Sunday, October 7, 2018

October is made for Scary Games

One of our favorite traditions in early college years was getting a group together and playing scary video games. It was hilarious, I once got hit in the eye with a controller, and semi-often most of us ran out of my best friend's giant game-friendly room in sheer fright. 

A lot of that has been replaced in our busy lives with infrequent get-togethers to battle video game zombies and defend each other, and I sort of miss being that scared as a group while still in the comforts of home. Playing online has made this easier, but it's missing the actual togetherness and many of the scariest horror games force the player to go through the experience alone, so if you've never had a group-play of a scary game, it's totally worth it. 

I'm a huge fan of scary books, (Happy All Hallow's Read, btw), but I'm also a huge fan of all things horror gaming. Here are some of my favorites, old and new. 

Visage is one of the newcomers to the area and holy @#$%! I have never had ghosts creep me out like that before. They move like real people, they sound real, but the absolutely terrifying dance macabre they do is going to drive you batty. This is another game like Clocktower or Haunting Ground where you can kick your own ass by getting too scared and losing sanity points, which is made worse by your always dark haunted house. It's a mad scramble to keep things lit as you unlock increasingly gory and scary clues to what happened in this place before you got there. In addition to the spooks looking real, the game feels real. You get the very palpable unease of someone going slightly out of their mind by being exposed to this stuff continually. Visage is a sad nightmare of the best kind and it was made for any horror fan. 

Fatal Frame as a series is my next pick, but you're going to have to go through some hoops the play the earlier games (the first one being the best, in my opinion) but you can find 3 on the PlayStation Network. It deals a lot with survivors guilt and guilt in general, and we get to see Miku again as a friend to the main character, Rei, who is dealing with losing her love to a tragic accident she feels responsible for. This is a heavy plot,  and the ghosts are obviously not as hyper-real as the newer Visage but the creepy moments are nailed here. Nothing is in the room with you, but for only a second a person-shaped blur appears. Your phone rings with ominous calls. Mysterious objects left in places you know they weren't in a moment ago...The little things make a big difference and altogether this is a good scary game. 

My last pick is the short but creepily gorgeous Year Walk. It was made by a Swedish developer and loosely based on the Swedish tradition of, you guessed it, the Year Walk. So there is this cool folklore feel to the world and the creatures. It's a puzzler, but as you are making your way around the haunting clues to unlock the future, it just feels more like a beautiful and scary experience. 

*credit to Haunting Ground, too- Idk where you'd find a copy to play but if you like horror games and dogs, then this was amazing.*

I love that we get new and memorable horror games every year, and October is a great time to try some old ones you may have missed or grab the latest and greatest title. Being scared, and the act of braving being terrified is crazy important to us as humans. So, go be brave and have fun. 

And watch for flying controllers, I guess. 


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