC games that I think you should very much check out!

Now, this list is not an “all-time greatest” kind of list, for example, I am missing out some true classics such as Outlast, Alien: Isolation, Resident Evil 4, Silent Hill 2 and many, many more! This list is composed of a range of games that have had a significant impact on me that goes beyond being ‘just a game’. The list is comprised of a range of games spanning different game types and contains both old and newer titles.

Now, while you might have heard of or played most of these titles already, I still have my fingers crossed that you find something that you haven’t! Hopefully, I will do a good enough job to convince you to try something new this Halloween!

Please Note: The following list is in no particular order.

10 PC Games To Play This Halloween:

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Amnesia: The Dark Descent

Synopsis: Amnesia: The Dark Descent, a first-person survival horror. A game about immersion, discovery and living through a nightmare. An experience that will chill you to the core.

Starting the list off strong with this PC classic! Amnesia: The Dark Descent is a masterpiece of a game, taking suspense to a whole new level! As you wander the corridors, unravelling the mystery of your character, the fear grips you. This game jumps out of the monitor and into your very soul! I still refuse to play this at night, I just won’t do it. In one particular sequence, you are in a flooded part of the house and you are then chased by a mysterious, invisible threat. All you can hear and see are the splashing of heavy footsteps as they chase you. Terrifying! To go alongside the great horror elements of the game, you have an exceptional story and mystery to unravel. Captivating and scary, there is no better game to play at night on Halloween!

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Realms of the Haunting

Synopsis: Adam Randall ventures to a haunted house in order to investigate the mysterious circumstances around his father’s death. He soon discovers the house contains portals to several different universes, and that he is the Chosen One who must prevent the final apocalyptic battle between the forces of good and evil.

This relativity unknown cult-classic is a game very much close to my heart. My mum bought this when the game first came out in 1997. It came in a huge box and was 4-6 CDs long. You had to run it via MS-DOS! She isn’t really a gamer, so decided to print out a walkthrough. It was a mountainous amount of paper. It was longer than The Lord of the Rings! It was my job to read out the walkthrough and guide her. I would have been 10 at the time, and my memories are that I didn’t like it. It was too scary. A few years later I played it myself. And I LOVED it! It has the perfect mix of point-and-click with FPS elements. There are very tricky puzzles to get past as well as limited ammunition and health potions. The game has such a stunning design and it is one of the most terrifying games I have ever played. It has such an uncomfortable atmosphere. The story is first class and the live-action cutscenes give it a big movie feel. It remains one of my favourite games, despite not playing it for many years! Thankfully it is now on Steam! Stay tuned to our Youtube channel…

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Dark Fall: The Journal

Synopsis: Dark Fall: The Journal is a horror-adventure game that will bring fear into your heart. Arriving at an abandoned train station, you are exposed to an overwhelming but invisible ghost presence – strange calls, footsteps, voices from nowhere. In order to help your brother and survive you will need to solve the mystery of this abandoned, haunted place.

The first of two Jonathan Boakes titles on this list! Boakes is easily my favourite British indie game designers. His games always seem to tick off everything I want from a supernatural point-and-click title! While Dark Fall: The Journal is the first game in Boakes cult-series, I actually played this after The Lost Crown, which was my entry into Boakes universe. I worked my way back through all of the Darkling Rooms games and they remain one of my favourite studios. I like games that make you work for it, and if you want to play this, I recommend you bring a pen and notepad with you! You need to forage and store all of the information and it doesn’t save it anywhere, so you will need to consult your notes to unlock the various puzzles and story aspects. It has such a great setting, a disused train station, and the folklore aspects, that are always present in Boakes’ work, are such a welcome addition, making this more than a game about ghosts and hauntings.

Buy Now

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Layers of Fear

Synopsis: Layers of Fear is a first-person psychedelic horror game with a heavy focus on story and exploration. Delve deep into the mind of an insane painter and discover the secret of his madness, as you walk through a vast and constantly changing Victorian-era mansion. Uncover the visions, fears and horrors that entwine the painter and finish the masterpiece he has strived so long to create.

Layers of Fear is easily one of the most terrifying games that I have ever played. While the jump scares are really well-executed, the game is not just about trying to make you jump. It manages to blend the on-the-nose horror with an underlying sense on constant dread and unease. The artistic nature of the game allows the creators to go really crazy with the game design and I always think this game gets overlooked in terms of its creativity. The story is really well constructed and the voice acting is solid throughout. In terms of a point-and-click game, it does a great job in allowing you to explore and take on information. If you take the time to read all of the books and find all of the secrets, the story is greatly enhanced. If played right, this game can be such a rewarding experience.

Watch our complete playthrough HERE.

Buy Now

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BioShock

Synopsis: In the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, Jack, the sole survivor of a plane crash, discovers the entrance to the recluse underwater city of Rapture. Finding himself in an alien world, he has no choice but to fight for his survival against the Splicers, degenerated citizens addicted to the genetic material known as ADAM, and all the traps laid down by the city’s visionary founder, Andrew Ryan.

Do I really need to say anything about this game? One of the greatest video games of all time! There are so many layers to this game, the exploration, the setting, the horror, the run-and-gun aspects, not to mention the plasmids! The setting of Rapture is so iconic and a truly astonishing world in which to play such a fantastically crafted video game. The story and character aspects are exceptional, with the added bonus of your consequences having an impact on the ending of the game. I have played through Bioshock multiple times, both on release, years after and when the remastered version was released! It’s a game that never gets old and you can play a different way every time! While this has more action than most horror type games, you try playing it with the lights off! It really enhances the scary aspects of the game.

Buy Now

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Little Nightmares

Synopsis: Little Nightmares is a dark whimsical tale that will confront you with your childhood fears! Help Six escape The Maw – a vast, mysterious vessel inhabited by corrupted souls looking for their next meal. As you progress on your journey, explore the most disturbing dollhouse offering a prison to escape from and a playground full of secrets to discover.

I was lucky enough to play the demo at EGX before the game was released. The anticipation grew and I was counting down the days for the full release. This is a very special game. If you’re looking for a platform game to play this Halloween, then Little Nightmares is the game for you! From a games design and artistic point of view, Little Nightmares is pretty much unrivalled. As for the gameplay, it has the perfect mix of platform and puzzle-solving aspects. It is also, genuinely terrifying. Some of the chases are so unbelievably tense. Your adrenaline will kick in big time! You need to plan your moves carefully if you are to succeed and progress through the different levels.

Watch our complete playthrough HERE.

Buy Now

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Dead Space

Synopsis: A massive deep-space mining ship goes dark after unearthing a strange artifact on a distant planet. Engineer Isaac Clarke embarks on the repair mission, only to uncover a nightmarish blood bath, the ship’s crew horribly slaughtered and infected by alien scourge. Now Isaac is cut off, trapped, and engaged in a desperate fight for survival.

I nearly put Doom 3 here, but Dead Space has just pipped it to the list. While both games have similar elements, Dead Space edges ahead because of just how extreme it gets. This game is very much a spiritual successor to the film Event Horizon, probably another reason why I love this game so much. It is very graphic and violent, but the game isn’t just about shock and gore. The claustrophobic environment keeps you constantly on edge, dreading what awaits you around every corner. You feel so helpless and fragile all the time, which just adds to that tension when playing.

Buy Now

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The Lost Crown: A Ghost Hunting Adventure

Synopsis: Unravel an ancient mystery and search for an ancient treasure on England’s fog-shrouded coastline, famed for its legends of smugglers, pirates and ghosts. Join ghost-hunters Nigel Danvers and Lucy Reubans as they investigate a tale of horror and haunting.

The second Boakes’ title on this list! The Lost Crown is one of my favourite video games of all time. I will never be able to verbalise how much this game means to me, the enjoyment I get whenever I play it. The ghostly seaside town of Saxton is such a great setting for a supernatural adventure game. The game design uses models ontop of photographs that make up the various backgrounds and locations. This creative approach adds an extra dimension to the gameplay. Visually, it’s such a unique game. The same goes for the story, it is so easy to lose yourself in the folklore. There are moments that are genuinely terrifying and, like all of Boakes’ games, you need to engage your brain, because some of the puzzles will really test you! Playing The Lost Crown is not only highly satisfying but as the credits roll, you feel such a sense of accomplishment. You truly feel like you have been on such a grand adventure.

Watch our complete playthrough HERE.

Buy Now

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Alan Wake

Synopsis: When the wife of the best-selling writer Alan Wake disappears on their vacation, his search turns up pages from a thriller he doesn’t even remember writing. A Dark Presence stalks the small town of Bright Falls, pushing Wake to the brink of sanity in his fight to unravel the mystery and save his love. 

Segmented like a TV show, Alan Wake is the perfect game for fans of Stephen King and Twin Peaks. Both of these influences are prominent throughout, and as the twists and turns of the story unfold, the game only gets stronger. As for the gameplay, it is really creative with forcing the player to have to use both a flashlight and gun in order to defeat enemies. This is far from a run-and-gun game, you need to be tactful. The crazy cast of characters enriches the tense and gripping story, with well-timed humour to lighten the onslaught of dark moments. Alan Wake does a great job keeping you hooked to the story and the cliffhangers at every episode will always have you craving more!

Buy Now

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S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl

Synopsis: S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl tells a story about survival in the Zone – a very dangerous place, where you fear not only the radiation, anomalies and deadly creatures, but other S.T.A.L.K.E.R.s, who have their own goals and wishes.

In a world that contains the Fallout and Metro series’, I feel that S.T.A.L.K.E.R. always seems to get overlooked when it comes to survival adventure games. Based upon the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, the game’s setting adds that extra threat level as the environment can kill you just as easily as the creatures and humans who inhabit it! While primarily an FPS, it has strong survival horror elements as well as touches of RPG aspects too. You can really immerse yourself in the world and the game continually adds new features to keep you wanting to progress. It is also a game in which you can really fall down a rabbit hole, as the books and notes you find really help just build this unique world.

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What game would you add to this list? Tell us your favourite horror games in the comments!

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