To say horror games have become popular in the past few years would be an incredible understatement. Since Amnesia: The Dark Descent came out in 2010 horror games have bloomed into a beautiful scene. Sadly, that beautiful bloom has spread into an infestation and we’re now plagued with a crop of jumpscare asset flips. How do you avoid this minefield of a genre? Let’s talk about some of the best Horror games on itch.io to get you prepared for October.
This one’s an oldie-but-goodie. The Night that Speaks was one of the first games that really put itch.io on my radar as a consumer. It’s just the sort of weird game that doesn’t really exist on other storefronts. The game is sort of a first person horror experience but it’s also a look at restraint in controls and aesthetics. Oh and you stop ghosts by flipping them off so that’s fun. It’s not a long experience, but it’s one that’s sat with me for years. If you’re considering making a low-res game this is the one to learn from.
Want a little more monochrome in your life after The Night that Speaks? The Music Machine combines classic Resident Evil-style puzzles with one of the spookier lighting systems I’ve ever seen in a game. You’re really forced to take a second to come to grips with what you’re looking at at any given time in Music Machine.
Music Machine also tells an interesting horror story. You’re trapped as a 13-year-old being haunted by a ghost who is trying to kill you. Of course there’s more going on, as you’ll find out when you explore the desolate island.
Need something a bit lighter after all of that? Interfectorem is the most recent release from Girls Make Games, a group that works to introduce young women to game development, and publishes one game developed by these women per year. With Interfectorem, the team of 11-15 year olds have crafted a horror game that somehow straddles the line between horrifying and charming. There are a few peculiarities in Interfectorem, but nothing that feels out of place once you know the game’s pedigree.
Beyond that Interfectorem’s art is downright incredible. It’s handled by Reimena Yee, one of the mentors at Girls Make Games and it has rapidly become some of my favorite visual design of the year. It’s alternately innocent and violent, flat and dynamic, and I am now interested in whatever comes next for Yee.
What are the best horror games we missed this week? Let everyone know in the comments below.